the start of a new log

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by WM3O, Sep 16, 2021.

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  1. WM3O

    WM3O Ham Member QRZ Page

    i moved to an apartment and gave up my tribander and wires in 2013. in 2017 i moved into my house, but ham radio wasn't a focus at the time, i wasn't even sure i would return to the bands. last summer i picked up an Elecraft KX2 and Par EFHW trail antenna but wasn't having success with it. i had other projects and work pressures so on the shelf it went.

    the past few years my interest has been paid to vintage Volkswagen Vanagons. i spent 7 months of 2020 restoring to safe, clean, and fun condition a field find brought home 29 Jan 2020. i've been out camping a dozen or so times with it but didn't make ham radio a part of those adventures. today i setup the KX2 in the Westy feeding a very low EFHW in a V draped over a branch at 8 feet and running down along a stockade fence.

    i needed to test a laptop i had just got working, it was a friend's and she gave up on it when the hard drive failed. i decided to fix it and use it in my Westy for ham radio logging and to try FT-8. i ran power to Anderson power plugs in a wall socket next to the operating position when i was doing the restoration. the KX2 and maybe a small amp can be powered by the 150aH LiFePo4 house battery. there is ample room for the laptop and KX2 along with an 807 or two on the table top. the table swings into position to make a dining table. i think this will prove to be a great operating position in the coming months. the fridge is easily accessed.

    i tried FT-8 with no success which is probably more a function of me having zero idea what i'm doing then anything else. i decided to switch to CW and tuned around 20m. there were several EU stations working into New England and the upper Mid West. the CW decoder on the KX2 is perfect for helping me untangle some of the longer special event station calls. i called a few but they had some big pile ups and i was putting maybe 8 watts at best into a very minimal antenna. i tuned up and paused for a weak W5 sending their call a few times with a signal report.

    LZ305AI came back and i'm not sure what antenna and amp they have over there but their signal was pegging the meter on the KX2. i sent my call and a W1 beat me out, then again but i was bested by a W8. i sent my call and when "WM3O" came back i was pretty excited. i sent their report and thanked them. i'm not sure how meaningful the QSO was to them, but it was special for me. nine years of not being on the bands ended today. today was a great day, a glorious day, it was the start of a fresh log at a new QTH. all those awards, they were earned at the last QTH, i have some work to do.

    i better get started.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
    K5WY, N8RKD, WE4E and 2 others like this.
  2. K1FQL

    K1FQL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Stay with it, Steven. Very simple antennas will work well if elevated a little bit. Since I got back on the air in 2013, I have never had more than a 20m EFHW and a 6BTV vertical. Even so, I was able to earn 4 DXCC's and a WAS on CW and FT-8. There are always inexpensive telescoping masts that work well for EFHW antennas wherever and whenever you go. Marty, K1FQL
    WM3O likes this.
  3. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    You also DO have a choice... You can fervently "chase" awards, OR, you can just have (as much!) fun just making the contacts you can! (And I have yet to meet a ham who can (honestly) say they don't want (or need?) more power, or better/higher towers/antennas. :rolleyes: We all do what we can with what we have...
  4. WM3O

    WM3O Ham Member QRZ Page

    my goal is to have fun. my point is i get to do it all over again from a new QTH, it's exciting, no matter what i have for an antenna.
    W9RAC likes this.
  5. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do radio when it's fun, and sometimes walk away for months at a time. Life (and work) gets in the way sometimes. Good luck.
    WA9SVD likes this.
  6. W4HAY

    W4HAY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's the spirit!
    FWIW, years ago (during my first marriage), I had an amp, a tower, a tri-bander on 20, 15, and 10, and dipole on 80 and 40. QSOs were so easy all the fun went out of it and I found myself spending much more time with my horse than I did in my shack. After I remarried I still had my mare, but put up a simple trap dipole between two trees and ran barefoot. The fun came back along with challenge of working those "really rare ones".
  7. WE4E

    WE4E Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Does your Westy have a trailer hitch? Can it without a lot of drama?

    Get something like this (or like this if you don't), and stick something like this in it, and you can get a hamstick dipole or something up in the air reasonably well, and it stows in the back easily enough.
  8. W4HAY

    W4HAY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Way back when, I made a vertical for 40 and 20 from several lengths of pvc tubing that slipped together with couplings and screwed into floor flange mounting on a board that I put under a tire. About 16 feet of wire was run up the tubing and in one of the center sections, an inductor was wound to make it into a center-loaded antenna on 40. The inductor was jumpered out for 20. A clip lead on the shield of the coax was clipped onto the car body to act as a counterpoise. It worked well when driven by a Heathkit HW-8.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
    WE4E likes this.

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