Spring Equinox Outing

I celebrated the first day of spring with a QRP-portable outing today. I headed out to my daughter’s property and set up on top of the hill to test a new antenna and make a few contacts in the process.

Spring notwithstanding, it wasn’t a great day to be up there. Strong thunderstorms last night left the ground soft and ushered in a cold front. Along with overcast skies, there were some strong wind gusts. So, I set up the KX3 in the shelter of the truck.

Mother Nature was trying her best to knock down my antenna
Mother Nature was trying her best to knock down my antenna

I set up the antenna I planned to test—the subject of a future post—and ran it through its paces. The results were less than satisfactory. It needs a little tweaking, and I found a mechanical issue that will need some attention. Add that to the to-do list.

As a backup antenna, I went with a Rybakov-style vertical, with a pair of 26.5-foot wires, one vertical and the other on the ground for a counterpoise. I grabbed a small 4:1 unun that I built a few years ago and mounted it at the feedpoint. The male BNC on the coax cable refused to go onto the BNC jack on the unun. It looks to me like the center connection in the BNC jack has some corrosion or something in it and needs to be replaced. Another task for the to-do list.

Fortunately, I had another 4:1 unun in the truck, and I quickly got that set up. This particular unun is about 10 years old and has never let me down. It got me on the air, so I could at least make a few contacts.

I tuned around 40M and made a couple of contacts with Virginia QSO Party stations. Later on, I checked the Parks on the Air spotting page to see what parks were being activated. I worked a couple of parks on the 40M band and moved up to 20M to work N4CD at a park in Texas.

Although I spent most of the time fiddling with antennas, I’m glad I could get out and play radio for a while. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be having knee replacement surgery this week. The recovery and rehab process will probably put me out of commission for a few weeks.

Enjoy your spring!

73, Craig WB3GCK

2 thoughts on “Spring Equinox Outing”

  1. Craig, Good luck with your upcoming knee replacement. I had both of mine replaced at the same time in 2008 and while the recovery took a while, it was the best decision I’ve made. They have gotten better at this process since then and it should go well for you, Prayers for a speedy recovery. 73, George K2WO

    Liked by 1 person

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