September 20, 2020
Packed up my ski bag ham radio, portable go kit which included the Greyline OCF vertical antenna for HF, and headed for the mountains of Southcentral Idaho, north of Sun Valley in the Sawtooth Wilderness Preserve. Luck had it, there was a four-hour CW sprint contest called NAQP (North America QSO Party) Saturday night, just about the time I would land at a campground for the evening.
Arrived at the campsite amidst a smoke bank coming in from WA/OR.
Built the station in about 20 minutes and started about halfway into the contest.
Super quiet location that took a while to find. Most spots were below a hill along a river. This location was almost ridge-line. Once on the air, I felt pretty good considering half power or less at 40W. Almost everyone I called heard the signal.
24' Greyline DX Vertical tied to a stump. 3' of PVC pipe and ground support are not part of the active antenna. The lower dipole starts just above where the ladder line comes out (this exit and insulator is meant to be ground level by design but adding 3' to the height didn't hurt). 24' of radiator above the feed point.
Antenna System Order of parts: From the Antenna, the ladder line feedline transitions to a PL259 adapter that plugs into the LDG RT-100 remote tuner. Then, the RF Choke which is 7 ferrite slip-over-coax beads for adequate RF choking, then the 75' LMR-400 coax to the Suburban.
Cockpit inside the suburban. Using standard power from the 12V AC/DC outlet in the truck I was able to get 40W out without tripping the Chevy circuit breaker. The heater was on low to keep the fan noise down and the fingers warm. 40 and 80M were hopping full of CW signals from coast to coast. It felt like I was looking down on all of them from up here. Also, it seemed the stalls granite peaks around me were reflecting signal in my favor... it certainly felt I was indeed that loud compared to my home QTH below the hill.
KL2A/P Ski Bag Portable Ham Radio station:
Lately, this summer, I've been tinkering with HF vertical antenna designs at the lake house QTH in Northern Idaho. The QTH is great for swimming, boating, and relaxing on the beach deck but it is not a good QTH at all for radio other than working KL7, VE7, UA9 (Central Russia), or the occasional Northern European. Oh, it's a great shot due north and nowhere else as the hills are straight up in all other directions. #lakelife.
So, this camp trip was a great opportunity to try the ski bag radio station from another QTH. By comparison, it was night and day to the lake QTH. The campsite had no other people or structures for miles, super quiet, I could hear everything and everyone on the bands. W1-4 signals filled 40 and 80M CW (east coast) and I worked them easily on both bands with the 40W from the radio (not something that's possible thus far from the lake house with double the power, at 100W). You have to hear them, right?
Having guys hear me easily was a treat. Amazing what a quiet location and a high up in the hills take-off will do for a 24' vertical dipole antenna.
Best 4-hours in radio!
Bonus: Tuned the bands at sunrise before packing out of camp and warming up the truck. It was cold in the tent, 28F at sunrise, and still smokey.
+ found PJ4A (NN3W) at the Bonaire Island Radio Station PJ4A on 20M WAE SSB
+ a 40M tune found W6YA working YF8HVY. Very quiet QTH in the mountain country.
W6YA + YF8HVY 40M CW DX (sunrise)
PJ4A (NN3W) WAE SSB 2020
June 6, 2012
June 4, 2012
More Links: here and here
Links of interest
-- Some of these links are not populated just yet, please stay tuned!
Listen to Audio and Video:
May 28, 2012
My Location@12:41,5/29 Babesa-Thimphu Expy, Thimphu, Bhutan http://m.google.com/u/m/dCY32E
May 29, 2012, from A5A Bhutan DXpedition
Greetings from Bhutan. A couple notes to report. The past few days have been full of official meetings for Zorro and his international survey team (Harvard, Waseda, The University of Tokyo, and SEISA) with the Bhutan Government officials. The Ministry of Education, Health, Economics, and even Bhutan's Football (soccer) The team has been on the calendar discussing future needs. KL2A and ZL1GO were in on the action as well entertaining 20+ university students in the A5A shack for a live demonstration of the radio and introducing (more politely, urging) the very exciting reality that some in the room would become charter members of the future Royal Thimphu College Radio Club. We called CQ and answered a CQ by M0REX. The FGC is delighted to donate the radio and equipment including ordering an installation of a new first radio tower for the club. The ceremony is forthcoming.
The radio condx are very good to the needed areas and we are working hard to be available on those paths. We have seen long openings in our darkness on the high bands, it is quite exciting. We have been running the 6m beacon most of the day and are working on the lower bands now as well. Club Log is underway as JJ1LIB has departed back to Japan and will officiate these duties daily. Please keep your comments coming, follow us on Twitter for live updates, and thank you for your support! We are honored to add one more to your rankings.
73 A5A Team Bhutan2012.com
May 16, 2012
May 4, 2012
Chasing 7O6T? Want to know when they have actually worked your region? Read this...
Excerpt from a post sent to Spokane DX Associations Mail group on May 4, 2012
17m indeed is their strongest band (below in blue) with 20 and 15 trailing.
Note that overall, they are excelling on 17m with more Q's and countries than any other band/mode:
DXCC by Band/Mode breakdown
Have you tried their Map Propagation Feature?
Here is the best link for tinkering with the data:
You can ask it: "What time are they working Zone 3 on any particular band?"
1. Click the map on the Zone 3 area
2. Click the bar on the graph representing the band you are interested in (try 17m)
3. The Graph resets, and now you see 17m highlighted in Orange.
Note: 434 Q's in Zone 3 on 17m (at time of writing)
Note: The graph depicts the times of these Q's. Majority worked at 03z and 16z
40m shows 3 Q's so far in Zone 3 at 01 and 02 zulu timeframe.
Good luck in the pile ups!
Surfing the short-waves!
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