Lakeside Ops

After a couple days of HEAVY rain, it was good to see the sun again. Following a great breakfast and heavy discussions of antenna theory, propagation, politics and diets, we hit the field next door. The wind was very strong gusting in the mid 20’s most of the day. This made launching antennas a bit complicated, but it did help dry out the ground.

Bart MFJ 936B at the lake
Tiny Loop goes into action

Bart AI4NF brought his new MFJ 936B Loop tuner and setup very quickly. It seems to hear very well and soon the sound of cw was in the air. 20m was pretty active and eventually a signal was even heard on 10m! What a blessing! We did learn that the antenna was coupling to the metal frame of the card table and made it difficult to tune. After putting it on the small cooler it tuned more normally, with a very sharp and obvious peak when in resonance. Later we put the cooler on top of the table and that solved most of the problem and eliminated some of the ground coupling and loss.

I got to test my clone of Nick WA5BDU’s End Fed Halfwave Matching Device. It worked great and I was able to tune sloping half wave antennas on 40 and 30 meters. This tuner is unique in that it is simply a toroid and does not use a capacitor at all! On the bench it tunes 3-12Mhz at 1:1-3 to 1 half wave antennas. Next outing I hope to test the 80m halfwave and see it theory and practice agree.

Great day to be out at the lake even if it was windy!

Lakeside in March
K4UPG on 30m lakeside in SE Orlando, FL


  1. Alex Kaplinsky, K5UNY says

    You do a tremendous job updating your QRP site, and I check it everyday for something new or just to reread older items. THANKS !
    Seems like you have developed quite an Outdoor Operating Group in your Area and they’re all smiles. A group of folks going out is sooooooo much nicer than going it alone. A few folks I have mentioned Saturday QRP to the park outings in the DFW area “don’t have time”. Pretty discouraging but still a hoot by my lonesome, just me and my radio and a chunk of wore!!!UH, that’s antenna material building stuff!!
    Best 73 to you and thanks for the continued interesting read.
    Alex K5UNY Dallas Tx

  2. kmack says

    Blush Blush! Thanks Alex! I enjoy doing the blog, wish I had more time for it, but have to work for a living.

    Our group is actually pretty small for most outings, but we have about 15 that show up from time to time but rarely all at once. Usually have 3-6 for an outing and we hope to do some group kit building, etc in the future if there is enough interest. I think the blog and lots of emails connections helps us stay together. Most of us are too busy to do it all the time, but we have managed to get a few together once a month for a Saturday in the park. I love it!

    Keep posting to the various QRP lists… I enjoy your antenna ideas and twists. Check out that EFHW matcher from the link it the latest story. It is a good tool and seems to work just fine.

    Kelly K4UPG

  3. says

    I can’t even remember the last time I operated outdoors – your blog reminds of how much fun it is. Hopefully the QRPTTF on 4/24 will occur – I’ll make it a point to go out for the event.

  4. kmack says

    Hi John!

    Glad to get your feedback! Makes me keep posting! I am the opposite of you since my condo is antenna restricted I am not able to get on whenever I desire. It is a bit too much hassle to setup and tear down in the dark after I get home from work so I mostly miss operating until the weekend when I can get out and go for it. Maybe I’ll get my loop or some other easier antenna figured out before long and join the on the air from the shack crowd! :-)

    Kelly K4UPG

  5. kmack says

    Hi Dan! It was good to work you again from the Lake Fredrica site! You have a great signal down here and it is very pleasant to copy your good fist too! Sorry I had to run to dinner but after playing radio since 10am, it was time to yield to the xyl’s dinner call. :-) Will be watching for you on the air again!
    Kelly K4UPG

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