Sunday, 21 September 2014


What a fantastic QRP weekend!!  Most of the usual crowd assembled for this years Chillycon at the beautiful Rideau River Provincial Park, a 30 minute drive south of Ottawa.  This was the last weekend the park is open this year, so it was very quiet there, not too many people there at all.

The weather Friday night was cold, it went down to about 4C.  Saturday night it rained a bit and the temperature hovered around 17C.  However, Michael VE3WMB, and Ying VA3YH, both arrived on Thursday and told us that Thursday night was terribly cold, and that we had the warm nights!

VA3QV's mobile Shack
The highlight of course was that Bob VA3QV did in fact arrive safely in his new "Mobile Love Palace".   Not much room in it, but it's fine for what he want's to do with it......and it will give him another project to work on.  Bob had an exciting weekend, he spent a few moments trying to teach his FT-817 to fly.......but perhaps we could entice him to post a blog entry on his own Blog to describe what happened with the airborne 817!!  It was really good seeing him and Liz there.

The radio in use this weekend, keeping with the QRP theme, was my Icom 703.  I used a 31' wire erected in an inverted 'L' as my antenna.  The antenna went up only 20' and then 11' over to a tree.  Not the best of antennas, but I had some success with the DX over the weekend using it.

The 10 screaming watts of the IC-703 netted me HK3C, John in Bogota, Columbia; 9A9RR, Petar on Pucisca Island (EU-016), Croatia; SV3AQR, John in Patra, Greece; HA3NU, Laszlo in Szekszard, Hungary; and OP2A, Ivo in Boortmeerbeek, Belgium.  These stations as well as a dozen North American stations made it a successful weekend.

VA3ORP's portable bar
As usual Dave VA3ORP, and his valet Chris VE3CBK, erected their bell tent, complete with Persian carpet, cots, and all sorts of other creature comforts....including a portable bar!  You just never know what these QRP guys will get up to next!

Saturday was a great day weather wise.  Very comfortable temperature, the only downside was the fact that the mosquitoes were all in full force, which made things just a little itchy.

The annual DX completion started as soon as Eric VA3AMX arrived on Friday, at 1911 local that evening we thought Eric had won the contest with an early CW contact with a Mongolian station, a tie ensued an hour later when Michael VE3WMB also had a CW contact with the same Mongolian station.  BUT, in a surprising development, on Saturday evening, Chris VE3CBK, has a SSB QSO using his FT-817, with a VK3 station.  Five watts to Australia on a 70 year old Radio Set No. 19 antenna ain't too shabby any day!!  Congratulations to Chris on winning this years honour.

The Chillycon Survival Kit:  Analyzer, spare parts box,
and a mug for the Scotch!
Details of VA3VDP's radial plate.
We held our traditional Pizza supper on Saturday evening, and managed to get it over before the rain started.  Numerous bottle of single malt were in attendance, and all of it was mighty fine stuff.

Sunday morning nine of us trooped off to the New Rideau Restaurant, just down the road from the Provincial park for a great breakfast.  It's under new management since we were there last year (It was called "Charlie's Place" then).  The food was excellent and a decent price. 

So it's all over for another year.  It was a great shame that more of the local QRPers didn't get out this year, even the number of Saturday afternoon visitors was down.  I saw only Bob VE3MPG and Chris VE3CME.  I say it every year, Chillycon is a great educational weekend, and this year was no different.

It was really great to see everyone again, and as usual the sense of fraternity was outstanding.  Hopefully next year we will see a lot more of the QRP fraternity out at this event.

1 comment:

  1. Very enjoyable read and sounds like a very great time had by all. Those were some great contacts as well thanks for taking the time to share the story.