I haven’t got out and called CQ on SSB for quite a while – only time recently was to get Z60A in the log one lunchtime, job done 🙂
Most recently I’ve been playing with 10m FT8 just whilst I fiddle in the shack – surprising and most enjoyable to catch a quick QSO as the band opens and closes for those few seconds, just enough to make a contact.
So after trying to play SSB radio a few times the last month or two only to be caught out with work or family commitments it was nice to eventually get out yesterday afternoon for 2-3 hours – using my FT857, the mobile generic 40, 20 & 17m antennas that attach to the car (they are the 4′ of loading coil and 4′ of whip generic type mobile antennas) – The results were poor to say the least – it was like I was QRP – two great signal reports from Germany & Serbia of 59+ on my first venture on to 40m and all was looking positive but after that – nothing – I couldn’t get heard states side, some really strong stations from across the pond but their kW outputs lulled me in to a false sense of security that I would make it across – a failed attempt or two and so I called CQ for 10/15 minutes on each of the three bands with zero results…
However it was nice to get out and next time I’ll take the 40/20m linked dipole I made for the trip to Herm last year – but I’ll need a new location with convenient trees as what I made was too heavy for the 40′ spiderbeam pole. lessons learnt – new incarnation of it soon though 🙂
Park on a beach Adam preferably as close to the water as you dare and if you can pick a beach facing in the direction of your intended DX ie. west facing if you want to work Yanks.
I used to live in Sherborne Dorset and the difference between parking on even the steepest hill locally compared to parking near the sea at Weymouth or Bournemouth was depressing with the salt water location appearing to add at least a kilowatt to my best effort parked inland.
Slight exaggeration with the kilowatt but at Bournemouth in particular parking at Sandbanks on the roadside spaces where you’re about 2m above and 4m away from Poole Harbour the radio goes from calm as you approach a space to sounding like an hornets nest as you frantically wrestle the steering wheel trying to reverse park while calling CQ!
Off topic and I just heard you through Hack Green calling HB9LCP on 7.130, you were a good 57 and if he actually had a receiver should have heard you, classic case of his kilowatt doing nothing for the receive side of things.
Cheers from Northampton where I’ve just rigged up a 40m doublet fed with ladder line after a couple of years of nothing in the air… must move house again, crap location!
Many thanks for engaging.. appreciated… and yes, I will most definitely try that, in fact it would be a good exercise to do both on the same day. The antenna I uses isn’t much, think it cost about £25 but its not bad really for a quick bit of radio in the car – I wouldn’t drive with it on though, I’d be a liability ha ha ha!
HB9 station… he was 59 to me… I’d just put up my first 40m dipole at home and was worried it wasn’t working…. thanks for your report though, that’s appreciated – this morning I worked ZL1GBG on FT8 which shows me the antenna isn’t doing too bad at all…
If you hear me, give me a shout eh… nice to work those I come across on the internet / twitter (@MU0WLV)
73, and thanks again for your comments above, I appreciate it. 🙂