I have been really busy recently with a mixture of work and family life. It is great to have a hobby but sometimes other things just stand in the way. This weekend however I got a sneaky few hours to visit a local radio rally to sniff out some bargains and then an hour or so to fire up the radio in peace.
I managed to work a couple of stations using QRP one on 12m (at 5w SSB) to Romania and another on 10m to SV5 group of greek islands (at 2w SSB) Both using the Butternut HF-9V. I then heard a good signal from PP5BS in Brazil, I settled in to try my best to work him, I kept the power low, I didn't want to work Brazil on higher power, I have done that before. Then it happened... The family returned and the house was filled with QRM in the form of children, laughing, playing, screaming, crying. I had to give up on the QRP DX, a reminder that this hobby is a part time pursuit and that Murphy's law always puts family before decent DX opportunities. I did however add a couple of countries to my log for this years QRP challenge netting me a few extra points. I was happy to swap the microphone for hugs and kisses from my children returning after a trip out. I will have to hope the DX returns later in the week.
Maybe 2014 is the year to look at alternative locations for my shack, maybe converting one of the small outbuildings here so that I can have my dedicated man cave and radio shack to retire to free from stresses of daily life.
My aim is to work a few more QRP DXCCs this week to make sure I am on form with my score for our little QRP challenge. I have got a few others from my local club to compete with this year and they are already making headway on their own QRP achievements.