Paul’s potentially explosive portable ops in St. Elmo, Colorado

Many thanks to Paul (W0RW) who shares the following guest post:


Operating in St. Elmo Ghost Town, Colorado

by Paul (W0RW)

I have operated in St Elmo (Ghost Town) several times with my PRC319 Pedestrian Mobile.  St. Elmo is at 11,000 feet in a deep canyon so it was hard to make contacts.

My PRC319 runs 50 Watts and I use a 10 foot whip so I had some success to the East on CW. I use a Whiterook MK-33 for a hand held single lever paddle.

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Right after my last visit,  July 2015, members of St. Elmo and Chalk Creek Canyon Historical group  cleaned out the outhouse behind the Home Comfort Hotel in St. Elmo, they found a potentially explosive surprise. On the floor of the outhouse, they found what they believed to be dynamite. Later in the day the bomb squad found blasting caps rather than dynamite.

St Elmo Outhouse

[Per the Historical Society] there were only 6 Blasting Caps found at St Elmo’s. They called Ft. Carson US Army EOD and they blew them up right there in the center of town.

While the electric blasting caps are usually shorted and would not be effected by a QRP radio, my 50W radio was  at a dangerously high level to be transmitting near a box of blasting caps.

It would be a smart idea to avoid operating in any old mining areas where unexploded dynamite might exist.

Paul    W0RW

St Elmo, Colorado

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