AC4XO's Outer Banks
QRP Adventure

9/02/01 - 9/7/01, Nags Head, NC

I thought a trip to the beach would be a nice time to try a portable QRP operation. I had everything I needed except a portable antenna. I copied N4GU's construction techniques and built a portable vertical. (Thanks, Mike.) I packed the Wilderness Radio Sierra, two gel cells, an antenna analyzer, a VOM, a few tools, my Kent paddle, and miscellaneous items into my yellow toolbox (see photo below), and I was ready to go.

The portable shack and antenna were easy to set up. I put the station on the air early afternoon on 9/2/01. I called CQ on 20M CW and got no responses. There weren't many stations on the band, so I gave up until later in the afternoon. I then called CQ and got a call back from an AA9. I lost him in the QSB, so I went back to calling CQ. I tried awhile and gave up. Just as I was ready to turn off the transceiver, I hear, "AC4XO/QRP/P de S54X". I was in business!

During the operation, I worked 20M CW exclusively (at 2 or 3 watts), and most of the stations I worked were Europeans. The best QSO was with G4AYR/QRP, Terry. His rig was a K2. Band conditions were good, and we had a nice QSO.

Finally, you can't go to the beach just to ham, so I took some time to visit the mothership.

Benjy, AC4XO (benjy at