Monday, September 26, 2011

QRP Fox Hunts!

As I have been doing QRP for the last 3 or so years, I commonly came across the concept of a “fox hunt.”  I attribute this mostly to Larry’s (W2LJ) blog that I follow religiously.  When I got really serious about improving my code speed early this year, I decided I would make an effort to join these hunts in the summer.  I was pleased to find that there was a need for volunteers to be the fox (i.e. the one being chased) and that that person would require at least 25wpm proficiency so I took that as a challenge to make at least that mark.  I threw my name into the hat and had my first stint early in the summer.  By the time my turn came up to fox the hunt, I had already become proficient enough to do the requisite 25 wpm and probably a bit more, but that did not help my antenna situation much.  The antennas at our rental are better than most, but not as good as the other foxii in the hunts.  Just a couple of dipoles that are relatively low (20’ at the high end).  Needless to say, I could have worked a lot more stations if they were higher but it is as good as I can do at this QTH.  When we move into the house in October, I’ll put up something much higher, and for low bands so I can participate in the winter too!

Tonight is my 2nd stint as Fox and in an attempt to improve my station performance, I deployed my Par EndFedz EFHW antenna on Tuesday.  The past 2 days of testing makes it seem like it will perform a bit better than my doublet for stations to the east of me, W1AW for instance, is at least 2 S-units above my doublet but a QSO with Steve, WG0AT, indicated that performance to the west may not actually be enhanced at all.  Time will very soon tell. 

Anyway, better get ready, the bugles are sounding and the hounds are approaching!  See you in the hunt!