On September 3, 2003, I started operating portable QRP on week day evenings at Lake Travis in Austin, TX. The last Q from this Lake Travis QTH was during the month of June, 2004. I have permanently moved to Austin.
The station components are:
My QRP station is a new Icom IC-703 with a Butternut HF 5 V2 vertical antenna. A long coax run is needed to locate the antenna away from the trees in an open area within a park behind the house. The location is about two miles North of Mansfield Dam on the West bank of Lake Travis. View the location on a map and an aerial photo. The CMOS4 keyer is a superb internal battery powered memory keyer.
I started my initial QRP activity on September 3, 2003 with an old Heathkit HW-8 and a full size 20 meter ground plane vertical antenna. The HW-8 is CW only, has a direct conversion receiver, and an output power of about two watts on the 20 meter band. I initially used the HW-8 to test how well QRP signals will propagate over the hills surrounding the lake. I was very pleased with the performance of HW-8 station. I found it very easy to establish and have enjoyable QSOs. Stations that I worked with my HW-8 include; WB4WTN, WA4AMT, KJ4IT, K1SND, K4SE, KA8WOG, TG9ATX, W4MGE, W0NTA, WB8AJR, WB4DKF, N8RGF, N6L, N9EP/M, W9YQ, W4KD, K7SEG, NZ0T, KG4CUY, WB6HGJ, VE1QJ, W7MCC, K5WTA, KG4NNN, HP1IBF, W6JAF, KA4IFF, W7PFZ, W9ISC, WA0FGV, KB2SN, N3ZPO, W8FHF, KK5PJ, KC8LNE/VE4, K8JWR, K4SFO, N3YWQ, K4FAZ, W8CAG, W0QE/M, W3HQ, K3MD, W7QC/M, VE2GDI, K9LJR, VA3BJL, AA5SI, KC0EHH, TI2KWN, 6Y5WJ, K4EWG, K0EVZ, K4BAI, K3TW, W3KC, K7TQ, KF4DNL, W2KFQ, K2TTP, W6XF/7, K4SFO, AA5SI, K8BEG, and 3B9FR.
On October 9, 2003 I replaced the HW-8 with a new Icom IC-703. The HW-8 served me well for the initial test of the QTH and the ability to have QSOs. The surprise finding was that I was not limited by the low power of the HW-8, but by QRM caused by 13 MHz band VOA stations which overpowered the HW-8's direct conversion receiver.
You can contact me at KN5L@arrl.net