Battery: #1 Philips Extreme Life
Finish Voltage: 7.85V
Rig: Home brew 30m rig ‘MRM-39’, 40m RockMite in Altoids tin
Ant: Inv. Vee dipole at 6m above ground
Cumulative QSOs: 118
Cumulative DXCC: 18 DL,EA,F,G,GI,GM,GW,HA,HB9,LA,OE,OK,OM,ON,OZ,PA,S5,SP
WX: Dry and overcast, about 10C, little wind.
Due to an important sporting event (something involving a leather ball?), my work hours were changed today to allow an early finish - I worked out a nice solution to get rid of the extra time- I dusted off the RockMite 40 with the view to putting it on air again.
The last time I had used the RM-40 was in March and I remember how I didn’t like the upgraded keyer chip. I took the original RockMite keyer chip to work with me and put it back into the rig.
My MRM-39 has a PicoKeyer chip installed and when I swapped rigs for the RM-40 on today’s activation I found I was really struggling with the keying, I first suspected my key, but it was probably the difference in timing between the keyer chips, causing me to make mistakes, so apologies to any chasers who struggled to copy my CW today!
I called CQ a lot today, so the battery has had a bit of a hammering. When I switched on the MRM-39, a 5 letter group station was busy sending away, I didn’t really fancy competing with it! The Rockmite circuitry (on which the MRM-39 is based) allows you to swap over the TX/RX frequencies, so I did this and the new frequency seemed very quiet to me. I almost started to think that there was something wrong with my rig, but after a self spot, Stefan, OM7DX called me with a nice signal. Stefan gave me a 539 report but commented that there was heavy QRM. Mike, DJ5AV and Sake, PA0SKP followed Stefan into the log book, but then all went quiet.
A change of rigs brought me on to 40m. After a few minutes of calling CQ, I decided that a self spot was in order, this brought in some new chasers for me. I had a steady flow of contacts for about 10 minutes before all went quiet again. 40m sounded very busy as usual, I guess my QRPp signal was quite easy to lose in the QRM soup. I was just about to go QRT when I was called by G3MJX, Tony, near to Cromer, Norfolk. Tony was also running QRP. We had a short chat rather than the usual rubber stamp, although QRM made things very difficult towards the end of the contact.
All together a successful activation I think.