Friday, March 19, 2010

Working W1AW

It was a fine day, too fine to stay indoors, so I decided to go out for a couple of hours and do some more mobile operating with the K2 and MP-1 antenna. I didn't want to drive all the way to the coast as it takes a bit too long so I wanted to find a good site nearer home. I studied the map and found a likely spot not much more than three miles away near Tallentire Hill. There is a narrow lane that runs high up along the side of the hill with a good takeoff from north through west to south. At the high point there is a wide verge where you can park clear of the road. The only people who disturb you up there are a few dog walkers from Tallentire village, so it is ideal.

Today 15m didn't seem quite as good as on Tuesday - or perhaps being beside the sea made a difference? Anyway after a while of tuning around on 15 I moved down to 17m and had a 5 minute chat with Sonny W8FHF in Ohio. Shortly after that I heard W1AW the ARRL headquarters station in Newington, Connecticut calling. It was being operated by Ron, K1RKD from nearby West Hartford. As an ARRL member I was particularly pleased to work HQ and Ron promised to log me on the computer so I would receive a QSL card via the bureau.

I heard several other US stations and also Javier, XE2CQ very loud. I was sure he would hear me given the chance but he was having a long chat with someone and I didn't get an opportunity to call him. I made one more Stateside contact, with Roger N4ZC near Charlotte, North Carolina, though he struggled a bit to hear my 12W signal so it wasn't a long one.

I went back to 15m after that, but the only other station I worked was Yussuf, CN8YZ, 59 both ways (he was running 25W.) Not great DX but still a nice contact.

I am getting a bit hooked on this mobile lark as I seem to be hearing much better DX than I do from home and it is just so pleasant to hear atmospheric band noise and copy weak signals instead of the awful racket demonstrated on my recent video. In fact I must find out where I can obtain another power cable for my K3 as I would like to try my best radio in the car. It would be nice to have a bit more power, although I'm getting a real kick out of making SSB contacts with 12W to a mobile whip, but the main thing is the K3 receiver is much better.


M0XDF said...

Julian, I can make a power cable for your K3, red/black zip cord, with APPs on one end and nothing on the other? - right?

How long and what sort of current do you want to carry?

I have various sizes of cable, so thinner my be easier to get through a bulkhead.

73 de M0XDF

QRP Station M6RDP said...

Fantastic fun Julian. From my very limited experience as a relative newcomer to the hobby, the best contacts are those you have away from the confines of the shack anyway.

Hope you can get a great little mobile station set up for the coming spring and summer. Make up a thermos and a couple of sandwiches and you are talking my idea of bliss!

Best wishes, Adam

g4ilo said...

Thanks for the offer, David. My car has a 12V outlet rated at 10A, so I was planning to put one of the barrel type plugs on the other end and run at 50W initially. Easier than trying to make a direct connection to the battery. If I want to use 100W then I thought I would take an idea from those very small travel power supplies that are sold in the US and add a box with some very large capacitors in it to supply the extra current for short periods. So I wouldn't need more than a metre and you could probably go down a size on the cable Elecraft supplies as there shouldn't be much voltage drop over that distance. You can contact me here if you don't already have my email address.

Jspiker said...

Hi Julian...sounds like you're having a blast with this rig and antenna. Working the US almost every day on the road now. Great contacts!

I have both a 15 meter and 30 meter dipole ordered which should be here around the first of the week. Hope to do a little of the same as soon as they arrive.

Hope to work you soon.

John N8ZYA