Only use enough power to make the contact. That's the advice often given to hams. How much is enough? One way to find out is to get on the air and start making waves. Or, I thought, check the propagation numbers, evaluate the site elevation and make a turkey-brained guess about how much power I … Continue reading I Fell Off the QRP Wagon and Regretted It Already
Author: John VA3KOT
A Magic Ground Mobile Antenna
Let me start by confessing; I don't operate HF mobile. So my "mobile" HF antenna is only suitable for stationary "shack-in-a-truck" operations. Driving requires my full attention ... and so does CW operation! I mount one of my two portable vertical antennas on a short aluminum pole which in turn is mounted on the hitch … Continue reading A Magic Ground Mobile Antenna
Snow and Freezing Spray – QRP Madness
Saturday 7th January was the date of the first Polar Bear Moonlight Madness Event (PBMME) of the year. In fact, as a new member of the group, it was my first ever PBMME. The group is called the Polar Bear QRP Ops. It is an amateur radio group who are active with portable QRP operation … Continue reading Snow and Freezing Spray – QRP Madness
Pairing the PFR-3 with an EFHW Antenna
My previous outing with my trusty old Hendricks PFR-3 portable field radio (see QRP on Deck) was with a Random Wire antenna. The big advantage of the random wire is that it is non-resonant on any band and can be tuned on any band. I prefer to use resonant antennas that can be paired with … Continue reading Pairing the PFR-3 with an EFHW Antenna
A Snowshoe Trek Across the Ice Shelf for a Late Year POTA Activation
We had a lot of snow over the Christmas weekend but I wanted to get out and do one last POTA activation before the end of 2022. I chose VE-5651 Hibou Conservation Area near my hometown of Owen Sound, Ontario. Hibou Conservation Area in Summer Hibou Conservation Area sits along the shore of Georgian Bay … Continue reading A Snowshoe Trek Across the Ice Shelf for a Late Year POTA Activation
Let’s Dump RS(T) Signal Reports!
How much use is a signal report - really? In theory it is a good idea to tell the ham at the other end of the magic, invisible wire how well you are receiving their signal. In practice the report you send is of little to no use whatsoever. Why is that? I can cite … Continue reading Let’s Dump RS(T) Signal Reports!
How to find out if your common mode current choke really works
What is common mode current? It is the current that flows along the outer surface of your coax shield from your antenna back towards your radio. It can cause SWR problems, erratic behaviour of radio equipment and even RF shocks when you touch metal parts of your rig. A coax cable has three conductors! Due … Continue reading How to find out if your common mode current choke really works
QRP On Deck
We had a little light snow today and the temperature was hovering just below freezing, but I wanted to get outside and check out one of my old QRP rigs. The radio of the day was my Hendricks PFR-3. The "PFR" stands for Portable Field Radio. The PFR-3 is (or was; I'm not sure if … Continue reading QRP On Deck
Winter POTA Activations? No Problem!
Southern Ontario had a long, balmy Indian Summer this year. Indian Summer is defined as a warm period following the first frost. It was quite unusual to be able to continue Parks On The Air activations right into mid-November using exactly the same kit I used in the summer. But then winter came suddenly and … Continue reading Winter POTA Activations? No Problem!
How to Turn a 20+ Year Old Yaesu FT-817 into a CW Mean Machine
It was my very first HF radio. A Yaesu FT-817; the original vintage before the ND version was introduced. I was very excited; it was the perfect solution to serve my passion for getting outdoors into the Big Blue Sky Shack to play radio. I had a lot of success. My outdoor antenna was a … Continue reading How to Turn a 20+ Year Old Yaesu FT-817 into a CW Mean Machine