On Sunday 19 March 2017, my wife and I loaded up the skipulk with my radio gear, coffee, sandwiches, a couple of chairs and a table. We went out to my radio spot for some combined quality time, and QRP radio.
If you haven’t already read my Sneak Peek article on the P-LOOP 2.0, you can read it here.
Comms setup took about 5 minutes. The Yaesu FT-817ND, QRP Battery Pack and Android Tablet was already mounted in a pelican case. This made setup as simple as opening the case, connecting the coax cable, and switching the rig on.
The antenna in use today was the Chameleon P-LOOP 2.0. It’s the latest revision of this portable loop from Chameleon Antenna. It was extremely easy to set up, lightweight, and didn’t take up much space. After setting up around the HFPACK frequencies on 20 meters, I immediately heard OE2017CCN special event station 58/59 on phone. There was some QRM from an idiot tuning up, but we were able to overcome the man-made noise rather easily.
This combination of FT-817ND and P-LOOP, seem to be an excellent partnership of rig and antenna. No wires to hang, no antenna tuner to carry, no counterpoise wires to spread out. Actually, as I’m still on the fence about the Elecraft KX2, if I were to find myself with that rig, this antenna would certainly be a good candidate for an arranged marriage.
I answered Christian OE2017CCN, who have me a report of 58. I returned to Christian, giving him a 58, although his signal report varied from 57 to 59. I’m no stranger to magloops, but I was surprised he got me on the second try. He missed my suffix on the first try because of qrm. Since I was QRP, I wanted to quickly finish up the QSO (something I regret now), but I’ll forever remember this QSO with Christian, since it was Man-Portable, and on a brand new antenna system.
Looking at the images, one can easily see how there are no trees around to hang a dipole antenna. I often get so tired of listening to the “get yourself a dipole” rhetoric. I knew I had to snap some pictures of last weekends operations, just to show others that a tree, or carrying a support structure, is not always an option. Especially when operating on or near the frozen surface of the Baltic, getting that salt water advantage.
Today was a good day