Saturday, April 11, 2020

QRP ARCI Spring QSO Party

Last night was the first time to operate this event in a very long time. The format was different - 6 hours rather than 24 (or was it 48?) of previous years.

Thanks to a good level of participation, I was able to add five states to my self-styled "Quarantine WAS Award" with the mcHF and now need only 9 more states to qualify for this highly-coveted and widely acclaimed award that's taking the ham radio community by storm. I'm going for the CW endorsement.

I was on battery power for this event, using a small 5AH LiPo. According to the inline meter, I used 1.188AH for the entire contest. As Spock might say, I find that "fascinating".

Working familiar calls was fun, among them Larry W2LJ, who gave me one of the needed states (NJ) and Jim W4QO.

Shortly before the contest, Jim provided a link to a website that I've bookmarked and really like. The CW Club RBN Spotter allows you to select which club members you may be searching for and then display them in whatever order suits you. If you're a CW op, check this site out - such a great tool to have! 

My participation was limited mainly to 20 and 40 meters; only one contact on 80m due to high QRN on that band. Almost all the Canadian stations had strong signals - the ionospheric magic between them and here was in fine form. I heard two or three stations whose calls I just could not get - apologies for that.

I have mixed feeling about the length and time of day for this event. The shorter length certainly served to concentrate activity - the same number of participants spread over the whole weekend (or even a day) would have left most of us yawning as we searched for new stations to work.

But the time of day made it mostly a lowband event. Stations that don't have room for a 40/80m antenna were disadvantaged. Would it be feasible to maintain the 6-hour duration, but split over two operating periods, one of which would favor 20m and higher? This would also serve to let participants have propagation to other areas...I worked almost no western states last night on any band.

Thanks again to those who took part in the operating and planning of this event. It was a fun distraction to what's going on in the world outside our shacks.


  1. Hi and well done, if the next party will be splited pse second split to favour EU on 20m. thanks 73

    1. Yes, the "I" in QRP ARCI does stand for 'International' after all.