Portable from School
Shortwave, in its many forms, has been part of my life for 35 years. And even though it is next to impossible to enjoy the high frequencies at home now it doesn’t mean I am ready to give them up. I still have my KX3 and MP1 to work portable and this years teaching schedule does leave me with some excess time to work the bands from my school ground. The funny thing is that I moved from PL04ou to PL04pv and my school is only a 10 minute walk away from my old home in PL04ou. At least my old QSL cards are still valid to confirm those portable QSOs then.
My school is located at the top of a plateau and the view is breathtaking when the sun is out. I am usually able to set up my gear around 0800 UTC and have some 45 minutes of fun before heading back home. My KX3 shack-in-a-box and the MP1 can be set up in 5 minutes if I use a mag-mount on the car. Unfortunately the frequent autumn winds are very fierce, so then a stand with guy wires is needed which takes 10 to 15 minutes to set up.
What a joy to operate without any man-made interference. More than often I think either my KX3 or my antenna is not working properly; it is that quiet. If the sun has some spots then working Europe on CW is possible, but I am happy to work Asian stations as well. I even added the DXCC entry of Tuvalu to my list last month, working them split with 5 Watts on 20 meters.
0800 UTC is also the time that 40 meters start opening up and what a joy that is. Signals from all over Asia and the States are booming in. My MP1 tunes to 40 meters well, but it is still a coil-fed vertical without a proper set of radials and then the lack of some power means I can’t make a fist. I am still trying and hopefully one day I will send my puny signal on 40 meters all the way to the States.
I use a MP-1 antenna because I live in a first floor apartment. It might be a compromise antenna, but that with a 100 watts from my FT-450D, has allowed me to work a lot of DX. If I can hear them, I can work them.
I’ve used the same antenna with my FT-817 too and have worked DX with 5 watts SSB.
My MP1 is a knock-off that was made in a small batch, here in Taiwan, especially for a CTARL activity meeting. The teflon in the connector doesn’t look very sturdy and I wouldn’t dare to put 100 Watts into it. Since I use the KX3 barefoot it doesn’t matter, but putting on a new connector wouldn’t hurt. Unfortunately you can’t buy them over here.
What I did improve on the MP1 was to replace the 1 meter telescopic whip with a 3 meter version. I got them in China, but in the States Buddipole sells them. Now I don’t need the loading coil above 17 meters anymore and on 40 meters you only need a little of the coil to tune it properly.
Thanks for your comment. Appreciate it. –Hans