Posts Tagged ‘portable qrp antenna’

Portable Ops 13/45: Sing it with me….YyyyyMCAaaaa

On Tuesday and Thursday nights my daughter takes Tae kwon do at the local YMCA.  I typically run a few miles while she in class, but last night I decided to setup portable and play a little radio.  The SKCC sprints run from 7-9pm once a month local time, and her class starts at 7:00 pm.

Since I would like to participate in these sprints, I have been looking for a location in the parking lot I could do this while she was in class.

The parking lot at the YMCA is large and at one end there are zero cars parked.  There are small trees that I can attach my portable antenna to.

So last night I decided to test it out.  The antenna strapped easily to a small tree and the coax easily reached in my car where I operate.

I made one contact…

AC4FZ (4987T) – Wally was working another station on  10.120 and once the QSO was over, I gave him a call.  He was nice and loud here in Kansas.  Wally was in North Carolina and had a nice signal and fist – with just a slight bit of QSB.  He was a 559 here and he gave me a 549 – I am constantly amazed and just what 5 watts can accomplish!

That was it for the night, but I am glad I tested the setup for the SKCC sprint at the end of April – I will be active!

Portable Ops 13/45: Sing it with me….YyyyyMCAaaaa

On Tuesday and Thursday nights my daughter takes Tae kwon do at the local YMCA.  I typically run a few miles while she in class, but last night I decided to setup portable and play a little radio.  The SKCC sprints run from 7-9pm once a month local time, and her class starts at 7:00 pm.

Since I would like to participate in these sprints, I have been looking for a location in the parking lot I could do this while she was in class.

The parking lot at the YMCA is large and at one end there are zero cars parked.  There are small trees that I can attach my portable antenna to.

So last night I decided to test it out.  The antenna strapped easily to a small tree and the coax easily reached in my car where I operate.

I made one contact…

AC4FZ (4987T) – Wally was working another station on  10.120 and once the QSO was over, I gave him a call.  He was nice and loud here in Kansas.  Wally was in North Carolina and had a nice signal and fist – with just a slight bit of QSB.  He was a 559 here and he gave me a 549 – I am constantly amazed and just what 5 watts can accomplish!

That was it for the night, but I am glad I tested the setup for the SKCC sprint at the end of April – I will be active!

QRP 1,000 Miles per Watt….from the Campground

KX3 bathed in light from my red headlamp

The kids are starting back to school this week, so we thought we would get in one more family outing before life gets crazy.  So last week we went camping from Wednesday morning until Saturday morning.  Its great to be at the campground during the week – almost nobody else is there!

It rained every night – the days were hot and humid.  We spent most afternoons out on the lake in my Dads boat he loaned to use – nice and cool with lots of swimming and tubing.

Friday night I had time to play radio!  I setup the KX3 running on internal batteries on the picnic table.  Hooked up the portable QRP antenna that I lashed up to the canopy and I was off to the races.

I used my headlamp with a red light to see what I was writing and the radio controls.  This worked exceptionally well – and kept the bugs away.  I have used the white light before and it really draws in the bugs!

When I turned the rig on it was on 20 meters – I expected it to be dead since it was about 03:45 UTC (10:45 PM local) – but I immediately heard signals.  As I tuned around, I was hearing DX everywhere!

I listened to some of the exchanges, and could tell it was a contest – RST and Serial was the exchange.  Turns out it was the Worked All Europe HF Contest.

So I dove into the mix and started pouncing!  Wow it was fun….

UA7K – Russia (I think, could not find in QRZ)
UW2M – Ukraine (1,172 miles per watt)
UT0U – Ukraine (1, 134 miles per watt)
AI6O – California
K1XM – Massachusetts
UY5ZZ – Ukraine (1,115 miles per watt)
RW1A – Russia (1,091 miles per watt)
RM5D – Russia (1,091 miles per watt)
YP9W – Romania (1,139 miles per watt)
HA8VV – Germany (1,055 miles per watt)
S57DX – Slovenia (1,054 miles per watt)
HG7T – Hungary (1,091 miles per watt)
HG8R – Hungary (1,115 miles per watt)
DJ5MW – Germany (1,004 miles per watt)
SN6A – Poland (1,019 miles per watt)

I finally shut it down at 05:21 (12:21 AM local time) – but the band was still hoping.  I did tune around 40 meters and heard some signals, but the antenna just needs to be longer for good 40 meter operation.

What a blast!  Almost everyone came back to me on the first call – only 3 times did I have to repeat my call.  Everyone I called, I worked!

It was fascinating to think about working Russia and Ukraine with all the tensions in that part of the world right now – guys are still having fun playing with the radio.

I am really enjoying dipping my toe into these contests – it is a great way to work a bunch of stations – and some DX to boot.

Nick KE0ATH working 2 meters

Nick (KE0ATH) also did some operating on 2 meters using a collapsible portable J-pole that we built together.  He had a blast.  He is working on putting together a go-box 2 meter station for camping and outdoor adventures.

Be sure and check out, and subscribe to my YouTube channel – I am working on several more videos – stay tuned!

Lunchtime Portable – It’s been a while!

After reading about Mike, VE3WDM going portable, it got my blood pumping to get back out for some lunch time QRP operations!

So last night I tracked down the coax and put the gear in the Pilot.  It has cooled off a bit this week, it was only 83 deg here when I arrived at the park.  I quickly got the Portable QRP Antenna put up and was on the air!

I worked a total of 6 stations during my one hour of operation.  20 meters was decent stateside, but 17 meters was a disappointment.  17 meters has typically been my favorite band for some lunch time DX!

Here is the run down of todays activity:

W1AW/9 20 meters into Indiana
KW7D 17 meters Paul in New Mexico

I called CQ and…

K7TAN answered me – Don was in Idaho, we had a brief QSO which was nice.

Then back to search and pounce…

K6TW was activating W6/CT-003 Mt. San Antonio which is east of Los Angeles.  I would really like to be a SOTA activator sometime!

W1AW/9 this time on 17 meters

and finally…

W0FV was calling CQ on 20 meters and was very loud!  Doug was in Grand Junction, CO – we had a brief contact as he gave me a 359 RST.  Thanks for pulling me out Doug!

Then it was time to head back to work, so I quickly pulled everything down and headed back to the office.

Another fun lunch time portable QRP session in the books!

Cuba! CO8LY…

Man is it ever hot here in Kansas!  Today it was 93 when I exited the car to setup the antenna.  Can’t wait for those cool fall days to arrive!

Once I turned the radio on I opened SOTA Goat on my iPhone to see where the SOTA activators were.  I noticed one of them was calling CQ on 12 meters.  I had never even listened on 12 meters, so I thought I would give it a go.

I couldn’t hear the SOTA activator, but I did here…

CO8LY – map from QRZ

CO8LY:  I heard Eduardo calling CQ with no takers and he was LOUD.  So I gave him a shot and he came back with a 599 report.  From the map on QRZ it looks like Eduardo was near the “infamous” Guantanamo Bay.

The bands were slightly strange today, a little up and down by there just not too many stations on.

I called CQ on 20 meters near the QRP watering hole…..

WB3GCK – from QRZ

WB3GCK/P: Craig was working portable from Duck, NC.  Duck, NC is on the eastern most part of NC – and looks to be a popular resort area.  He was VERY quiet – and judging from his picture on QRZ he was probably QRP.  He gave me a 559 and I gave him a 339.  We kept it short since he was so quiet.  Craig has a nice page with lots of operating stories and other projects.  You should really check it out here: http://www.qsl.net/wb3gck/  He is definitely a QRPer!

Called CQ some more and…

N3RSD: Frank came back with 559 reports both ways.  He was in Wilmington, DE.  We exchanged SKCC numbers and called it day.  I always feel bad exchanging SKCC numbers when I am using the keyer – should I?

One other interesting thing… I was tuning around at 18.100 and heard W4BVH/BCN Tampa FL – I will have to check this out and let him know I heard it!

Another fun and successful QRP lunch time portable outing!

Playing Around With Reverse Beacon Network

After parking at my usual lunch time portable operating position, and not hearing much on the bands, I decided to do something I had been wanting to do for awhile now.

I have been wanting to play around with the Reverse Beacon Network using my portable QRP antenna.  When not hearing much on the bands, I wanted to see if there was just not many operators, or if the band was actually dead.  The other thing is that many times when I call CQ I call at less than 15 wpm because that is where I am most comfortable.  I have never seen many reports on RBN in the past when calling CQ so I wanted to see if speed made a difference.

So I started off with 20 WPM and called CQ for about 3 minutes on 20 meters.  You can see the spots on the photo, but I was heard mainly to the East coast and West part of the country – and one Canadian station.

Then I went down to 14 WPM and called CQ again – as you can see on the photo.  At 14 WPM, my signal was still decoded and I got spotted by 5 stations.  Where at 20 WPM I was spotted by 6 stations.  So not really much difference.  I did change frequency so that it would show the new spots.

I didn’t call as long at 14 WPM because I heard someone answering!

KO4OP – Rick was answering my CQ and had a nice sounding signal.  He was in King William, VA.  He was 599 and he gave me a 559.  We went on to have a nice 15 minute exchange – really nice QSO Rick!  Thanks for giving me a call!

As you can see in the picture I then went to 17 meters and put out a CQ at 14 WPM and was spotted by 4 stations (3 on the east coast and one out west).  I did hear someone call ..__.. (?) after one of my CQ calls but I never could reach him, and they never gave a call.

After this I did hear NE1SJ very, very weakly calling from a SOTA summit on 20 meters.  I gave him a call and he heard me, but when he came back he got weaker and I just could not pick him out of the noise.  Sorry we couldn’t make it today – I would have liked to pick up some more points!

It seems my SOTA chasing has stalled a bit.  Lately 20 meters seems to be skipping right over me here in Kansas!

So the RBN site was fun to play around with.  It just tells me that even when you don’t hear anything, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t getting out!  Put out some CQ’s and have some fun!

IZ4RTE & UX1AA – Amazing Lunchtime Portable QRP

Map from N0HYD to UX1AA

Wow!  It was a fun lunch today working portable from the park.  I heard a little activity on 15 meters, but then tuned down to 17 meters and started having fun!

I had TWO great DX contacts on 17 meters today…

IZ4RTE – He was first up.  He was calling CQ and after several repeats of my call he finally got it.  He gave me a 519 and I gave him a 599.  Eddie was near Bologna, ITALY!  I don’t know call prefixes well enough to recognize where people are from – so I was super excited when he said this.  From his QRZ profile apparently he was running a Elecraft K3 – so this was a nice 2xElecraft QSO.

UX1AA – I heard Serge finish a QSO and start calling CQ.  It took several attempts for him to get my call, but he finally did.  He gave me a 559 and he was 579 here in Kansas.  When I looked him up on QRZ I realized he was in the western part of Ukraine!  This is roughly 5,600 miles from my location!

It was about time to head back to work, but I spun to 20 meters and heard nothing, so I put out a CQ on 14.060.  N7BBH – Steve in is Arizona.  We have worked each other before in early August.  Today he was on his TenTec Eagle at 40 watts – sounded great!

Well, another fun lunch time working QRP portable with my vertical EF QRP antenna.  Its always fun, but today was exceptional with two nice DX QSO’s and working Steve again!


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