QRP Afield, Chowdercon, and summah’s end

Checking out the QRP spotting page from Four Tree Island during Chowdercon/QRP Afield 2012. It's ba-a-ack!

Yours truly checking out the QRP spotting page from Four Tree Island during Chowdercon/QRP Afield 2012. It’s ba-a-ack! (Image courtesy of Bob Schmeichel, N1RXV.)

Get ready for the final QRP portable operating event of the summer, and it’s taking place in just under the wire this year. You might call it:  QRP Afield, Autumnal Equinox Edition.

It’s run by the New England QRP Club, and you have no need to sign up for numbers. You don’t even have to leave that ultimate in ham-radio torture: The Comfy Chair! But if you do, boy, will you will cop some major QSO points! Here’s the breakdown. You earn:

10 points per contact if you are QRP and operating from a field or mobile location.

5 points per contact if you are QRP (5 watts or less) and operating from a permanent location.

2 points per contact if you are QRO and operating from a field or mobile location.

1 point per contact if you are QRO (above 5 watts) and operating from a permanent location.

The event runs from 1500 Sept. 21 to 0300 UTC Sept. 22 (11:00 A.M. EDT to 11:00 P.M. EDT Saturday). For the record, the autumnal equinox occurs on Sept. 22 at 20:44 UTC.

For the full set of QRP Afield rules, visit the visit the NEQRP web site, here.

But wait! There’s more!

But in these parts the third Saturday in September has a lot going for it for another reason — Chowdercon, a day-long operating and food fest organized by Carl Achin, WA1ZCQ, a longtime NEQRP member. Carl is well known for operating from woods or shore, and he always manages to find a way to work great eats into the schedule.

The operating venue for the 8th Annual Chowdercon gathering, is, as always, Four Tree Island, which hugs the New Hampshire banks of the Piscataqua River at Portsmouth.

The official Chowdercon call sign is W1C, but several operators will be using their own calls as well for QRP Afield. We’ll post W1C to QRPspots.com when we hit the airwaves.

Chowdercon typically begins with breakfast at the Golden Egg Restaurant in Portsmouth. That’s 7:00 A.M. EDT for the locals. From thence via automotive procession we wind our way to Pierce Island to park, then stroll the narrow causeway from Pierce to Four Tree for a full day on the island — with a lunch break at Geno’s Chowder and Sandwich Shop a five minute walk away. Oh, and did I forget to mention food? We wind up the day with dinner at Warren’s Lobster House across the river in Kittery, ME.

Seriously, all that sea air and the exercise involved in sending CW? You’ll need all of that refueling!

And while the event focuses on ham radio, families are welcome to take advantage of the great location, the BBQ facilities, and any kites they care to bring. The current weather forecast is calling for mostly sunny skies and highs around 75 degrees F.

This year, Carl has added a new wrinkle to the event’s schedule — an opportunity to spend Friday night in Portsmouth at Le Hotel Chowdercon (the real name being withheld because, like the offerings from Hotels.com, it’s a sweet deal).

If you’re interested in the overnight, check in with Carl ASAP. He’s good at QRZ.com.

The early birds taking advantage of this part of the gig would also troop to a pre-Chowdercon meet-n-greet dinner at Al’s Seafood Restaurant and Fish Market in North Hampton, NH, at 5:30 P.M. Al’s, says Carl, is where all the locals go.

All that (and the map above) by way of saying: If you’re in the area, stop by! Join us for part or all of the day and for as many of the event’s Dutch-treat meals you care to eat with us.

Hmmm, what’s the CW prosign for “burp”?


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One Response to “QRP Afield, Chowdercon, and summah’s end”

  1. Hi Pete! Thanks for the contact yesterday. I hope everyone had a great time a Chowdercon! I was operating in Valley Forge Park in PA.

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