On Sunday, May 6th, 2018 I rode my bicycle to a construction site with a good location for working portable. I set up my SOTABEAMS dipole and used my YouKits HB1B Mk III to make some contacts. The New England QSO Party event was being held that weekend and I worked 6 stations in a fairly short time.
It seemed like the sidetone of my HB1B devolved into lots of clicks and very little tone after a while. Not sure why but it was annoying. A great day for ham radio!
I’m on vacation for a couple of weeks. I brought my KX2 to the Caribbean and made this quick video to show you my contact with Easter Island. I also show you my setup – which includes an unusual antenna. I hope to make many more contacts, as time (and the wife) permits! – Cliff
For more info on the antenna… see Page 9 of this manual… http://www.elecraft.com/manual/E740054%20KXAT1%20man%20rev%20B.pdf
The ARRL DX SSB contest was held this past weekend. Band conditions to Europe were No Bueno. I fired up my FlexRadio 6300 and made 4 quick QRP contacts to the Caribbean. Don’t forget that 5 watts are only about 2 S-Units quieter than 100 watts… so, as long as the receiving station has a reasonably low noise floor, you will be heard!
I heard a station calling CQ from Morocco and used my awesome little Elecraft KX1 to snag him… with only about 3 watts.
Sadly, the amazing little KX1 has been discontinued by Elecraft.
If McDonalds can keep bringing back the McRib, can’t we get Elecraft to bring back the KX1?!
Outdoors at a public park, I used a KX3 set to 1/10th of a watt… 100 milliwatts… to work a station in Finland. They were loud to me so I had a feeling I’d be able to get through. Now, this is a SuperStation in Finland with great antennas. My signal was ultra-weak but the QSO is in the logbook!
When you send Morse Code, it’s best to provide the proper amount of space between letters and words. This makes your code much easier to understand. In this video, I talk about the timing of Morse characters, proper spacing between letters and words, and options for handling the end of a thought/sentence.
Just because we’re putting out less power, it doesn’t always mean that our signals are weak. If propagation is good, even 1 watt can sound great. Check out these two examples… – Cliff
If you want to work a DX station in a pileup, you have to learn how to Work Split. In this video, I explain the process, give an example with a diagram, and then show how to Work Split with a KX1, KX3, and a FT-817.
I took my KX2 this morning when I went out to ride my bicycle. I found a good place to put up my dipole where I could be in the shade. After working 2 Japanese stations, I used my phone to record video of me working a third station so you can share in the joy of portable QRP.
Why not take your radio with you when you go out for a walk, a hike, bike riding, etc. You never know what will happen!
If I only had 30 minutes to teach and demonstrate the PSK31 digital mode, this video is what I’d say and show. PSK31 is an excellent mode for QRP and you can work a lot of DX with it. If you haven’t tried it, you should! – Cliff