Support QRP CoA Everywhere

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Home again from E51KTA

Tnx all for comments about the E51KTA trip which was complete departure from normal QRP operation for once as I used a locals shack with his PA and antennas. Propagation conditions were very difficult and I noted that sending a CQ QRP CQ on most bands did not result in any QSO and never appeared on the reverse beacon network. A 200mW 30m WSPR beacon was left running for a several days and the signals just abouit reached about the pacific with one or two spots on the US west coast which just showed how bad things were.

The antenna feeders at QTH needed some care and I was glad to spend some time analysing and fixing the feeders. For this use the MiniVNA was an excellent bit of kit to take. Some feeders that were Belbin 9913 (better than RG213) the velocity factor had dropped from 82% when new to c70% due to moisture ingress and the outer shielding was often corroded over the lengths. The cook Islands is definitely not a kind place for permanent RF installations. I left some red liquid rubber to perhaps help protect some of the connections.

QRT three evenings (local) early mornings EU/UK time in the end due to WX (all feeders were disconnected due to local lightening) and another visiting amateur using the shack.

In these days of instant internet communication you have to be prepared for the bad comments as well as the good these days I guess so you have to give the arm chair DXers their opportunity to rant a bit about it having been a 'holiday' operation, it wasn't! Perhaps they should go themselves? Last I'll say on it.

2734 is my QSO count including the BERU contest. Thanks especially for all the ATNO notes, I tried to get as many of you in the logs as I could in what were definitely trying propagation conditions. I never concentrated any effort on 20m SSB as that has been done so many times by so many ops, 20m CW likewise. Had I done the QSO counts would have been much higher. 160m was a lot busier than expected at first, so was 40m CW. 17m SSB ended up being 3 short evenings of 3hr pile ups whilst the path to EU was open. Only a few 30m QSO (was only running 15W on that band in the end) but certainly shows promise.

I left a 2 el 40m vertical directed at EU with E51AND so I hope that will find some use with others. It is not steerable right now but the choice of direction for me was obvious, it will be the RX signal improvement that is important. A 30m GP was left as well. I will work on and send a control box to make the 40m 2 el partly steerable.

Was surprised the QRN was no where as bad as expected on LF, yes was there but nothing like what I was prepared for and most days no issues to speak of. You could definitely hear the atmospheric QRN on 40m and the new antenna showed it's ability well as it managed to null out that noise efficiently.

I am sure I will return to E5 and I have lined up the major logistics for a E5/N target now too (with a PA again) but will not say more. There is another going to a rare E5/N group in a few weeks will be interesting to see how he does.

No comments: