For a long, holiday weekend, it’s been pretty busy around here. I managed to get in a bike ride this morning on the nearby Perkiomen Trail.
On my way back to the trailhead, I stopped for a brief QRP session. I tossed a line up over an opportune branch and hoisted up a 29.5-foot wire. It wasn’t the highest branch but it let me operate under a shady tree. I laid another 29.5-foot wire out on the ground for a counterpoise. I’ve had very good success with this configuration on many occasions, while feeding it through a 4:1 unun. Today, I tried attaching the wires directly to my KX3 using a BNC-to-binding post adapter. The KX3 managed to tune it with an SWR less than 2:1 on 40 and 30 meters. On 20 meters, however, I couldn’t get it below 5:1. So, I quickly hooked up the 4:1 unun and about 6 feet of coax.
Not hearing much activity on 20 meters, I tuned around 30 meters and heard W9CBT calling CQ from the Chicago area. The QSB was bad and we just couldn’t complete the QSO.
Down on 40 meters, I had a quick exchange with K2D in Connecticut, one of the 13 Colonies special event stations. I called CQ on 7.030 and wound up having a nice two-way QRP QSO with John, W3FSA, in Portland, Maine. We managed to hang in there despite some deep fading at times.
After that, I quickly packed up and rode the last few miles back to the trailhead. The weather was perfect and I would have liked to stay longer. However, I needed to get home to put some ribs on the smoker. I have my priorities in order!
I wish all of my U.S. ham friends a happy and safe 4th of July.
72, Craig WB3GCK