Mt. San Martín EA2/NV-151 by EA2IF/P on 08/08/2021

I have an MTR-2B, which I rarely use, but I prepared today a new way to supply power without having to buy any new LiPO or LiFePo; just using things I had around. This consisted on a couple of power banks connected in series. One single power bank provides about 5V and both in series were giving 10,2V, which seemed to me better for this rig than a 9V battery.
So I decided to go activate an easy drive-up summit not far from my QTH in order to check how well this new battery solution would be and how long it would last.
But instead of using an endfed wire with a proper antenna tuner, as I pretty much always do, I decided to use the small antenna tuner by QRPguys that I bought as a kit and I built not too long ago. The tuning range of this minituner is not huge, so it needs nearly resonant antennas. Since I was going to use my MTR-2B (20 and 40m) I took a couple of wires nearly resonant for 20 and 40m. Since there would be 2 antenna wires with very different lengths, I decided to setup both wires as an inverted L instead of my usual sloper configuration. With the constant wind giving me a lot of troubles to hold the fishing rod vertical on top of the wooden pole of the stairs you’ll see in the pictures and the 2 very thin wires getting tangled all the time, I spent 1 hour or more setting up and I felt quite upset for having wasted so much time on that. When the antenna wires got rightly setup the way I wanted them to be, I connected my MTR-2B. First band to try was 20m and all I could feel was a tremendous frustration when I barely heard on 14.062 an activator from CT CQing. I tried to call him for S2S but the MTR-2B not having a volume knob and having that horrible automatic AF gain, made me unable to hear the code from that CT activator. There was QSB, but the main problem was that the sound on my low impedance earbuds was so weak that I was just unable to hear. I don’t have any hearing problems but this MTR-2B volume is just too low for a weak signal to be heard.
Full of frustration and anger, without having even logged a single QSO, I dismantled everything, installed my trusty 14m long endfed sloper wire to my 9:1 unun and the 5m long counterpoise wire and connected my great, fantastic FT-817ND.

I started on 30m CW, where I logged 11 QSOs in 12 minutes.
Then QSYed to 15m CW, where I logged 4 QSOs after about 15 minutes CQing.
Finally 20m CW, which produced 10 QSOs in after about 25 minutes CQing.
I was chased by Mikhail @LB8CG from Svalbard Is. JW/LB8CG and this definitely made my day and helped me to forget all that frustration I felt before with the MTR-2B.
It’s good that I also had my FT-817ND with me and I decided to setup a new antenna and give the FT-817ND a chance.
All in all 25 QSOs in the log. No transatlantic QSOs today.

You can see it on the map:

I think I’m going to get rid of my MTR-2B because it’s not a usable rig for me.

Thanks dear chasers for your calls and QSOs.
I’ll be looking forward to copying you all again from a SOTA soon.




Hi Guru,
I am amazed that so soon after being in hospital, you are out on summits hooking up antennas and radios. You da man!
I find my MTR3B audio is a little frustrating too. I hunted around the entertainment section of some stores and found some earbuds that had an inline volume control and they seem to work well. With very weak signals the full volume is required but most contacts are made at about half level.

I wondered whether you had tried the alternative antenna with the FT817.

73 and stay well,

Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

Dear Andrew,
I’m amazed at how good the new treatment I just started on July 29th is doing for me. The pain I had been suffering at the bottom of my back started to vanish right the following day after the new treatment started and it’s now nearly gone. This means I’ve been able to sleep well at nights since July 30th and I’ve also been having normal meals because my digestive transit jam issues seem to have solved completely after the prothesis they fitted by an ecogastroscopy inside my duodenum and the apparent effective reduction in size of my previously swollen-by-cancer limph nodes.
I’ve been activating drive-up summits, but I’m recovering strength and making domestic works and little repairs on a daily basis, being able to do each day a little bit more than the previous day.
I think I may be trying a short and easy hike soon, but I won’t rush for that. It will happen when and only if it has to happen.
I feel extremely grateful to my new oncologist for having discovered the rare BRAF mutation in my cancer and having proposed the new treatment I’m having now with this apparent good results.
I also say thanks God for taking care of me.

P.S. I tried the 20m band inverted L antenna with my FT-817ND but I quickly gave it up and passed to my endfed sloper to the 9:1 unun when I found difficulties to tune SWR, probably due to having my MFJ-941B tuner in series with the QRPguys minituner.


all those medical things are going in a good direction, I hope it continues that way.

I meant to say also that I too thought of putting two phone battery banks in series to get 10v for the MTR. in fact the 817 should run fine on 10v. I bought some Micro USB sockets for PCB mounting and that’s as far as it went, I was distracted by activating etc. but I feel sure this is a good way to go, especially for people travelling, provided the circuit to join the two batteries does not look dangerous to security staff (long wires hanging out) it should be good. A small box with two micro uSB sockets on one side and a suitable socket for 10v on the other (not a USB A) would be the idea. perhaps a powerpole.

73 Andrew vk1da/2uh


Hi Guru, thanks for the update on your health. As Andrew said, …“all those medical things are going in a good direction, I hope it continues that way”. I also think the same Guru.

Take care, stay safe and keep improving. :grinning:

73 de Geoff vk3sq

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