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October 2010 - Brown County State Park - Southern Indiana

Brown County State Park is the largest park in Indiana and considered to be the "Crown Jewel" of Indiana Parks.  With over 16,000 acres of heavily forested and hilly land, it is particularly beautiful in the fall.

In recent years we have been taking a fall motorcycle trip to enjoy the great scenery and motorcycle riding.  This year we visited a couple of weeks later than previously and the weather did not look to be as promising for motorcycling.  So, we drove this time.  Driving provided more room for ham radio equipment so we packed up the PFR3 QRP rig, solar panel, and antennas.

I was able to operate for several hours on Monday (Oct 25) and Wednesday (Oct 27) - about 4 hours total operating time.  All operations were on 40 meters using my recently built portable vertical antenna.  I was prepared to 'throw a wire up into a tree' if this setup didn't work well.

The setup went quickly and well.  The antenna had been pre-tuned at home and worked well.  I used my Volkswagen solar panel to maintain a charge on the batteries.  I utilized my amplified speaker for audio (since we had plenty of room)

None of the stations worked were QRP - all were 50-100 watts.  Signal reports were excellent and the QSOs were all nice ragchews.

Thanks to the following stations that provided me contacts: 
N9ZI (twice) Terry - Bluffton, IN
WA3MIX - Lou - Williamsport, PA
WA9TOP - Howard - Milwaukee, WI
KG4TUY - Dave - Nashville, TN
W9EBE - Chip - De Soto, IL
KM4BI - Ralph - Chattanooga, TN
W8BJO - Lester - Springfield, OH



PFR3 / Solar Panel / SWR-Wattmeter / Travel Paddle / Hammer for stakes

Unwinding counterpoise wire and attaching to nearby tree
If no tree available, camera tripod was available

Ready to make some contacts

Just worked N9ZI on Monday

It doesn't get much better than this!

Maybe it does get better...
Taking a break - listening to a QSO - waiting to 'tail-end'

Special QSL card sent to all contacts - Thanks again!

The real 'trooper' - XYL Carol who puts up with
all of this nonsense.  Thanks for the photos!