Last night, I saw on QRPSPOTS that Tom AC7A was calling CQ as K6JSS/7 on 7.107 MHz and wasn't getting many takers. So even though it was getting kind of late here in NJ, I decided to go on down to the basement and give it a shot. 40 Meters has been long at nights; and I figured I'd at least give it a go.
Much to my horror, I turned on the K2 only to find that my neighborhood killer QRN had made a comeback for the evening. I was faced with about 10 over 9 dB buzz saw noise. 40 Meters has been so good for me lately; and now this? And time is running out as K6JSS/7 - Arizona is only good until Sunday evening. What to do .... what to do?
I decided to try something radically different, thanks to an idea that Jim W4QO hinted at on QRPSPOTS a couple of weeks ago when GA was in the batter's box. I ran upstairs for the netbook; as it runs so much faster than my shack laptop, which is ancient by comparison. I fired up the browser and headed on over to WebDSR by WB4MAK site. I turned the AF Gain on the K2 all the way down and turned up the volume on the netbook. "Dialing in" 7.107 MHZ , I gave Tom a call using the K2 as a transmitter and not a transceiver ...... "K6JSS/7 de W2LJ" and listened. Sure enough, after a few calls, I heard Tom coming back to me. The QSO was difficult as we were both down in the mud. Tom earned a 449 from me; and I, a 229 from him. But it got the job done and K6JSS/7 is in the log and the string of states is not broken yet! Talk about your SDR radios, eh?
Secondly, I went out with Joey this afternoon, as planned and measure the distance from the maple tree to the house where I anchor wire antennas. Only 65 feet - not the 85 feet needed for a 80 Meter sized Windom. It looks like the 88 foot extended Double Zepp will be the new wire antenna this spring. With 44 feet of wire for each leg, I will be able to fit it in the backyard easily. It will be a horizontal "L"; but it will fit. I have the wire, I have the window line. I want to order one of those Emtech Ladder Grabbers and I will need to come up with a balun (which I will probably make). Since this will be a "new" antenna, I want to put virgin coax on it, so I will need to order some of that.
I want to get this done as soon as possible. I am hoping that we have seen the last of the major snow for this winter (which I probably just jinxed) and that I can get this done within a few weeks. I think it will be way easier to get the G5RV down and the new antenna up while the leaves are still off the branches. That's my hope anyway. This will also be my first really good practical chance to use the antenna line launcher that I homebrewed at the end of summer last year.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!