Saturday, August 5, 2017

Coffee & CW in the Park

Our first attempt with "Coffee & CW in the Park" was a success! Thank you to everyone who came out to participate. The idea behind this gathering was to give local hams a chance to get together and swap some stories, test out their portable equipment, get on the air and have fun. Our hope was that newer hams would show up and we would have the opportunity to introduce them to QRP and CW operations. We had eight local hams show up and it looked like everyone had a great time with plenty of coffee & donuts to go around. The plan is to make this a regular gathering throughout the year moving forward.

KD9GZJ preparing to call CQ on 40m

We had three stations set up in the park today. Station #1 was an Elecraft K2 connected to a buddy pole vertical antenna, Station #2 was en Elecraft KX2 connected to an end fed wire and Station #3 was a portable APRS station connected to an HT. After getting our fill of coffee and donuts we sat down to make some QRP contacts using just 5 watts on CW and 10 watts on SSB. I was really impressed to see the skill that Jermaine - KD9GZJ had with the straight key this morning. Jermaine is a recently upgraded Genral class ham that just started sending CW and was sending like he has been doing it for years with his straight key. Jermaine gets credit for logging our first QSO of the event by connecting with Allen - KA5TJS from San Augustine Texas on 40 meters.

KD9GZJ & W9ILF - First QSO of the morning!

Bruce - KD9AGH used his Elecraft KX2 to get on 20 meters and complete a SSB QSO with a station in Maryland. We must have had a 20 meter opening happening as the station in Maryland was reporting back to Bruce that he was at least 10 over on the signal report. Great job Bruce, and on just 10 watts too!

KD9AGH's Elecraft KX2

I was able to take a turn at the key as well this morning. After calling CQ I was greeted with back to back QSO's on 40 meters. I was not able to get any photos of myself operating today,  but I will work on getting that done next time. My first QSO was with Rich - K4DJ from Hickory North Carolina. Rich has been a ham for 67 years and was nice enough to take a couple minutes out of his morning to exchange information with me. Thanks Rich! My second QSO was with Larry - AH6AX from Sykesville Maryland who's signal was booming into the park. Larry has also been a ham for some time now and is retired from the US Navy. Larry, thank you for your service and thank you for the QSO today. It was great to meet both Rich and Larry today and I hope to have the chance to meet you one day on the air as well.

All in all it was a great morning and a ton of fun to hang out with these guys today. You can learn a bunch from hanging out with fellow hams and I always enjoy having the opportunity to do so.

Afterwards we had plenty of donuts left over, so I expect to see more of you next time for "Coffee and CW in the Park" ...location to be determined.

Who's going to take home the left overs?

Now it's time for a quick nap and before I head over to my location for the NA QSO party later today. Maybe we'll meet on the air during the QSO party?

Until next time, 72 de W9ODX


  1. Good afternoon Mike, very nice run down of the first radio, coffee and donuts meeting. I put in some time on the NAQP contest this afternoon but not a whole lot of time. Good luck as the contest is in full swing at this time.

    1. Thanks Mike! We had a lot of fun. It was great to get new and old hams together with a common goal of QRP CW. 72 de W9ODX

  2. Hi Mike congrats for the first interesting radio, cw and donuts event. You gave me some ideas for the autumn thanks. 73 de SV1GRN

    1. Thank you, we had a lot of fun! Good luck with the event at your club. 72 de W9ODX