With an early spring here in SE Minnesota I can start thinking about QRP again. One of my favorite local picnic table QRP spots here in Rochester is Essex Park. It has plenty of space, lots of trees with limbs about right for antenna supports and movable picnic tables. Take a look here for a video on my operating from Essex park. On Saturday I worked N1LU, Don in NH, and K1TG, Roger in CT. K1TG was an especially good QSO. We are both active in the AWA and have worked each other using our vintage stations.
This weekend at Essex Park I also worked on a new antenna. My end fed half wave and full wave wire antennas do a fine job but they require at least one well placed tree. I could use a self supporting antenna. Cabellas (and other big box sporting goods stores) sell a 16.5' collapsible crappie (as in fishing) pole. 16.5' is just about right for half of a 20 meter dipole. On Sunday I setup two of these poles to form a V to support a V (not inverted V) dipole. Read more about this antenna here. It appears to work as well as a straight dipole and it is fairly portable....now I need to find a bare nob of a hill to operate from.