What I experience: Good general band conditions, higher bands open. Activators move up into the higher bands. For me it is no good. On the higher bands the activators disappear into the skip zone for me. Result not much in my chaser log.
The conditions are not good enough for me to chase with QRP and 3m (9ft) long whip antenna into dx SOTA. The yaesu FT 891 seems to have difficulty dealing with very weak signals, even with DNR, APF and small CW filter.
Scottish aurora last night. Significant disturbance to the ionosphere. HF condx UK into the EU today very poor. I haven’t bothered even trying to work any activators… Although I now hear Martin OE5REO and a 6 point QSO resulted - so the 20m band is recovering.
Fixed station in VK I presume Mike, so unremarkable even with 10 watts, if you had said it was a summit to summit QSO I would have been impressed! VR6 Pitcairn Island in the Pacific was worked this month by several UK stations on SSB on 24.9 MHZ.
I worked J5HKT on the 30m band at the unsociable hour of 0127z on Monday Morning. There was no other station on the band that I could see. It’s an easy path to Guineau Bissau from UK but for you in California its a tough one to get whether on a summit or even from home…
No problem, Phil. Worked J5T yesterday from a peak on 17m and again from the same peak earlier today on 24.890 They were alone today and calling CQ consecutively. 50 watts and EFHV. They like 28 words per minute, which is my usual, luckily.
Thats a nice speed for us old hands EL from the home QTH… although when activating I prefer to go at 24-25s due to the cramped up position and a key that’s not as good as my two old Benchers are at home!
You’ve got a good chase today!
I heard Paul N1ZF making QSO with you, but you weren’t copied here. I chased Paul right after you on 17m.
I also spent some time between doctors and nurses today, so I didn’t chase much. Nothing in the morning and a few in the afternoon-evening. But conditions are still good and 6 QSOs with USA activators are so far in my log. All on 20m (1 ssb) but one on 17m CW.
I don’t think the FT891 is a bad radio and not the problem. However the Chameleon CHA MPAS is a poor antenna choice. All these antennas use a lossy 5:1 unun to dampen the reflections, but you still have poor VSWR on your feeder so additional transmission line losses and an ATU at the radio. I suggest you have a minimum of 5dB system loss, it could be double that on some bands.
Also these UNUN’s dont give any choking, so you need additional common mode chokes with 1000+ ohms or else you will get millions of switching psu’s noise creeping up the braid of your coax!
A similar length of whip using a remote ATU at the feedpoint (like the Yaesu FC-40 integrated to your rig) would bring your system loss down to 1 or 2dB. Possibly a slightly longer whip, few more radials and add some FT240-31 chokes. Then band conditions will seem much better!!