Great day weather-wise, but band conditions could have been better. Spent most of my time on 40 meters listening to the QRP contests and making a few contacts with stations in CA, TX, KY and OH. Heard a good number of 1, 2 and 3 calls but no joy that direction. Embarassed myself on 20 m trying to make a QRP ARCI contest contact but my rusty CW wasn’t up to the task… Sorry to have wasted the 5 station’s contest time.
Used my Ten Tec Argonaut 509 hooked into a Buddistick antenna on a painter’s pole mast at 18 feet. Was seeing 1.1/1.2 SWR on both 20 & 40m and despite the band conditions got lots of cw practice reading the mail and enjoying the 84 F degree temperature and light breeze. Not a bad way to relax and spend some time by the lake.
Next time out I’ll try some comparison of dipoles vs the Buddistick, but I’m very pleased with the easy assembly and fairly simple tuning process needed to get on the air quickly and enjoy portable ops. I’m using a Jackite pole ground mount to hold the 6-18′ Mr. LongArm painter’s pole. It is a breeze to place in the ground and provides a firm anchor. Because of strong winds at times, I use 3 guy lines and tent stakes to provide a bit of extra stability. My biggest challenge is finding some shade. Gets mighty hot here!
Although we are in an antenna restricted complex, we do have a couple nice lakes and a golf course with some ponds that extend beyond the course. Those areas provide some prime and mostly unused locations for portable ops.
A few curious neighbors have come by and asked if I was” fishing with an extra long pole” or trying to watch migrating birds. QRP portable does make for some interesting conversations at times.
The complex security team is getting used to seeing me and one of them asked if I could talk to his home country of Puerto Rico. I told him that one was pretty easy and got a big smile. Now they all wave as they make their rounds.
I have a backlog of kits and projects to get going and need to spend more time listening to CW practice so I don’t sound like I am sending QLF next time I’m on the air. Thanks for the slow speed and straight key contacts I made today. It’s a great help and I always have enjoyed ragchewing more than contests.
In two weeks, I will be Walking for the World at our ministry . We are raising funds for the work of the ministry. I will be attempting pedestrian mobile on 20 meters with my Buddistick mounted on an Alice Pack Army backpack and a MFJ 9420 on SSB at 10 watts. My fellow walkers will pray for nations, states and cities of the contacts I make. Stay tuned for updates!