Giving the FT817 some fresh air

Its been 2 months since my Yaesu FT817 was last out for some fresh air.  My last portable log entry was on November 12th 2012 .  I was actually shocked a bit as it did not seem that long since I was out in Weston Park…  but… according to logs it was that long…

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So this afternoon with the temps sitting around 0 deg C (32 deg F) with no snow… no rain… and no excuses …  VA3PCJ and myself decided to take his KX3 and my FT 817 over to the Mer Bleu Swamp outdoor walking trail and play some QRP Portable Amateur Radio.

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Same picnic table without the snow…

The antennas for the day was my Par 10-20-40 QRP end Fed and his Alex Loop 10-40m portable loop antenna set up on a camera tripod…

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We arrived at the parking lot about 1300 and it only took a few minutes to dig out a picnic table to operate from.  I then set up my Par Antenna as a almost vertical (slight slope to the south) and Jose set up the AlexLoop beside the other end of the picnic table and we started…

My first contact was on 20m on 14.300 with KC5AGO Rex in Stonewall Texas.  Thats north of San Antonio and an approximate distance of  1625 miles (3740 kms) from my park bench to his ranch.  Rex was nice enough to relay me into the Maritime Mobile Service Net and its always easier to make your first contact of the day on an established net frequency as everyone is listening for weak stations checking in.  This first contact proved that everything was working fine after 2 months packed away…

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The second contact was also on 20m on 14.280 with Steven KD0ETC  operating Portable in Duluth Minnesota.  He was using a FT 857 and a vertical in the park and this is the third time that our radios have managed contacts in the last two years.  This was a distance of just under 800 miles or 1300 kms for our portable to portable contact…  It was good to get Steven in the log again…

My third contact was made on 10m on 28.445 with KD5TXE, Frank in Odessa Texas.  Frank was using a dedicated 10m rig with 25w and a vertical and he sounded great to my 817.  The contact was approx 1700 miles or 2750 kms…

The fourth contact was a dx contact made on 10m.  I heard LU8EEM Ruben in Argentina calling CQ and was very suprised when he answered me…  This contact was a bit further at 5617 miles or 9000 kms.  He sounded a bit suprised when I told him I was QRP…  Once I got home and checked I found out that the contact with LU8EEM turned out to be a new QRPDXCC for me and so DXCC number 34 is now in the QRP Log

AT THIS POINT SOME OF YOU WILL BE WONDERING WHAT HAPPENED TO THE REST OF THE POST—  I HIT PUBLISH RATHER THAN SAVE SO….  HERE COMES THE REST OF THE POSTING

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My final contact of the day happened on 40m when I checked into the Trans Provincal Net on 7.055 with VA3CWM which is located at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton Ontario.  You can check out their website using THIS LINK.

Today was a 817 day as the KX3 seemed to be hearing everyone but was having issues making any contacts…  Loop VS End fed I guess and the End Fed won or…  Murphy was visiting the KX3 today…  We will be looking at this again as we know the loop works but something … dunno what was not working properly as the KX3 could not make a contact and last weekend I made lots of contacts with the same radio…

So all in all I managed 5 contacts in 3 countries and 2 continents in just over 2 hours.  It was about as much fun as I could have without hypothermia setting in and so we decided to pack up our gear and head to the local Starbucks for a warm up coffee…

So all in all it was a good afternoon…  No one got frostbite and I tested out the same gear that will be used in the SPAR Winter Field Day and the FYBO so now I have confirmed that everything works fine.  Now if I don’t make contacts then I will nave no excuses…

73bob

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