Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bouncing Around the Globe, QRP Style.

TV Tray Set-up
This weekend was yet another JT65A weekend for me. I saw that 10 meters appeared to be active so on Saturday, I set the Buddipole up for that band. It was not long before I was decoding some very nice signals out of Europe. My first QSO came shortly after 1800z with OK1JKV. I was running 3-5 watts all weekend, not exceeding my band defying QRP wattage. And as the sun progressed westward, the propagation did as well. I copied several stations that I would have loved to have a QSO with but a few of the signals were just a bit on the light side. Strong enough to decode but at -24dB, there was not much hope for my JT65A QRP signal with the others also calling the same stations I had an interest in.

Close but No Cigar
One of the exciting moments for me over the weekend was when I saw that VK2QQ answered my CQ. I was elated to finally hear and possibly work into VK'land! Sadly, that's as far as the QSO went. I went back to VK2QQ a few times with no luck. So, it was close but no cigar! I know that I will have future opportunities and if anything, I now know when to start listening. Actually, if it were easy, it would not be as much fun. If you click on screen shot to the right, you will see that VK7DZ was also working stations and I had a copy on a QSO a few minutes earlier from that station. 

QRP 3 Watts
As I've mentioned so many times blogging over the years, 10 meters is my favorite band. You just never know where it will take you when the band opens. You can work the band with pretty much any antenna with great results. Novice Enhancement opened up 10 meters to hams years ago and it's been a great watering hole ever since. It was one of the first bands I really cut my teeth on and some of the best DX I've worked has been on this band. The other advantage to this band is that it's very broad, running from 28.000 on up to 29.700. There is plenty of room to have fun no matter what mode you prefer to operate. 

AK2MA Table Top DX Station
With the weekend still pretty busy, I was able to let the JT65HF software decode and keep an eye on the band as I went about my other weekend activities. When I'm not operating, I will try to leave the software so that it uploads what I'm hearing. When I'm operating, I also like to see where I'm being heard so I keep my iPad handy connected to hamspots. It's always very interesting to see how well I'm being heard in various directions and by which stations. My little corner of the kitchen is just that, little. But for now, it suits me just fine. As I ponder the thought of permanently downsizing my station, I'm trying to put together the best small station that I can. I've been impressed with the 703's ability on the digital modes. It's obviously not my 756PRO but it's a great compact rig. 

DK2HX Indoor antenna to indoor antenna
When I logged into eQSL I had several cards waiting for QSO confirmation. One of which is pictured to the left. This was a bit unique as both Heinz and I were running indoor antenna's according to his comment at the bottom of his QSL card. Heinz was running 8 watts to his indoor magnetic loop antenna and I was running 5 watts (actually a tad less) with my indoor Buddipole. So, a perfect example what is possible when the band is open. A QSO over 3,500 miles away with a few watts feeding into indoor antenna's, both ways. With some good weak signal software and the right propagation, DX easily falls into the logbook just as it did for me this weekend. I'm hoping to venture on to JT9 here soon as well. I've heard a few hams mention it. That's the grand beauty of this hobby, there is something for everyone! 


  1. Hello Phil, I would love to try JT modes with you some time. When I see spots coming in early in the evening with my 1W WSPR on 10 from all over the states it should be a piece of cake to make the contact. FB on the indoor <-> indoor QSO. 73, Bas

  2. Bas, hopefully a weekend soon we can try! Looking forward to a QSO my friend!