In this video, I get a chance to talk a little philosophy while driving to a local park. I then set up my Mountain Topper and SOTABEAMS dipole and work 11 stations… 8 of which were 5,000+ miles away! This will show you that a tiny, battery-powered radio can produce excellent results and allow you to have a ton of fun.
Gear seen in this video:
MTR-5B HF radio: https://www.lnrprecision.com/store/MT…
3Ah lithium ion battery: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01…
Mini Speaker: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01…
Palm Mini Paddle – no longer available
Zoom H6 Audio Recorder: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/deta…
GoPro Hero7 Black camera: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc…
2″ Drive-On Mast Mount: https://tn07.com/mast-supports
Green 33′ fiberglass telescopic mast: https://tn07.com/telescoping-masts
In this video, I tell you why you should join the Straight Key Century Club. It’s a great place to have contacts with other Morse Code people who aren’t speed demons! This is a great group of guys who like to use Straight Keys and the speed is usually somewhere between 12 to 17 wpm. So, for anyone who’s just learned Morse Code, this is a great place to get your feet wet! Join the SKCC at http://www.skccgroup.com
The video also includes Bonus Footage that shows my office and gear used to shoot this video.
This weekend I worked some SSB QRP on the hill at Bobcat Ridge. I don’t do a lot of voice-mode QRP since it’s less efficient than CW or one of the Digital modes. Still, I did make several 2,000 mile contacts while running only 5 watts from my Elecraft KX2. The antenna was a SOTABEAMS dipole. All contacts were made on the 20m band.
What you DON’T see in this video are the many, many times I answered someone’s CQ only to have them not hear me at all. This is just how it is when working QRP voice-mode – especially in a contest when the station calling CQ has other stations overlapping their calling frequency. The QRM from other operators makes it harder to pick out a weak signal.
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