The annual Kanawha Amateur Radio Club Hamfest will be coming up in a few weeks and on March 16th, I will display my QRP station there with the hopes of introducing hams living in this area to my aspect of the hobby. My goal is to bring attention to "low power portable radio". Last night on the local repeater, I made my second announcement about my accomplishments with QRP power and Morse Code.
The Club website is here: Kanawha Amateur Radio Club
I was not "radio active" until I retired from the Sherwin Williams Paint Company in 2004. Before retirement, I used a MFJ 9040 QRP rig from a three story apartment building by running my 40 meter Isotron antenna up on a painters pole which was bungee corded to the outside third floor stair railing.
I worked 48 states with QRP power on 40 meters, added a 20 meter Isotron antenna in 2009, and started working DX on a regular basis. Soon after that, I started using dedicated band dipole antennas which I could string up inside the house. Soon after that, I started using dedicated band dipoles when operating outdoors in the field.
About 6 months ago I started using an indoor random wire for an antenna, which has allowed me to work the 30 meter, 17 meter, and 12 meter bands from inside the house. From my home with the indoor random wire, I've now worked 96 DX stations on the 17 meter band, in the last six months, with 3 watts of power.
At the hamfest, I'll have the keys I use and a small computer for displaying my QSL cards and I hope to string up a new 17 meter dipole. I'll attempt to work stations in Eastern Europe from there from 1300-1800 GMT, and if I'm successful with a few of them, afterwards I will tune to the 18.096 QRP frequency and begin calling CQ.
I've had a blast working QRP. I have 1,830 stations in my log book now and I've worked 361 DX stations in 73 different countries. I don't work contests because I simply don't have the radio for them.
This morning I worked V31AC in Belize for the second time and a new station (F9IE) in France.
This morning makes my 56th day of working at least one DX stations every day I'm on the air!