Seeing that something different happened in Ottawa this afternoon (NO RAIN) I decided to take some toys out to Hutton Park and play a little bit of radio for a couple of hours.
I set up at the end of the park closest to Hutton St at the area behind the baseball diamond backstop. I actually used the backstop to support one end of my W3EDP antenna which was the antenna of choice today with my Yaesu FT 817 Radio.
Just to refresh your memory the W3EDP is a 85 foot end fed antenna that uses a 17 feet counterpoise. It will work on 10-80m with a tuner and is fairly easy to set up.
In the above diagram I show a 1:1 Balun being used. To be honest it would work better if I used a 4:1 Balun and one of these days I will get around to getting one and using it.
Today was not a QRP Day but I was able to make several contacts on 40m with the NCS stations for the ECARS Net and although I was able to be heard the signal reports were not the best. I tried several times to check into the Maritime Mobile Service Net on 20m (14.300) but had no luck.
The contact of the day however turned out to be on 80m with a contact with Ian VE3MUD who was monitoring the ONTARS Frequency of 3.755 who happened to hear my call asking if there was a NCS that hour.
Ian and I go back quite a few years to when I first got my ticket and it was great sitting in the park talking to an old friend. With the noise level at home this contact would not have happened but sitting in the park with an antenna stretched out between a tree and a baseball backstop it was the “contact of the day”
Although the distance between us was only 68miles (if you can trust the QRZ.com mapping setup) it was a nice QRP/NVIS contact as my antenna was only about 10 feet AGL at the park and my FT 817 output was only 5w.
I stayed and we chatted until the local ball team needed the Diamond and then I took the gear down and headed home but it was a GREAT way to spend the afternoon.
In addition I got a chance to test out the equipment I plan to use on the Lighthouse Event which will be for the next few Saturdays so its good to know in advance that everything is working. All I have to remember is to charge up the battery pack on Friday night and all will be good.