Thursday, October 17, 2019

Happiness is a new Radio!

Several weeks ago I posted a message in the Hilltopper Radio reflector operated by the fine folks at the Four States QRP Group.  I was looking for someone to build a Hilltopper 40 for me to go with the Hilltopper 20 I bought earlier this year.  After a day or two went by,  I got email from Steve Miller N0SM out in Ottumwa Iowa, offering to do the build for me.  So I ordered my HT40 that night and Jim Pruitt WA7DUY shipped it out to Steve at my request.  I am so glad I didn't wait another day as the kit was successfully received by the QRP community, and sold out. 

Hilltopper 40 from Four States QRP Group

Steve contacted me as soon as he got it and we discussed my wishes to have the audio upgrade parts installed during the build, he agreed that he could do that, and would supply the parts to do so.  So we were off to the races.  We ran into a couple small obstacles along the way but to make a short story shorter, I got the radio in the mail today and it is a beauty. 

VA3ZB - Bruce 
As soon as I got it out of the box I connected it to power, my straight key, my half wave 40m attic dipole and tuned around, hearing all kinds of signals, it was alive!  I heard VA3ZB calling CQ on 7050.4 Khz and I answered him, and BOOM he had me on the first reply.  

Bruce is a ham that lives up in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario, he was running 100w from his TS590S.  I got a 579 and sent him a 589, eventually in the QSO he said my signal had improved to a 599.  I was extremely happy with this QSO and logged it as my first QSO on the HT40.   I can't wait to make many more.  

It's always nice and fun to get a new radio, even if it's not a top of the shelf high buck adventure, the amount of fun I get from these little radios makes them bargains beyond compare.  So I'll be trolling the 40m band with this rig for the next few weeks at least, if you hear me out there, give me a shout.  Thanks again to Steve N0SM for building this kit for me and thanks to Dave Benson K1SWL for another fine kit rig.  

Best 73 de KB9BVN

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Peanut Power Sprint Log for #398

This evening I was sprinting in the Peanut Power Sprint, in the "Roasted" class...which meant I was 5 watts from home (not portable).  I just happened to be Peanut #398 to all those out there sprinting.  I stuck to 40m, primarily 7062Khz and 7061Khz for my QSOs.  I worked one hour (6PM to 7PM EDT) and made 21 contacts, in 6 different states.  That was worth a score of 834 points.  I have posted my log here for your reading enjoyment. 

Peanut Power Sprint 2019 - Log for KB9BVN #398
It was great to hear John K4BAI and the others out there tonight, my Dixie Pipeline was working well. Remember, next weekend, Oct 12, is the QRP-ARCI Fall QSO Party and it runs from 00:00Z to 23:59Z on OCTOBER 12. Don't miss out! 

Peanut Power Sprint is tonight!

Greetings and salutations from Peanut 398, here in the middle of Indiana.  Tonight I will be sprinting with my K2 at 5w into the magic attic dipole.  I have been on 7062 for the last hour or so, just checking out band conditions, I have decided to just run on 40m tonight, although the contest is open to 20, 40, 80m. 

I did work KC4WZB Joel from down in northern Georgia, he was at his mountain cabin and making a few QSO's.  Joel and I exchanged 599's and he told me he was on the FT 991 today pushing RF to a G5RV up about 40 feet. 

I learned that Joel is a big time SOTA activator, and says that is one of his favorite ham radio things to do.  Joel is Mountain Goat #3 and is a member of the W4G Georgia SOTA Association.  Joel also authors a BLOG that you can read by browsing to 

Great fist, armchair copy, if you hear KC4WZB on the air you will want to get him in your log! 

Right after that QSO I was called by none other than Bill WA4FAT, Bill and I have QSO'd a couple times in the last few years, he's down in Alabama.  Makes me feel good that my Dixie Pipeline seems to be open on 40m today.  That'll come in handy for the Peanut Power Sprint.  We traded 599's and exchanged QSO info.  I let him know about the sprint coming up tonight, the more the merrier. 

Bill enjoys SKCC contacts as well, and is SKCC 11062S and that "S" means he's worked literally thousands of SKCC contacts.  Great fist too, if you hear WA4FAT, get him in your logs!  Bill also likes to design web sites for fellow hams, and you can check out his work at  - check him out! 

One hour to sprint time...might as well eat dinner now.  

Best 73 de KB9BVN