Ive been a Ham since 1980 as VK5NOT 1993 as VK5XE then changed to VK5CZ a while ago i forget when.
I am 62 years old and live and work in the Clare Valley as a Vineyard Manager, it is a humble trade being a row cropper and no where near as romantic as it's portrayed by those who may think other wise . I am very lucky to love my job and hobby and have two 2m repeaters close by so i can operate Tractor mobile, try calling me on VK5RMN via IRLP node 6865 you may find me in my tractor, I would enjoy your company.
I enjoy activating and chasing SOTA summits. I use a Elecraft KX3 for SOTA activations, my current QRP / SOTA antenna is a SOTA beams 3 band link dipole for 40/30/20 m, or the 51or 31 foot endfed wire tuned with my trusty old MFJ-904 manual tuner. My higher power SOTA rig is an FT 857 using a 51 foot end fed wire tuned with the MFJ 904 travel tuner, and i am yet to try the SOTA beams dipole with the ft 857 but i am sure it will be fine. I fitted a Banana socket on the chasis of the MFJ tuner for plugging in banana plugs for the counter poise wire or plugging in ribbon type feed lines for my doublet antenna . I have made up another couple link dipoles one for 15m/17m and another for 6m/10m to try to take part in the new SOTA challege. I have tested both antennas and found they work quite well,even the 6m dipole gave me a contact to vk4 and vk6 running the kx3 at 5 watts on ssb. I have experimented with several antennas for SOTA, I am still undecided which antenna is better as I usually manage to make contacts on what ever antenna I take with me. But!. What they are is what they be. A piece of wire. Keeping that back pack as light as possible is a great challenge as well when walking up hills, LiFe and LiPo batteries have helped a lot as a good power source thats reasonably light and reliable.
The latest Rig, "as you can never have enough" is a YouKits HB-1B qrp cw trx with a YouKits MT1 tuner which works quite well. The HB-1B has a very nice reciever even on a noisy 40m band it pulls signals out very well and the MT1 tunes the 51 or 31 foot end fed wires nicely. I use about 6 feet of counterpoise wire for higher bands and the 31 foot radiator as a radial on 40m and 30m when the 51 foot wire is the radiator. I hope to try it on SOTA next year when I start my loop of 40 odd regular summits once summer has gone, on my long quest to be an old MT Goat. Being an antenna skitso geek i am also experimenting with a 44 foot doublet after reading on the SOTA page some activators have been using this type of antenna. Probably saves lowering the squid pole to change links in the dipole or swapping endfed wires so may be worth a try.
I enjoy cw mostly but I am able to converse in voice modes and some digital modes like psk 31 as well, but since the loss of real conversations on psk 31 its all a bit boring after a few swaps of "check out my info on qrz.com" may as well forget the radio and just surf qrz. IMHO
73 DE Ian vk5cz ..
1978773 Last modified: 2015-05-20 20:29:19, 3178 bytes
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