Harry Angel Sprint – or why I shouldn’t run QRP!

Last Saturday was the annual Harry Angel Sprint, a contest running 106 minutes in honour of Australia’s oldest ham, Harry Angel, who was 106 when he died.

Following on from my VK/trans Tasman effort where I ran QRP from the Dandenong Ranges National Park I again ventured up the hill. This time however I arrived in the dark and rather than throw ropes and hang a dipole from a tree I set up my 10m squid pole and dipole and ran the FT-7 in the car.

From the moment the clocked ticked over 1000 UTC and the sprint began I realised this was a bad idea. I had settled on a clear frequency at 0955 UTC and was planning to sit there for most of the sprint and work all comers. But I lost that frequency to a higher powered station that quite clearly couldn’t hear my 10 Watt signal.

From then on I spent the night chasing stations up and down the band and repeating my call sign many times to get over the obvious noise problems others were having.

At the end of 106 minutes I had made only 27 contacts. Last year, from home, I made 37 contacts and the winner made 75 contacts. So I reckon this year I will finish a long way down the list.

Next year I will go and use the new antenna at Gilwell Park as the new tower will be up and fully operational by then.


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