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Author Topic: Just returned from Frying Pan Tower -- qrp weekend  (Read 4419 times)

Posts: 6

« on: October 14, 2013, 07:46:25 PM »

Frying Pan Tower is a retired offshore light station that is being turned into a very unique B&B. I'm familiar wit the location due to my prior life in the 70s as a fisherman. I talked the xyl into letting me spend a weekend on the tower and received my clearance from her. The visit took place and I'd like to share my experience/results.

Rig: Elecraft KX3 - impeccable rig, power thrifty and easy to take offshore.  Weight was the enemy due to use of helicopter for the return flight.

Antenna: end fed wire that I purchased off king qso on eBay. Wanted a multi band that was easy to deploy, compact, light, reasonable cost, yet sturdy enough for maritime.

Environment: The owner of the tower is HAM friendly and allowed me to mount my wire anywhere desired. I chose a high section from the top of the light tower to the helipad deck.  A couple of heavy duty zip ties and markers (orange duct tape) every few feet on the wire and it was up.  Coax run was less than 25', and I had a 125' run of coax. The tower has a dedicated auto battery for use--the KX3 sipped power and for the weekend I never charged the battery.

Results:  Using psk31 and a couple of rtty attempts I reached 33 different countries, 28 US states and 5 of 7 continents. I almost had Australia, but just could not make full contact. All were qrp, and I worked very hard for 134 contacts total from 10/11 3pm to noon on 11/13. A better antenna and more power would have helped, but I really appreciate the challenge of qrp,  portable and maritime mobile ops.

This is the first time I've done this type of trip and I'm sure the more seasoned would have found more contacts. QRP is quite fun and each multi thousand mile contact reached was greatly appreciated. Let me know if anyone has questions about the trip, or even tips for future radio based adventures. I am not affiliated with the tower, but if you go to they have more info.

Posts: 179

« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2013, 11:07:36 AM »


Hey thanks for posting this. Out of curiosity I googled Frying Pan Tower and found the website. As my kids would say, OMG! What a location!
Glad to hear you had fun doing it. With all that salt water you shouldn't need much PO. Now I have something I want to do when I grow up.

Doc 73 WB0FDJ
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