|AK2MA Kitchen Shack|
|Buddipole antenna set up indoors|
|Antenna Tuning Life Saver!|
After retuning my antenna for 15 meters, I worked Tony, K6ELQ in California for another SKCC QSO. It seemed my 100 watts and the Buddipole were going to work. I would obviously be roughing it, but it's better than no radio! I have no plans of drilling any holes or putting up any tower at this location for various reasons. So, a less permanent antenna will be my radiator of choice. Not that I will be doing much contesting but at least I can make an appearance in the contests making a few QSO's. Maybe chase Worked All States? When I heard Les, KL7J on 15 meter CW this past weekend, I had hopes of even landing my old state of residence, feeling the irony of ham radio role reversal.
|10 Meters From Today|
My first QSO was with a very loud Ted, CT7AEQ on 10 meter CW calling CQ. I had dialed the rig down to 50 watts for that QSO. Not far from Ted, I found Filippo, IZ1LBG calling CQ. I set the FT-857D for 5 watts and to my surprise, Filippo came back with my call. A few minutes later, I had a valid QRP QSO with a station over 3,800 miles away (using QRZ information). I also shot a short video of that QSO with my cell phone. Since I was running a full 5 watts, it only calculates to a bit over 700 miles per watt. Had I been using my IC-703Plus, there is no doubt in my mind that I could have worked Filippo with less power and achieved my first 1,000 Mile Per Watt award from the QRP ARCI Club. At least I know it will sure be doable! And to top off my afternoon, I heard a weak ZS6JBJ calling CQ on 10 meters looking for SKCC QSO's. I answered his CQ and I was extremely excited to hear John come back with my callsign. Of course, I had increased my power output to 100 watts as I felt I would need at least that to make a contact with John.
This past weekend got me reacquainted with using and tuning my Buddipole antenna system. It also allowed me to become more familiar with the menu system on the FT-857D. I hate reading manuals but I finally had to break down and read the manual to get the FT-857D to do a few things I needed for it to do. Having a few days to become familiar with this rig, I'm liking it even more. I'm actually thinking of using it as my full time portable rig as the IC-703Plus only has a high power output of 10 watts, where I can have 100 watts if needed with the Yaesu. Also, the Yaesu is smaller so it would be pack friendly. The only difference is, I would have to haul an external tuner (I have an LDG) if I did not want to fine tune my Buddipole for a flat SWR.
I plan on experimenting with a few more bands but I think for now, my activity will be on an indoor antenna. This is something new to me as I've always used outdoor antenna's. This was a very humbling weekend experience for me. I've left behind my AL-1500 and 4 element tri-bander for low power and an indoor antenna. I'm ready to take on the challenge and join many that have, or are, currently doing the same. I plan on being more active with QRP and once I find a few good higher elevated locations to operate from, I'll be doing some winter time /p operating as well. I have to admit, winter here is a bit more balmy than I'm used to. I'm sure the locals don't feel that way but for this ex-Alaskan, I'm enjoying the many more hours of daylight and warmer temperatures.