Saturday, May 30, 2015

QRP and Life At The Lake

Crater Lake National Park
The weather has been much more like summer and just like the ham bands during a contest weekend, things are beginning to get busy. Summer is here and I have to tell ya, I'm enjoying the abundant sunshine here at this relatively new QTH. The road around Crater Lake is almost fully open. With the lack of winter, many roads and recreational areas are open much earlier this year than in previous years. Of course, being new to the area and being my first summer here at the lake, this is where the bar is set for me. Normally these areas don't open until early July so that should somewhat put things into perspective. 

Lake View - Crater Lake National Park 
I could not attend Dayton but it was great reading the Twitter and Facebook posts by those who attended not to mention the bloggers highlighting new equipment and a play by play at the Hamvention

In speaking of the Hamvention, I saw posted on the QRP ARCI webpage that N6QW was inducted to the QRP Hall Of Fame. Pete is certainly well deserving of the award. I'm looking forward to reading more in the July issue of QRP Quarterly. There are many people who have been important in various aspects of QRP operating, covering everything from technical to education. No longer do you need that ham who is next door to show you the ropes. Nowadays, with social medial, it's a matter of doing a Google search or searching YouTube to learn anything you wanted to know about all aspects of ham radio. From Bloggers to Vloggers, there is an endless amount of information that has been shared and available with a few clicks of a mouse.

My introduction to QRP was simply that, via social media. My attention was first drawn to low power operating by coming across a video from Steve, wG0AT. That is what planted the seed for me. That was the reason that I personally nominated Steve for the QRP ARCI QRP Hall Of Fame. Steve did not get it but hey, there is always next year! There are a few others that I also wanted to nominate however, I could only nominate one and Steve rose to the top. For me, a close second would be Larry, W2LJ. I've enjoyed Larry's blog for several years. Larry's blog site is highly read and respected by many in the QRP community, including myself. For me, what edged out Steve, was my personal experiences with wG0AT himself. With that said, my nomination for Steve is below;

In finally getting around to reading the January edition of The QRP Quarterly, I scanned the past recipients of the QRP Hall of Fame on page 4. Much to my surprise, there was one callsign missing from that list. This is the reason for my nomination. My nomination details are listed below. 

I stumbled across a video by Steve, wG0AT on one of his many portable QRP adventures. I started to follow Steve's video success in 2009. I can honestly say, I never gave QRP a thought prior to catching Steve's videos. I began to research QRP operating and it was only then that I realized how big the QRP world was. 

I was living in Alaska and was active from just outside the boundary of Denali National Park as KL8DX. I was very active as a QRO operator, and I could be found in many of the major contest weekends during CW contests running 100 watts or more. Enter YouTube and my introduction to QRP operating.

Operating from Alaska was truly challenging and at times, 100 watts was far from enough to make a contact. Even with challenging propagation, the seed had been planted, and I began to research QRP operating. My first thought was that QRP from Alaska was almost a crazy idea. But it was a challenge I felt I was ready to face, or at least wanted to try!

I had a work related trip scheduled during the spring of 2010 to St. Louis, MO. My wife and I normally took advantage of any trip to the lower 48 to go visit friends and family in Ohio. I had become such a fan of Steve's adventures, I wanted to meet him personally. I had an idea, which lead to an email I had sent to Steve. I did not know Steve personally, and I did not have any previous interaction with Steve other than maybe commenting on a few of his YouTube videos. The email I sent to Steve outlined my trip plans to St. Louis and then Ohio, but I had an idea of taking a few days on our trip back to Alaska to swing through Colorado. I had asked Steve if he was available and open to a visit. It was not long afterwards I received an email response from Steve.

As it turned out, not only was Steve open for a meeting, he invited this unknown KL8DX ham radio stranger to his residence. When I mentioned to my wife that Steve would be available, plans were then made to fly into Denver and spend a few days in Colorado on our trip back home. That would be the trip that sealed the deal for my becoming a QRP operator. I had blogged about my idea of QRP operating back in December of 2009. That blog entry can be found at:

When my wife and I arrived at Steve's house, I found Steve to be as genuine as he was in his videos. It was decided that my wife was going to do some local shopping while Steve and I were going to play radio. As it turned out, Steve offered to take me up to the peak of Mount Herman for a bit of radio fun. Steve loaded up his goats and radio equipment and off we went for Mount Herman. The hike was challenging for this elevation challenged ham who normally lived just under 2,000' above sea level. Once we reached the peak of Mt.Herman
the world opened up both visually and propagationally. 

The views were fantastic, and I had a day of fun learning all about portable QRP operating, which included everything from antenna's to portable power and equipment. I managed a single DX CW QSO and of course, being Steve, he captured our days fun in a video he posted to YouTube. That video can be found at:

After spending a wonderful day with Steve, Rooster (SK) and Peanut, my wife and I had a wonderful dinner with Steve and his wife. We departed the next day to head back home to Alaska, but I was determined more so than ever to begin QRP operating!  Steve's willingness to open his world and to introduce QRP to a total stranger proved to me Steve was the real deal! I know I'm not the only person to be inspired by Steve and his adventures. Steve continues to inspire others either by promoting QRP or by coming up with the next gadget to use while operating. Just recently Larry, W2LJ mentioned Steve in one of his blog entries. Larry's mention of Steve can be found at:

In conclusion, Steve has promoted QRP radio like no other. From blogging to video, Steve is known the world wide. I now sport an entire station of QRP equipment that I use both at home and in the field. Steve is extremely professional and promotes QRP in a way I feel is very deserving of this nomination. Simply looking at the number of "hits" to his video channel and individual videos shows the number of hams Steve has and continues to influence. 

Steve attends many a Hamfest and normally a line of hams are seen standing in line to speak with Steve. Steve personally inspired me, which has led me to focus my activities on mostly QRP operating. QRP would not be where it is today without those who operate it, and more importantly, for those who promote it. Steve has done so at various club meetings and to this day, continues to use all aspects of social media to promote QRP operating with ham radio. Steve's bio on QRZ says it all. 

I respectfully submit this nomination for the QRP Hall of Fame to consider Steve Galchutt, WG0AT as the next member. 


Phil Sauvey, AK7DD

As summer ramps up, I'm looking forward to a bit of UHF/VHF activity, more specifically on 6 meters. The ARRL June VHF Contest is getting close and I hope to make my first VHF/UHF contacts that weekend. A big change to these ARRL contests is the now allowed self spotting. I would imagine this will have the same effect as the skimmer. If you're operating from a rare grid, once the spot makes it out onto the web, fasten your seat belt as here comes the pile-up! I personally don't use spotting assistance in any contests so it won't change my world. I'm looking forward to reading and hearing how this rule change effects these contests. I would imagine it will be very beneficial for rovers.   

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