Sunday, April 22, 2012

SOTA tuner

I built a SOTA tuner kit over the weekend.  This little tuner is very small and matches end fed half wave (EFHW) antennas from 40m through 15m.  I had a chance to test it out today while taking our new grill for it's maiden voyage with a nice cut of beef!

Setup on a patio table in the backyard was my 20m DSW-II at about 4 watts, eBay Li-Ion 9800 mAh battery pack, and Palm mini paddles. The antenna was 33' of teflon hookup wire deployed as an inverted-L with about 18' vertical and the rest horizontal supported by two 20' fishing poles.  Attached to the he SOTA tuner was a 17' counterpoise. 

The tuner didn't have any trouble finding a match.  The adjustment was a little touchy but the LED went almost completely out.  I plan to add another foot of wire which should help make the match not so touchy.

As the grill did it's thing I tune around 14.060 and hear quite a few signals.  Good sign for a new tuner and antenna!  I hear F6ECS/qrp calling cq and give him a call.  Jack answers and gives me a 559 with qsb signal report.  I return a 549.  I had to cut it short for dinner but consider the first test of the SOTA tuner with EFHW a success!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


No, not a Guns N Roses song!  What is required for what seems like an eternity until a brown box arrives from Elecraft arrives.  The first KX3 was shipped about a week ago.  Then on Friday reports of more factory built radios will ship next week.  Hopefully that means kits are not too far away!

A spreadsheet here has been established to track order times and shipping information.  I'm #9 in line for a kit as of this post.  Will the assembly manual be finished next week?  I bet by Friday we will know!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Spirits Homebrew Sprint

Sponsored by QRP ARCI the Holiday Spirits Homebrew Sprint is a 4 hour contest encouraging contact with amateur radio operators using equipment assembled from kits or from scratch! 


Total member QSO's: 17 x5 = 85
Total non-member QSO's: 3 x 2 = 6
Total SPC's: 16

1456 qso points x 7 = 10,192

5,000 bonus for HB transceiver
5,000 for portable with battery & temp antenna

20,192 total points

Operating position in our back yard.

DSW-II 20m radio running 4 watts powered by a 12v gell cell battery.

My antenna was a "Gusher" by N2CX supported by 20' telescoping fishing poles. This antenna system is very easy to deploy in the field.

Hello World

First blog post.  I will share my low power (QRP) amateur radio adventures here.