Even though the long range forecast for Saturday, March 19th is calling for rain and drizzle, I am contemplating doing another NPOTA activation.  The weather this time of year is always changing, so I am hoping that next Saturday will actually turn out nice.

This time I have a hankering to go on up to HP28, Morristown National Historical Park, which actually consists of four different areas:

1) The Ford Mansion
2) Washington's Headquarters Museum
3) Jockey Hollow
4) Fort Nonsense

The best area for operating without causing too much undo commotion to anyone else, is from the parking lot at Jockey Hollow.  Jockey Hollow is where the Continental Army wintered in 1779-1780 - a winter which turned out to be way more severe than the previous winter, which has become better known as "The Winter at Valley Forge".

That's where Dave KD2FSI activated HP28 back in January (and where I logged for him as he handled his really first big HF pileup).  I noticed some pretty tall trees right next to the parking spots (the parking lot is big), so maybe I can quietly throw my PAR END-FEDZ 40/20/10 into one of them.  Of course, the main bands for operating will be 40 and 20 Meters.  As is always the case for W2LJ, operations will be primarily CW - but I am thinking of perhaps even doing a little QRP SSB if activity on the CW bands gets lax.  I'm not sure if HP28 has been activated via CW. Maybe I can be the first.

This weekend, if I get the time, I would like to finally experiment with building a magnetic loop antenna for 40 - 10 Meters.  I have some coax in the basement that's too short for anything else and would serve well, I think.  I have a 365pF variable cap that I got from eBay.  I have been reading some articles lately and it doesn't look like building a rudimentary loop would be all that difficult.  If I have success with it, maybe I can eventually come up with a homebrewed version of the AlexLoop WalkHam model that I can use for portable ops. It might prove to be a viable option when I want to be away from the Jeep, and yet I can't hang an EFHW, or doublet.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!
Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

One Response to “Thinking”

  • Dave Karpiej K1THP:

    I have built a few loops using material from Home Depot and junk box stuff and I can tell you that the commercial loops at QRP power ratings are are very over-priced. I also will tell you that it’s not easy to get 40 thru 10 operation. 20 thru 10 is a piece of cake as is 30 thru 20 and 40 thru 15 but to cover to cover 7 bands takes a bit of experimentation with the capacitor you use. Also I have had better luck with 7/4″ Cable TV hardline for efficiency. An used Walmart camera tripod makes a good cheap mount. I have picked them up in good condition at hamfests and yard sales for under $3. Also don’t forget to check out both the plumbing and the electrical departments at Home Depot when looking for support tubing and capacitor enclosures (Don’t use metal types). With luck and careful shopping you can have a manual tuned loop that covers 20 thru 10 meters for less that $25. I went a step farther and added a small dc gearmotor from the web and was able to build a remote tuned loop for under $75. And thats a bsic no frills control box (AA bateries and a few switches … crude but it works).
    Dave K1THP

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