This is a little distorted (showing less activity than actual), as I do a lot of operating without CQing, which is what the RBN picks up...but interesting nonetheless.
I know I'm working on getting up big antennas and more power, but that doesn't mean I don't want to go out portable.
After a half- hour, I only had 5 cw contacts in the log and decided I needed to find some SSB chasers - both for park-to-park (P2P) credit, and just to get the 10 contacts I needed for a valid activation. I found 5 SSB contacts in 15 minutes, and went back to CW for a few more before calling it a day from my first park: Watson Mill Bridge State Park, K-2207.
Lonnnng time, no post!
Big changes are coming to AA4GA - the biggest of which is doing less QRP with small antennas, and going back to QRO with bigger antennas.
I spent a full solar cycle operating at 5 Watts or less, and had a ton of fun. Did fairly well in a few contests, and worked over 200 DXCC countries. All with little wire antennas: verticals and doublets mostly. Not very high, usually around 40' or so.
But, my biggest complaint about wire antennas is that they're just too hard to keep up. Even something like a simple inverted-L threaded through the branches won't stay up long. The last one I put up for 160 only stayed up for about four months.
I needed a more permanent antenna installation, and decided to put back up my Rohn 55G that I've had stored for about 15 years. As of now, it looks like I'm going to end up with a tower height of 75' with a JK Mid-Tri-40 at the top. The tower will probably be involved in 80m and 160m antennas too, so hopefully I won't sit down to operate a contest and discover that my antennas are all on the ground. We'll see.
And, since I'm going to have (relatively) big antennas again, I figured it was time to go up to legal output, so I've added an Alpha 8410 to the mix. Right now, just driving with 12 Watts from the K3/10, I'm getting around 500-ish watts out, but once I hit it with more drive, I'll be able to get the full 1500W out.
The new antenna location is also much better sited than the wires I've used. I'm probably getting over 10 dB just by moving where on the property the antennas are located according to HFTA. That, a gain antenna, and the amplifier means my signal will be going up by, oh, 35 to 40 dB compared to 5 Watts and a wire. A noticeable change I'd say!
|Original side-by-side stand
|160 Meter action in the "Big Stew" about 7am local
|Nicely finished, including the NoGAQRP brand
As I mentioned, I'm a member of NoGAQRP, and Paul does donate a portion of the proceeds of each stand to NoGAQRP. Also, in the interest of full disclosure, while I paid full price for my original stand, Paul did give me the latest version to try. None of which detracts from the fact that these are truly nice stands.
You can order your own stand from NoGAQRP Club, just follow the links on this page for pricing and ordering information. In addition to the over/under stand pictured here, Paul will entertain custom work as well, like he did for my original stand or you have an aftermarket heat-sink or other ideas. If you have any questions at all, I'm sure Paul would be happy to address them, as he's quite passionate about these stands. If you have any questions for me, just drop me an email via the addy listed on QRZ.
|Aven Circuit Board Holder - click below to order one for yourself!
This is K8CR pretending to work VK0EK in the hopes that his call will end up in the DXpedition's log (which it apparently did) - he probably doesn't even have his volume turned up!
Friends, this is *not* the way to work DX! I had a boss one time tell me that no one is totally worthless, they can always serve as a bad example. Apparently K8CR has found his calling!