21 August 2010


    I got started an hour later in the morning. I arrived at my operating location on the Appalachian Trail North of Strausstown, PA by 8:50 AM / 12:50 UTC. In reality I was North West of Strausstown. The closest town is Bethel, PA but when you pull up the map for Bethel it takes you to Western PA. While looking at the map go North West until you see Rte 501. I was in that area on the AT. Probably should say South of Pine Grove, PA.

    I am a member of the Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club and they own land that has a 1930's cabin. I strung a 40 meter dipole up on Friday, I was doing some antenna testing so I just let it hang over night. The center support was up around 40 feet in the air. I setup the K1 station, Black Widow Vertical (BWV) and solar panel. I did not need the solar panel but I thought since it was sunny I should charge one of my other batteries.

    The weather was sunny with a 5 MPH breeze going most of the time. The temperature started out at 74'F around 11AM / 15:00 UTC. When the sun was shining on the table it did get up to 80'F but the average was around 77'F with very low humidity.

    I started to call CQ on 40 meters around 13:45 UTC. I was now 1 hour and 45 minutes behind schedule. I was using my K1 @ 5 watts. I do my logging with PortaLog on my Tungsten Palm. I have an infrared keyboard to type my QSO's into the log.

WB3AAL's 21 August 2010 Station

WB3AAL Calling CQ

WB3AAL Video

WB3AAL's 21 Aug. 2010 PBSPE Lunch


    I made a total of 15 QSO's and some lasted 20 to 35 minutes in length. I was surprised considering the bands were not in the best of shape. I did work 3 Polar Bear. One PB was at the Maplecon, the other one was on his Wagon Hill. Congratulations to N5PJ the newest PB in the group, Perry snagged me for his 1st PB QSO. I think I heard one or two other Maplecon PB's calling me but I am not 100% sure on that. I did call CQ on 15m with the 40m dipole. No QSO's but a couple of stations did try to work me on the band. Below is the log for the day.

1 WA2DAC 40m Lynn Peru, NY
2 K1OIK 40m Burt Cape Cod, MA
3 NT9K 20m Bill Melbourne, FL
4 N4BP 20m Bob Plantation, FL
5 K7ZYV 20m Carl Biloxi, MS
6 K3GY 40m Don Erie, PA
7 KE8LF 40m Larry Beach City, OH
8 WA8REI 40m Ken  PB #21 Wagon Wheel Hill, MI
9 WB8VMW 40m Jim Barberton, OH
10 VE3VVF 40m Scott  PB #55 Maplecon in Ontario
11 KC8THY 40m Jim Toledo, OH
12 K8FN 40m Bob Tipp City, OH
13 N5PJ 20m Perry  PB #240 Yukon, OK
14 KB1PBA 40m Peter Bar Harbor, ME
15 K0RU 20m Rob Gardner, KS

    As you can see the 40 meter dipole at 40 feet up on top of the mountain was burning up the airwaves. I did a lot of calling CQ on 30 and 20m with the vertical. Every hour I did go to 15m and called CQ for 5 minutes. I heard one DX station on 15m. Every time I went to him he QSY'ed. Not sure if he just liked calling CQ. Never heard anyone work him.

    While I was working KE8LF I seen 5 doe walk thru the area about 50 yards away. It was real funny, they heard the key click but did not see me move. Three of them just stood there and stared at me for 5 minutes, I never moved. They walked on and walking behind them was the buck with antlers. Shortly after the deer went thru the area, I estimate 12 to 16 Red-Spotted Purple butterflies flew thru the area.

    I had a very enjoyable day playing QRP CW HF on the Appalachian Trail. My QSO count stand at 1,277 contacts from the AT since March 2000. I might go out next weekend with a 20m dipole and hang it up high. I would like to try and work Hawaii and next weekend is the HI QSO Party. I am going to try and stay over night for the last PBSPE of 2010 in September and the first PBMME in October. I have to place my reservations now so I can have the cabin for the weekend.

    One last tip for everyone that goes out on the trail or just outdoors to play radio. I placed fresh dryer sheets in each sock, around each wrist with a small rubber band and one in the hat. I did not have any flies or bugs bothering me all day. I did have a bunch of Turkey Vultures flying over head all day, maybe they wanted my lunch.


Ron de WB3AAL

Polar Bear #1

AALpha Polar Bear