I’m off to somewhere sunny in a few days and I’m taking a minimal SOTA station. viz. 20m QCX mini, 30m QCXmini, trapped EHFW, home brew SWR meter, dogging batteries. I haven’t run these since I was on the Llyn Peninsula this May. Now there’s no reason why sat in their storage box they would fail but if I don’t test them then who knows Anyway I wanted to make sure I can remember the setup process and using them.
Where? Scald Law GM/SS-125 where else! Originally I was thinking of Glas Maol and talking to yer man Fraser he mentioned he may mosey on and say hello. That’s when I remembered I was being COVID and Flu jabbed on Saturday PM. Last time I had both the same day I felt a bit grim the next day and I though my arms had been beaten with a baseball bat. So I decided I’d pass on a longer drive and do the local proving ground if I felt OK. Well I felt OK apart from aching upper arms again. WX was meant to be sunny, cloudy, sunny. Forecast was spot on, sunny when driving to the car park, cloudy when activating and sunny when I got back to the car. Still for Oct 1st, it was T-shirt WX on the summit though I was getting cold by pack up time.
QCXmini on 30, 20/30/40 trap EFHW and homebrew Kanga kit based resistive SWR bridge and AA5TB style match box. The SWR meter has a wee meter not a LED and not only can you tune the antenna for best match, it shows there is RF going up the spout. 30m was OK, not brilliant with ON, G, 9A, OH, DL, LA, HB9, EA, EI and S5 worked. Then I wanted to try the 30m set on 40m. Luc ON7DQ said they work more than fine 1 band down but the power is a bit less. Well I get 4.3W on a fully charged 12.6 Lipo on 30m and a test in the shack showed about 2.5W on 40m. I wasn’t sure if it would be sensitive enough. Well I worked GI, M, DL, HB9, F & DL on 40m. That will do as a fall back band. Finally I swapped out the QCX for the 20m set. This does 4.25W but the battery was now showing 1 blob less than full. Nearer 4W I think at this point. I worked MM, OH, EA, DL, F, SP, I, OK, LA, OZ and I heard LY2BNL but the QSB ate him up
33 QSOs on 3 bands in 1hr 3mins operating, all equipment, antennas, guys, cables, ancillaries all proven to work as a system…that’ll do nicely.
And smoke testing my legs? Well it was cool enough that I could put some effort in and not get all horribly hot and sweaty. I set a new record for me from the gate to touching the trig. Best till today was 42mins and today it took only 39mins. I was pleased with that and then when about to drive off a Ferrari Portofino went past with the hammer down and it had what is best described as sexually stimulating exhaust tone. Pah! Electric cars, what utter nonsense
In case you don’t know what a Portofino looks like… (and not in red either!)