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.