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 made a couple of FT8 contacts from here in St. John. I captured them for a video and then realized I probably needed to make a video about how to get started with FT8!
So, this video shows you how simple it is to configure and use the WSJT-X software to do FT8. I follow that up with some screen captures of contacts with Greece and France from my temporary vacation QTH here on the island.
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
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!
This past weekend, I took the Mountain Topper radios (3B and 5B) to Bobcat Ridge and worked a bunch of stations. In this video, I show my antenna setup and work 5 or 6 stations. At the end of the video, I show all of the stations I worked.
Not bad for 3 watts and a wire antenna. I was only transmitting for about 90 minutes, total. The various contests running this weekend made it super-easy to work QRP!
In this video, I show you the portable hexbeam antenna I recently built. I discuss all of the components that are required to build one.
This is a great antenna that is a bit of a PITA to deploy… it has more parts and requires more setup time than a typical wire antenna. But, for special occasions, when you want a nice directional antenna to deploy in the field, this is what you need.
I went on a road trip with my friends Tim Kreth (AD4CJ) and Doug Miller (W4DML) last weekend to work portable from a beautiful scenic overlook. We drove about 70 miles, full of anticipation, only to find that the scenic overlook had been closed due to a hunting event!
We needed to make lemonade out of lemons.
Running out of time, we decided to head toward home and stop along the interstate at the first exit that looked promising. We found a field that was on an elevated exit of the interstate. It was getting late in the afternoon and we only had a short time to set up, make some contacts, tear down, and begin the drive back home.
I had planned to shoot some video footage for the blog but I only worked a few stations before having to tear down. I spent a lot of time trying to scare up some DX on 15m with no success. I did work Cuba on 15m and a couple of other stations on 20m. Tim concentrated on working 20m and had a lot of fun contacting stations participating in the Skywarn Appreciation Day event. Doug used the time to deploy and trim up a homebrew fan dipole that he’d built.
You can see my setup in the photo, below. You’ll see Tim’s setup in the distance.
Is there any better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than going somewhere with friends to play ham radio?
Taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather here in Nashville (67 degrees!) I drove up to Bobcat Ridge and worked a few stations on 15 meters with 5 watts from my trusty Elecraft KX3.
Why don’t we make this a Black Friday tradition?!