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

Feb 2010 PBMME is History


Tuff day on the ice floes in Central Florida. I was not able to use my
target location because of rain and wind direction, so I operated from
the back porch of our condo with my Sierra and SST working through my
Buddistick up about 15 ft on a painter’s pole. Temp hovered in mid to
upper 40’s but with the wind and dampness it felt colder at times.

Band condx were poor with brief bright spots when the QSB let up and
signals sounded fairly decent. I started on 30m but it was pretty quiet
so I tweaked the antenna in the rain for 20m and found it even
quieter… :-( Back to 30m after checking 40m which also was noisy and
almost no signals heard.

First QSO was K9DP Dan in Smithville, TN… He was 569 until QSB hit
hard but we had a 25minute ragchew that was nice. He gave me a 599 and a
couple others did later making me wonder why they could hear me better
than I was hearing them? Then read the mail for a bit on a few other
stations but didn’t get a rise when I tried to connect. Tried to connect
with K9QB but after a few weak QRZ’s we both moved on for better luck.

Finally heard a PB on 20m, WD4MSM, Barry in Indiana working someone
else. When they finished the QSO I called Barry and we had a short QSO
although the QSB was up and down and made copy tough at times. It was
good to be able to Grrrrowllll. Tried to find others and even using the
QRP Spots and K3UK spotting pages could not connect. Then I called CQ
and Guy rose out of the Band N7UN was in the log… Good to connect with
another Bear but the copy deteriorated quickly so we kept it very short.
Thanks Guy for digging my signal out. Next was Frank,, KB3AAG to finish
my day. His signal totally got lost in the noise and so it was a short
QSO to end the day.

Whew… many antenna changes, tweaks and lots of tuning, listening,
trying to hear today. I think the bands were pretty void of activity
except for us QRP types. Not often that happens, eh?

Thanks to all who went out and gave it a go. Missed talking to our
Canadian and West Coast guys this time… let’s keep trying. Also quiet
without Ken Bear raising a ruckus from MI and no Alpha Bear on the AT…
See ya in March… Grrrr!!!!

Kelly K4UPG PB #173

Who’s Polar Bear Enough?

Yahoo! This weekend is another outing of the Polar Bear QRP Group. Who will venture out into the winter weather and once again seek to contact fellow Polar Bears for a nice BSO?

Which of the intrepid bunch of QRP crazed Polar Bears will overcome the cold and actually enjoy the challenge of punching a peanut whistle signal through another weekend’s RTTY contest bunch?

Will the sunspots be with us and bounce our signals out of the neighborhood and enable us to contact our Polar Bear cuzzins in Canada (VG3SIE/P) on the mountain tops, in Alaska on the ice floes( KL7WP & KL8DX ) , in Scotland in the highlands ( MM0CWJ & MM0FMF ), outside Buckingham Palace ( 2E0RKY ), in Spain’s coastal range ( EB3EPR ), or in a dark snow den in New Jersey ( N7UN/2 ) On a windy slope in Utah ( AD7KG )?Will our Ohio Bears freeze their acorns off in the park ( WB2DFC ) ? What will it take to get a signal into the Goat Den to our pals Rooster and Peanut and the old Goat himself ( WGØAT )? Will the Revenuers catch up to Hillbilly Bear in the park at Chickasaw ( AF4O ) ? Who will connect with K3YTR and the 2m HT from the hospital bed in Pottstown? Can anyone guess which antenna trick will be used by our Illinois Bear (N9SKN) ? How will the Florida Bears fare with the rain and cool wind from the northwest can it dampen their signals ( K4UPG & KC4TM ) ? And how about the Alpha Bear ( WB3AAL )on the Appalachian Trail with his snowshoes and 4 wheel drive truck for backup?