Thursday, September 7, 2017

Pioneer Park

Last night after work I dodged rain showers to meet Ivin and Gary at Pioneer Park in Mooresville Indiana for a little QRP radio adventure. This is a location that we had thought about having another gathering for QRP/CW in the Park so we wanted to check the park out. Joining us as well was Jeff - KD9FTA. Jeff is a well known local ham that has recently taken more of an interest in QRP/CW and it was great to have him join us last night.

Our QRP station for the evening

The weather was a little chilly last night with temps in the upper 60's and we were keeping and eye to the sky with scattered rain showers across the state. Ivin and Gary arrived first and set up our station for the evening, Ivin's K2 using just 5 watts and his buddi-stick antenna which he simply secured to a grill next to the park shelter. When I arrived to Pioneer Park Ivin and Gary were already on the air and Ivin was in a QSO with a station in Missouri. I took advantage of the free time and took a quick walk around the park. 

Pioneer Park - Mooresville Indiana

Pioneer Park - Mooresville Indiana
Pioneer Park is a small and quiet park in the town of Mooresville Indiana, which was founded in 1824 by Samuel Moore. Moore's family moved from North Carolina in 1818 to Washington County, Indiana, settling near the town of Salem. Samuel moved away from his family and settled in Morgan County in 1822. Moore built a trading post in Brown Township which flourished with business and in 1823 he purchased 20 acres of land close to White Lick Creek. In 1824 Moore platted out the land and developed the town now known as Mooresville.


Samuel Moore's original plan for the town of Mooresville

In 1917 in the Indiana General Assembly adopted in Indiana State Flag that we still use today. The flag was designed by Paul Hadley from Mooresville Indiana as part of Indiana's Centennial Celebration Flag Design contest.

State of Indiana Flag

The rain had picked up in intensity so it was time to seek shelter with Ivin and Gary. Ivin had just finished up his QSO and it was my turn to start calling CQ. I did not have much luck as band conditions were not very good on 40 meters last night so I went with plan B, scan the band and look for someone else calling CQ. As I scanned the band I came across Alan - W4AMV calling CQ and quickly responded to his call. Alan had a strong signal coming into Pioneer Park and I sent him a 599. Unfortunately Alan had a little more difficulty hearing my signal but he was able to copy good enough to complete the QSO. Alan is from Raleigh North Carolina which was about a 500 mile trip for my 5 watt QRP signal to travel. Raleigh is home of North Carolina University so it's safe to say you wont find many Duke fans there. I checked out Alan's QRZ page and found that he has several projects going on and he is really into home-brewing equipment to use. I shared with Alan that I was QRP operating outdoors. Since conditions were not great, I decided to cut the QSO short so that Alan would not need to strain to hear me through the noise. We exchanged 73/72's and signed off. Alan, thanks for the QSO! It was great to meet you and I look forward to doing it again when conditions improve. I will be mailing you a QSL card this week.

After my QSO with Alan the rain had stopped and we were surprised to find a double rainbow behind us that made a very nice backdrop for Ivin's buddi-stick antenna.

Double rainbow - I wonder if there is a pile of radios at the other end?

The sun was setting and the wind was changing from chilly to cold so we decided to pack things up for the evening and grab a bite to eat. Pounding on a CW key sure makes a guy hungry! Once we got everything packed up we decided to meet at a local McDonald's less than 10 minutes down the street. We often meet at this McDonald's throughout the week for coffee or a quick burger and have and opportunity to talk about what we are all up to. We've had several other local hams joins us there from time to time and it's been a great opportunity to network with others, so it seemed like the perfect place to wrap up the evening.

Our local McDonald's on a rainy summer night

The cheeseburger, fries and apple pie hit the spot! You can't beat a meal with friends for less than $5.00. 

Until next time, 72 de W9ODX

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