Attempting QRP from Hawaii

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by AJ6KZ, Feb 4, 2020.

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  1. W9WQA

    W9WQA Ham Member QRZ Page

    i did 900 miles over dirt,indiana to rhode island on 1 w ssb on a vertical which surprised me on my first qrp try so you otta do well over water...
    AJ6KZ likes this.
  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I took an MFJ QRP rig a number of years ago to my high-rise hotel in Waikiki while on a business trip - MFJ balcony antenna.... worked as WB7AWK/KH6 on CW with about 3 watts.... worked NO ONE :(

    Never bothered to pack the rig back with me - this was before the peak of the last cycle so not the greatest of conditions

    N7ANN likes this.
  3. AJ6KZ

    AJ6KZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wow, so cool!
  4. AJ6KZ

    AJ6KZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nice! I’m going to give it another shot.
  5. AJ6KZ

    AJ6KZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    That’s a shame...

    I’m not going down without a fight. Half the fun is just getting everything set up.
  6. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Propagation is EVERYTHING when running limited antennas and QRP. Just the way it is.

    But yes - half the fun is indeed getting it all on the air in the first place :)

    WW2PT and AJ6KZ like this.
  7. WG7X

    WG7X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Cue the WABAC machine, Sherman, we're going for a ride!

    So, there I was, on Oahu for two weeks in June, some years ago. 1983 or '84? Don't remember exactly but anyway I was there over the Field day weekend.

    I had been installing some equipment at Schofield Barracks (SP?) during that visit, so I had installation access. I also had noted the presence of a MARS station there and drove up to it and sure enough there were folks there trying to get ready for field day. I say trying because they were the very definition of unprepared. I helped them sort out some of the problems and we/they actually managed to get on the air in a somewhat limited manner using the call of the station manager KH6BZF. Bloomin Zipper Flipper. I remember that part! So they tried, but were unable to make a single contact in the time I spent with them. A couple of hours at least...

    So I decided to go back to the hotel and hang out on the beach. I was staying at the Hilton Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. (Yeah, high on the hog, thanks Uncle Sam!) Anyway, on the way back, I passed by Ala Moana park which was literally only blocks from the hotel. Driving by, I noticed what appeared to be another field day setup in the park. So, I went back to the hotel, parked the car and walked back to the park. Sure enough, there was a ham club there, set up for field day! I played tourist, going from tent to tent just observing the set up and asking typical touristy questions just for fun...

    So after visiting the various band tents I noticed that their fifteen meter tent had only once occupant and there was nothing going on there. I went in and struck up a conversation with the sole occupant. I asked him why he was not on the air making contacts as he had a good station, with a good sized yagi up on a tower pointed at the mainland. Turned out that while he was the 15 meter band captain and most if not all of the equipment was his: he was a technician licensee so he was unable to work the station on 15 meter phone! Strange but true.

    So, I asked him if we could operate together, and of course he said yes! So, I worked a few contacts S&P and then put my new friend on the station. We had fun operating FD from the park and I'm pretty sure that he upgraded soon after. I seem to remember that the club callsign was KH6BO or KH6 Blue Ocean but I might be wrong because now that call is owned by a different fellow. The club was the Honolulu Radio club if I remember correctly...

    But, the biggest thing that we noticed? It was very hard to get the attention of mainland hams, even with a good antenna and 100 watts. We just figured that all if not most of the hams on the mainland had their antennas pointed away from us, especially the hams on the west coast. So, after some hours of operating and making contacts, it was back to the hotel for me.

    It was a bit of an eye opener for me because I guess that I just assumed that being in Hawaii would have been enough to generate a good pile up. Unfortunately, that never really happened. Yeah, we made good progress and fifteen was in good shape, but the big station on twenty probably made the lion's share of the contacts as is usually the case.

    So, there you have it: my one and probably only experience operating from Hawaii. I go to Alaska every year too, but have never tried bringing ham equipment along. Too much of a PITA. Maybe some day.
    WW2PT likes this.
  8. AJ6KZ

    AJ6KZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great story! Thank you for taking the time to write it up!
  9. KI7YFP

    KI7YFP Ham Member QRZ Page

    When, what mode, and what band?
    I'm in Washington, so I tend to hear that side of the world.
    If I know when, I'll listen out for you.
    AJ6KZ likes this.
  10. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

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