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Sunday, April 21, 2013

It's not quite Spring in Minnesota

Last week Beth had an all day conference scheduled in the cities. I had the day free so this sounded like a great opportunity for some QRP in a different park.

Plans are made to be changed. The night before Beth's conference we got over 6" of snow and the temperature was forecast to be in the mid 30s. In the past I have participated in the FYBO QSO party but I wasn't planning on it this year. Where might I operate my KX3 from while staying warm and dry?

Eventually I thought of the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting. Located in St Louis Park, just west of
downtown Minneapolis, it is home to a great collection of antique radio, television and broadcasting equipment. It also includes a ham radio club, W0OEP, built around two Collins stations. On Friday I was more interested in the beam outside.

Steve Raymer, the museum curator, helped me get my KX3 plugged into the club yagi and I was on the air, warm and dry: a good combination for a cold snowy day in Minnesota. 20 mtr CW QSOs included VE3OF in Ontario and KK4BOB in Florida. Operating time was interrupted a couple of time, once while Steve demonstrated the museum spark transmitter and the other for a museum guided tour.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spring and QRP in the Park

Unfortunately spring hasn't yet arrived in SE Minnesota. It has, though, in central Texas. A couple of weeks ago Beth and I were down in Austin, TX visiting friends. My KX3 bag has a designated spot in the car. I rarely leave town without it.

During the week in Austin I enjoyed QRP QSOs with KA3J, W8WL/0, WA9FZP, KC2ZBZ and KI4TS. The most interesting QSOs, though, were the eyeball ones. On April 1 an old friend Dick, W5TA, stopped by for a visit while I was spending a few free hours in a Pflugerville city park.
On April 5 Beth and I took a trip down to Bastrop State Park. Unfortunately, in September 2011, 96% of the park was burned.  Only around 100 acres were saved. The rest is still blackened tree trunks. While set up and operating from one of the overlooks Jerome and his family came through on a hike and stopped for a rest and a snack. His young son wondered what was going on at the next table. Introductions led to a nice conversation about ham radio and a demonstration of morse code.