WØCH Trip Report

to Ireland and the United Kingdom

June 2001

Here is MW/WØCH on 40 CW working GM3WIJ

Nancy and I traveled in a group tour with 21 folks from our school and community to Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England. Of course, I packed along a compact QRP rig and operated wherever I could get an antenna out the hotel window.

On this trip, I used the Elecraft K1 on 20 and 40 meters CW. The K1 is an outstanding compact transceiver with many "big rig" features that make it perhaps the perfect travel radio.

For the choice of bands, I have concluded that 20 CW is probably the best band for casual operating with QRP power levels using relatively inefficient antennas. There is lots of activity of 20 meters and the antenna lengths are small enough that one leg of a dipole can fit into the small European hotel rooms, with the other leg dangling out the window.

Since this was a group tour, and not a DXpedition, operation time was limited to short periods in the evenings and early mornings. During these short operating periods, I worked nine DXCC entities. Most of the contacts were on 20 meters, however I did work two stations on 40 meters. While I did not have a lot of contacts, remember that the primary purpose of the trip was to experience the places we visited and mingle with the residents. Radio operation was only incidental to the trip.

I had two-way QRP contacts with three other low power operators, MØAVN, DL3SEU, and DL1NAW. Several other European QRP'ers were heard near 14.060 and 7.030 MHz.

The award for the greatest DX distance goes to W5TZC in Bismarck, Arkansas who was worked on 20 meters from Dublin, Ireland. Great circle distance was 4250 miles, so this contact was a bit under 1000 miles per watt. Still, that isn't too bad for 5 watts to a piece of very thin wire dangling out the window next to the building. I'm pretty sure that W5TZC was running quite a bit more than QRP!

I had schedules with my brother Jim, W8BJM in Ohio and Layne, WDØDDU near our home in Missouri. I heard Jim one time and he also heard me weakly, but no contacts were made. Unfortunately, I never copied Layne's signals.


Here are a few travel pictures of places we visited. All these pictures are "clickable" to view a larger 640 X 480 image.

Dingle Bay, Ireland
Blarney Castle, Ireland

Llangollen, Wales
Dove Cottage, Grasmere, England

Edinburgh, Scotland
Buckingham Palace, London

River Avon, Bath, England
Stonehenge, England

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