Oil Change Parking Lot QTH

45F a bit of sun and a lot of wind! Today I escaped being selected for jury duty so opted to get the oil changed in my car! I called and my shop was not too busy and said, “come on down!” So I packed my 30m SST, BLT+ tuner and accessories and took off. Instead of sitting in the waiting area and reading out of date magazines and watching silly game shows, I walked out to the parking lot and threw some wire into a couple small trees. I only got the main 46 feet wire up about 15 feet on one end and sloped it through another small tree and out to my camping table. I ran a counterpoise of 23 feet to the same small tree and hooked up my trusty BLT+ tuner.

My Oil Change Parking Lot QTH for 30m
My Oil Change Parking Lot QTH for 30m

A quick tune found a couple week signals. I tuned the antenna a bit, called CQ with no luck, then heard a decent 579 signal calling CQ. Bill, NG3O in Columbia, MD replied and although I wasn’t strong (539) he thought he could copy me. He sure did a great job and we enjoyed a nice QSO for almost 30 minutes. Sure is pleasant to work a good fist without any QRM. He said I was his first Oil Change Parking Lot QSO.

A few minutes later, I connected with Rudy, W8RJW in Columbia, SC. He was a strong 589 and gave me a 559. We had a nice qso for several minutes too. It was a fun way to pass the time while I waited on my car maintenance to be done.

The band got pretty quiet afterwards and though I heard a few more stations, it was time to pull the plug, take down the wire and go home. I think I have figured out a new way to pass time when the opportunity is present. Hope you will give it a try too!

72,

Kelly K4UPG

Nite Ops QRP Portable Style

Having fun playing radio in the backyard at my in-laws! Extra fun since I cannot keep an antenna up full time so being able to get on the air when I can is a treat.

Entered my first SKCC SKS Sprint and the rain drove me to cover but managed to make a decent first showing for a QRP guy with rusty CW.

I put together a W3EDP antenna of 84 feet and a parallel 17 foot countepoise that sloped up to about 35 foot high branch. I used #24 teflon wire and some 1/4 in plastic tubing cut into 7 in pieces which I taped to the wires as spacer. Lightweight and nearly invisible in the air makes it a good candidate for QRP portable ops. It’s long, but seems to hear well and worked even after I bent it into an L when I had to get under cover from the rain! Hope to do more testing  with this one.

Earning my Polar Bear wings by being out in the COLD. This Florida Bear ain’t used to below 40 degree wx. Brrrr and Grrrrrr!

Nite Ops from the backyard
Nite Ops from the backyard
Nite Ops from the Deck
Nite Ops from the Deck

PBMME first outing PB #173

Grrrrrrr! Brand new Polar Bear #173 ventured out to Lake Fredrica today to stir up some fellow PB’s on the air. Setting up the mini bac Delta Loop Beartenna went well and I started on 40m. The band was OK, but I couldn’t seem to raise any BSO’s with my fellow Polar Bears. After a few minutes I switched to 20m with my Wilderness Sierra and WOW! The band was full of California ops in some sort of contest. Most of them blew me away with their fast CW and very strong signals but it was good to hear so much cw activity and the band was pretty good.

I setup my trusty Buddistick for 30m and almost got a perfect SWR. My Wilderness SST on 30m was hearing a good bit of activity and I managed brief qso’s with fellow Polar Bear QRP members W05X and N9SKN despite pretty heavy QSB on both signals. I heard W6BBQ and WG0AT but could not get a reply when I called them.

A bit later the band opened to Europe and I also was hearing West Coast (California and Washington) stations. I came back to S57MU and he gave me a 559 into Slovenia! Not bad for 2.1 watts out and it was a good way to end a fun day.

Thanks to the Polar Bear QRP Group for allowing this baby bear to participate. I look forward to future portable events and I’ll keep workin’ on a super-duper Beartenna so I can hear ya’ll even better. Grrrrr!

PBMME Oct 09 portable site at Lake Fredrica Orlando, FL
PBMME Oct 09 portable site at Lake Fredrica Orlando, FL
Tuning for Bears on 30m
Tuning for Bears on 30m

My project this week was a Ten Tec 1051 Noise Bridge. I used a Ten Tec enclosure and it all went together quickly and even worked on the first try! It is a sweet tool for tuning an antenna when using a tuner without putting a signal on the air. I think it will help me and my BLT+ find the sweet spot a good bit faster than doing it otherwise. In the future, I plan to upgrade it to a full RX bridge so I can do some measurements too. Here it is…

TT 1051 rear view
TT 1051 rear view
TT 1051 Noise Bridge simple front view
TT 1051 Noise Bridge simple front view