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Author Topic: First Transcontinental Contact This Year.  (Read 3089 times)

gil

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First Transcontinental Contact This Year.
« on: October 16, 2016, 02:14:45 PM »
Getting Eastern Europe from Florida with a few Watts used to be a weekly occurrence. I even worked Estonia once on 1.3W into a half-wave end-fed.

Since I got back on the air in April, now in France, the United States has been elusive. Propagation has been dismal for multi-hop contacts. Maybe I am not up at the right times... It seems I could reach anyone I tried to about 1300 miles but no further.

I am always looking for new places to operate from... My newly found girlfriend lives on the last floor (5th) of an apartment building... Hehehe... So yesterday I brought my RT-320 with the 2.5m whip and set it up on the terrace while she made me a nice mint tea; not expecting any interesting contacts. It's a 2.5m whip! With such a short antenna you want the highest usable frequency. 15m was open! I heard N4F, special event station in North Carolina. He heard me on the second call. Holy crap!

This was my first transcontinental contact from France, manpack portable no less. While the band was open, I think the unobstructed view of the Western horizon played a big role, with the counterpoise wire on the ground. The height helped too of course. The radio was set to HP, about 30W. Built-in tuner settings were D2. ERP must have been pretty low.

All this to say that with a bit of patience and luck it can be done. The PRC-320 is an awesome station of course. All ancillaries, battery and whip were of the Clansman system, military surplus. It wasn't quite QRP but the most portable, if not light, system imaginable.

Gil

Rescue9

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Re: First Transcontinental Contact This Year.
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2016, 06:24:55 PM »
Sounds like you need a girlfriend on the 8th floor. Good to hear you making the hops now.

gil

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Re: First Transcontinental Contact This Year.
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2016, 03:46:34 AM »
LOL, yes... I just hope propagation does get better. I first thought my 135ft Windom wasn't great for DX, and the jury is still out on this one. It probably isn't high enough at 20ft or so.. NC on a 2.5m whip though, that was a big surprise.

Gil.

RadioRay

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Re: First Transcontinental Contact This Year.
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2016, 07:37:55 PM »
1st: Congratulations on all the good news ;-)


Not the best advice for a sustained romance, but to have variable take-off angle and azimuths, you'll need to set your antenna in different windows, at differing heights: perhaps you should date several woman on every floor? 



Bon chance, mon Ami!


>RadioRay  ..._  ._
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

gil

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Re: First Transcontinental Contact This Year.
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2016, 07:56:08 PM »
LOL, thanks Ray :-) This is a recent development, so I didn't want to emphasize my geekyness too much at this point... Though bringing a green radio was already, let's say, original... I could have thrown a wire over the side, but that would have been a bit much.

Too bad it's getting a bit cold for outside operations right now. The PRC-320 is a hoot. I grew to like straight key operations now, so I don't miss LSB on the lower bands too much.  There are people on USB on 40/80m, but very few, though they share, or suffer the same affliction for this type of gear.

Glad you liked my article on Eham ;-)

Gil

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Re: First Transcontinental Contact This Year.
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2016, 07:56:08 PM »