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From 4 January through 19 January, 2014, I embarked on a sea cruise to Hawaii, on which I operated QRP 20 meters on a casual "Cruisepedition" ad hoc basis. (Like a DXpedition but with no fixed sked and an umbrella drink beside the operator.) Also I was a guest of KH6BB at the USS Missouri "Mighty Mo" amateur radio station in Pearl Harbor, HI, and operated from there. What fun to be the one calling QRZ!

I got a Superantenna pole for the cruise (which I still use from time to time - great little thing). The ship limited me to five feet of antenna height, ten watts, and no wires. I used a ground strap for the counterpoise, magnetically clamped to the deck at the balcony, thus rendering the liner and the Pacific my ground plane. I used a simple MFJ "Antenna Resistance Meter" to find resonance and the rig's (FT-857D - perfect for the job) SWR indicator for fine tuning. It worked - I contacted both Hawaii and California from the midpoint between them.

I've recently moved to San Diego, on the side of a small mountain. 

View from the QTH

I'm driving a Yaesu (joy of man's desiring) FT-950 first through a Hail-Mary end-fed wire I tossed into the palm trees, currently from a very low-slung off-center-fed dipole. From here I can hear all kinds of nifty places and I've worked Australia, Washington State, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, Texas, Arizona, and a few places easterly of here. That's a surprise because we're partway up the west side of a mountain. 

I'm not satisfied, surprising for a ham to say. I can't get on the house roof, but I can strap a mast made from those military surplus 4' fence poles to the side of the house (the side away from the 12.6 kV power lines!) and run an off-center-fed dipole up it, with the ends about 25' up. I should be able to get that feed point up to between 33-39'. 

Meanwhile I'm getting back into CW. I just hade my first on-air CW QSO in decades the other day. I'm so dissatisfied right now with my MFJ key (dual-paddle) recently that I just ordered a new key. It's not the most expensive or weirdest or prettiest or fanciest, but based on all reviews and knowing my fist, it looks most likely to be the best.


de KW2KW



7257836 Last modified: 2016-04-21 17:51:23, 2719 bytes

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