QRP in the Driftless

  • I made a knee board

    This is a great example of the kind of “just good enough to do the job” work that I do when I am in a big hurry; this whole thing took me one hour to make. First, how big to make it? A couple of minutes with a tape measure and (in this order) my […]

  • I made an “octopus”

    I got a little scare a few weeks ago as I was setting up; the power cord for the 6100 was not in its usual location! I found it only seconds later, attached to the external battery, but it got me thinking about backup for critical parts of the station equipment. This is one of […]

  • No radio today, just a hike

    Hiking has been taking the back seat a lot so far this year, in favor of radio operating, so when I looked at N0NBH’s solar conditions page and saw “poor” propagation in the forecast I decided to have a hike pure-and-simple! In the pre-dawn hours I filled one bottle with fresh hot coffee and a […]

  • X6100 and EFHW at Wildcat Mountain

    The weather today was a lot more pleasant than when I last activated K-1480, but I was using the same equipment. I planned to trim a few inches from the QRPguys EFHW to improve the SWR while I was setting up but it seemed to have the opposite effect … now I am wondering what […]

  • Devil’s Lake State Park, K-1449 and Ice Age National Scenic Trail, K-4238

    After a weekend of chilly and rainy weather there came a day where the forecast promised slightly nicer conditions, and I had scouted out this location a few weeks earlier on a trip to the Menard’s in Baraboo. I got there early and considered operating outdoor portable for the first time this year, but a […]

  • It was snowing lightly on Wildcat Mountain …

    as I worked 24 hunters this morning at Wildcat Mountain State Park, K-1480. It drizzled all night, on & off, it was still drizzling as I loaded the car and drove to the park; as I was unwinding the antenna wire I saw the first few snowflakes. There was a brief period of snow pellets, […]

  • New battery!

    My 3 amp-hour Bioenno LiFePO4 battery has been giving me great service so far, but I am planning a multi-day POTA + SOTA activation in a wilderness location that will be 100% pack-in-everything-you-want-or-need. (More about this during May!) Based on my experience so far, an average activation of an hour or two on the air […]

  • Finishing that antenna

    I really hate to lose momentum on a project, but that was more-or-less happening with the short base-loaded whip antenna I was making after the pattern of the QRPguys DS1; the mounting wasn’t going to fit on the tripod head, so I ordered new copper clad board (G10 this time), and for no reason, the […]

  • Making a common-mode choke

    Over the winter I bought a couple of different EFHW antenna kits, not all of which are assembled yet. (More about these in the weeks & months to come!) I have been wishing for a common-mode choke to work with them because of all the stories that one reads about RF-on-the-coax-shield interfering with the operation […]

  • Wildcat Mountain, K-1480, again

    On the roll from Monday’s more-than-successful semi-spontaneous activation at Dell Creek SWA, today I dropped in at Wildcat Mountain State Park while I was in the neighborhood. It was a beautifully springlike day here in the Driftless Area, or at least it evolved into one from the sorta-wintery overnight … I was actually in shirtsleeves […]

  • Dell Creek SWA, K-4281

    I needed to visit the Home Depot in Lake Delton today, and I really wanted to do another activation, too. I brought the dream and the reality together by stopping at Dell Creek State Wildlife Area, K-4281 along the way! Once I found an access with parking, (off Town Hall road, north of North Avenue), […]

  • Coulee Experimental State Forest, K-5578

    Woke up this morning thinking “activate a new park today”, but which one? In the end I decided to try Coulee Experimental State Forest, K-5578 again. (for my previous attempt, click here). It was an ideal day for a wire antenna and I quickly hung my 20 meter dipole from some sapling trees and turned […]

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