This morning I checked the QRP-L list and I saw an announcement from Paul W0RW that he was planning to operate pedestrian mobile within view of the web cam at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in Colorado.
Great idea Paul to operate from within view of a web cam!
I glanced at my watch and realized that if I left the house in the next few minutes I would have enough time to get to a local web cam and make contact with Paul webcam-to-webcam!
Here’s a video of the web cams which I captured while I was out…
Before leaving the house, I set my PC to monitor both Pauls webcam and my webcam and take snapshots once per minute.
So I dashed downstairs, grabbed (almost) all the stuff I needed, fired up my APRS radio and walked to the park. Hmm, now that I’m home I see that my APRS packets were not making it to APRS-IS, will need to look into this – maybe my radio was off frequency. Anyhoo, I got to the park around 1715Z and set up the pedestrian mobile antenna on a park bench, and I was on the air on 20m around 1750Z – 10 minutes before Paul was due to QSY to 14342.5kHz USB.
I realise that I had forgotten my pencil so I had to copy morse in my head – a skill which could use some improvement.
Unfortunately I could not hear Paul on 14061kHz 😥 … I did throw my callsign in there a couple of times just in case but no joy I think the band was too long. Just before 1800Z I heard a station calling me, it was Michael VE3WMB he was watching me walking around the park on the web cam! Cool – thanks for the call Michael.
It was interesting to hear the emissions from OC Transpo buses on 20m. Everytime a bus would stop at a nearby bus stop I would hear a very interesting (and pretty loud) pulsing noise.
Right after Michael, Budd W3FF called me. His signal report was 529 and when I thought about it I realized why… I had placed my batteries inside my fleece to keep them warm but I had forgotten to connect them to the radio so I was on the internal (almost completely depleted) batteries and must have been putting out around 0.5W of power. I connected the batteries and Michael mentioned I jumped up to around an S7 at his station.
I QSY‘ed to 14342.6kHz at 1800Z and walked around for another hour hoping the propagation would change and Paul would pop out of the noise. A couple of times I did hear him but in each case I got only 10 to 15 seconds of speech and nothing more. I also popped my callsign out (in CW) a few times. After an hour I had not managed to contact Paul 😥 Oh well maybe next time, propagation was not with us today.
I QSY‘ed back to 14061kHz once or twice and called CQ once or twice. One of the times I did that I got a call from NG7N (?) Paul. Well I think I copied Paul’s callsign down wrong because QRZ.com says NG7N is Craig. Oops. That’s the problem with not having a pencil along.
Here’s some videos I shot:
72 / 73 de Dittie Bear.