Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Rockmite Breaks 2000 Miles Per Watt!

Yesterday, I hiked South along Sourdough Trail, near Ward, CO, to a little clearing that looked out from the Eastern slopes of the Rockies. The altitude is about 10,000 feet and the view of the foothills and plains below is striking! With the half-wave dipole antenna up between two trees, (about 11 feet high on one side and 7 feet high on the other), I began to call CQ. Before long, N8JIW called back with a QTH of Cleveland, OH and an RST report of 229! Cleveland is over 1200 miles from my little clearing! The 20m Rockmite outputs 500 milliwatts. That works out to more than 2400 miles per watt on a CW QRP QSO!

The trails up around Brainard Lake and the Red Rock Trailhead are beautiful and very accessible right now! There's just a little bit of snow since we haven't really got our first big storm up here yet this year. I ran across two hearty folks that were camping overnight along the same ridge with their dog. As nice as it is right now, the wind can still come up unexpectedly and drop temperatures in no time at all. If your headed up, be sure to wear plenty of layers!

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