Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Labor Day Weekend!



A little belated, but best wishes for all!
Spent last night "playing radio" out in the girlfriend's back yard. I was running my Elecraft K2, and my BuddiPole converted to a BuddiStick configuration for the first time. Talked to several guys back east (Missouri, Louisiana, Indiana), a couple more out West (Colorado and Wyoming), and had a nice chat with a guy in Honolulu.
Not bad for 10 Watts to a "portable" antenna! My signal was up-and-down, so one of these days I'll finish up the 100 Watt amplifier for my K2. The rig shown has the amplifier installed as part of the black, finned heatsink that comprises the top of the radio. Mine has a gray cover with the speaker in it, and that gets replaced by the amplifier assembly. Running "10dB down" from 100 Watts makes for some challenging contacts on Single Sideband, but I had no problems hearing stations. The K2 has an outstanding receiver, but 10 Watts is marginal for casual use down at the bottom of the solar cycle like we are right now. If we had been doing Emergency Communications, then the other guys would have been "listening harder" for us, and not just cherry-picking the stronger signals to talk to.

6 comments:

  1. That was on 20 meters, right? Hard to imagine anything on 10 meters or higher with solar flux so low. Maybe a little sporadic E layer stuff, but that is so transient.

    I used to be a VHFer but since the antennas all disconnected, the gear in the loft just languishes.

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  2. Yeah, I was on 14.262 and down. The BuddiStick tuned up really fast with my MFJ analyzer. Looked at the directions, put the coil tap 15 turns down from the whip end, rolled out about 18' of counterpoise, and pulled all but the top section of whip out. It resonated about 13.9, so I kept shortening the whip until it got to where I wanted to operate.
    From out-of-bag to on-the-air was about 15 minutes!

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  3. Nice rig, and yeah, nice beach! I'd have been 'distracted'... :-)

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  4. The beach is in Hawaii, but I didn't take the picture. It's from the website of the guy who makes the antennas.

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  5. I hope you and your beautiful companion had a very wonderful holiday.

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Keep it civil, please....