I was sceptical about minimalist HF radio … until I tried it today

Found another video of EA5IW. I would say he is also in the top 10 for minimalism.

enjoy it haha



Thanks for posting this… his videos are great! 73.

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Love everything about Ramon’s ‘concept radio’, right down to the military hard-stamped dog-tag label, with callsign, rig name (SW 20). :wink:


I haven’t had the chance yet to try my [re-discovered] MFJ short whips on another SOTA activation to find out whether or not the first (and only) time was a dream.

My village is next to a river estuary with wide sands (actually more a sand/mud mixture) at low tides, and it’s only a few 100m’s walk from my house. Background noise is S8-S9 on the lower HF bands in the shack but usually S0-S1 when out portable. The 1.3m-long whip and counterpoise worked well on hills but what about at sea level?

Initially I placed the far end of the 7m counterpoise in the salty estuary water. Surprisingly, I didn’t get a good SWR despite using the KX2’s brilliant internal ATU. So, I tried laying it just on the sand and got 1:1.0, which makes me wonder: I understand counterpoises work by capacitive coupling to ground. By making an electrical connection to the water, had I turned the CP into a simple earth/ground wire? And therefore less effective?

KX2, MFJ-1830 and 7m CP at sea level with G/LD-056 Whitbarrow Scar in the background

I heard G4XRV (300km from me) calling CQ on 30m with a 579 signal. We had a long QSO; he gave my 10W CW 549. I’m sure all that salty water below the antenna’s near-field helped a lot. And despite being at sea level it’s an excellent low angle take-off for over 180 degrees. So, the short whip & CP are doing the business here too.

I really wanted to try the 15m MFJ whip for the first time with the KX2. I was amazed by the Rx performance on 15m, even better than the 30m case. Almost all the CW contesters were 599+. But, by now I was very cold, being under-dressed and standing still in freezing conditions so I didn’t attempt to make contacts.

I’m keen now to try 15m and 30m on the next SOTA.


A quarter wavelength of wire will transform the infinite impedance at its open end to zero ohms at the rig so makes a good counterpoise. If the far end is grounded then the wire will do the converse and transform zero ohms to infinity at the rig and be a poor counterpoise. Perhaps a very short wire into the salt water would work.


But risk either the KX2 or me falling in!

Thanks for the explanation.

They’re not waterproof… a mild drizzle showed water seeping under the LCD perspex on mine. But you can kick them with a walking boot and they don’t dent. Did that 3 times on Ben Bowie GM/SS-251 when I kept developing cramp in my calf. :slight_smile:

Funny you should say that Andy because I noticed a long line of condensation under the KX2 LCD perspex after that 30m QSO.

It didn’t strike me as damp yesterday [Wx: dry, temp ~0C] but perhaps it was high humidity there by the estuary water. It was another reason for not staying longer.

You too, eh! I’ve just bought a Helinox Chair Zero to get my backside off the ground and my legs sloping, which I hope will fix that problem. It’s very comfortable even with my current lower-back pain.