“QRPTTF” stands for “QRP To The Field”. It is a yearly event coordinated through the QRP-L Internet mailing list. The purpose is to encourage as many low-power operators as possible to take their rigs out into the field and operate on the same day nationwide. This year it tied in nicely with the ARRL National Parks On The Air year-long event. I decided to hike to a spot on the Appalachian Trail (NPOTA TR01) which is also a peak in the Summits On The Air (SOTA) program. That way I was a “triple threat” – QRPTTF, NPOTA and SOTA. Operating from that one location I could hand out points in all three events.
I parked my car along Rt. 850 west of Marysville and hiked north on the AT about three miles to the Cove Mountain SOTA. The actual summit is just off the south side of the trail, so I had to do a little bushwhacking to find it. Its not a clear spot, just a pile of boulders at the highest point of the ridge. GPS makes finding it pretty easy.
I started out using my Yaesu HT to announce my presence on some local repeaters, then working about a dozen local stations on 2-meters simplex using 5 watts and a telescopic whip antenna. Next I threw a string up into a tree and put up a three-band vertical ground plane antenna. I started calling CQ near 14.060 on 20 meters and soon had 17 stations in the log, including AZ, NM, Spain and the Czech Republic. I switched to 40 meters later in the afternoon and worked 13 stations before calling it quits and hiking back down the mountain.
Thanks to those of you who helped me out by spotting me on the DX sites and working me on 2 meters and other bands. Its fun to have a bit of a pileup calling you! I’ve uploaded my log file to LoTW and SOTA, so those of you chasing NPOTAs and Summits should have the credits. 73
Gary WA3CPO and Scott N3SW went up to the Lamb’s Gap site to work on the APRS digipeater system that is now located there. Scott got some configuration information from the current Terminal Node Controller in preparation for replacing it with a newer TNC. When the new TNC is configured we will go back up the mountain to swap it out. Come out to our next SMRA meeting for updates on this project. Look for the photos in this gallery: APRS Digi at Lamb’s Gap