Friday, August 24, 2018

Howdy pardners! There's a new Sprint in town!

We start the outdoor QRP Season each year with FYBO in February.

The there's a long wait until the Spring Classics - QRP To The Field and the Cookie Crumble Contest. Then in the heat of the Summer the Bumblebees and the Skeeters take flight. In September we join out New England friends with QRP Afield and then we get nutty with our NoGA friends in the Peanut Power Sprint, and then we pack it all away for the Winter.

Until now, that is! Thanks to Tim W3ATB we now have the Leaf Peepers QRP Sprint, which is designed to get you out in the glory of Autumn, where the air is crisp, the leaves colorful and the beauty of nature is breathtaking.

This sprint will take place on Saturday, October 6th from 1700 to 2100 UTC. For all the details and to sign up for a Leaf Peeper number, please visit -

So take a break from raking and get on the air and enjoy the beauty of the season. QRP and the Great Outdoors - you can never have too much of a good thing!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Help for bad eyes

Last week, when I was building that QRPGuys antenna circuit board, I found out how really bad my eyes have gotten. Placing components was not a problem; but soldering was. I currently wear bifocals, but the "close up" part of them is meant for reading, with the reading material being held at a normal distance. For very close up work, like soldering and inspecting solder joints, my normal prescription is just about useless. So I built without my glasses. I can see well close up without them; but I have to get uncomfortably close - my face has to be RIGHT IN THERE, and I get concerned that that's a little too close for safety.

W3BBO to the rescue!  Bob recommended something to me that I had never even thought of before:

During one of our weekly Skype sessions, we had talked about this very subject. That's when Bob recommended buying a pair of drug store "readers" for the very close up work.  Strangely enough, as an eyeglass wearer, the thought never occurred to me. My normal eyeglasses should be good enough - no? I guess I'm not that much of an "outside the box" thinker.

They have them at the ShopRite where I do our grocery shopping, so last Saturday, I bought a pair. They are of medium magnification, only +1.5 - but they made all the difference in the world! I am now able to get my face right at a comfortable distance from my working area without squinting or getting annoyed that I can't see clearly. I still need a magnifying glass for the super tiny print on capacitors; but for all intent and purpose, kit building is no longer an uncomfortable hassle.

The best thing is that they were cheap - only $15.00 for the pair, and I bet I could have found them cheaper had I done a little shopping around. So, if you have the same problem that I had, a small investment can make as much as a difference for you as it did for me.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

QRP Guys go on hiatus

Just so you know and don't get your hopes up for any quick shipments - I saw the following on their site today. Guess they're getting ready for the Christmas rush.

Fall recharge… QRPGuys will not be shipping product from now and until most of October. We will only be providing e-mail support, and answering inquiries. If there is an issue with a kit already shipped, we will address that upon our return in October. We appreciate your patience for a needed break.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


Mr. Robert Benson K2IB, who was an electronics teacher at East Brunswick High School, and who was a major piece in the puzzle to the start of my Amateur Radio career passed away on August 12th.

I had become enthralled with Amateur Radio at a young age. I've recounted that story here and elsewhere. When I was 16 and a Sophomore at East Brunswick High School (circa 1973), they had this program where, in the Spring semester, you could sign up for an extra elective course during what would have been your Study Hall period. One of the electives was "Amateur Radio" as part of the electronics curriculum. When I saw that, I jumped at it.

Mr. Benson introduced us to HF, as the school had a station - all Heathkit gear as I remember, as well as VHF. He had a 2 Meter radio in the classroom and he would get on and talk to Harry Schneider (can't remember the call sign) who was the owner of the Princess Bakery at the Mid State Mall which was a couple of miles away.  Between listening to those rag chews on 2 Meters and the HF contacts the students who were already licensed were making, I was definitely hooked.

My stumbling block was the Morse Code - ever hear that one before? Mr. Benson gave us a handout with the code printed out on it and I even went to the local Lafayette store to purchase an AMECO code practice LP.  I know a lot of kids younger than 16 were licensed Hams, but for some reason, I wasn't ready to become one of them. I tried and tried and tried - but I just could not get the code down. And at 16, I guess I just didn't have the dedication or the maturity.

But thanks to Bob Benson, the seed was starting to sprout!  Five years later, when I was 21 and out of school, and working full time, I saw an article in the local Sunday newspaper that in neighboring North Brunswick, at their high school, they were offering an adult continuing education class in the evenings where you could earn your Novice license.

With steely determination, I whomped that Morse Code Monster, learned the required theory and regulations and passed my Novice exam. About six to eight weeks later, as 1978 had only a few days left to it, my Mom called me at work to tell me that an envelope from the FCC had come in the mail. I had her open it to find that I was officially KA2DOH.

While Bob didn't administer my license test, he was a driving force towards the goal. We kept in touch via the telephone from time to time. The last we spoke was a couple years ago when he called to ask my opinion on the Ten Tec Eagle. He found a used one at a good price and was wondering what my opinion was. He was concerned about how good a CW rig it might be. Funny how the kid who couldn't learn Morse Code became a valued opinion about buying a good CW rig.

Bob, I'm going to miss you. Hope all the QSOs are 599 and the propagation is always heavenly.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Monday, August 20, 2018

NJQRP Skeeter Hunt 2018

I want to start off this post with two big "Thanks You"s.

First, a very big "Thank You" to everyone who signed up for the 2018 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt, and extra special thanks to all who participated. Without you, this would be a non-event. You folks ARE THE BEST !!! 

Second, a very HUGE thanks to NJQRP, particularly George N2APB and Joe N2CX for putting the prestige of the NJQRP group behind this event. Your sponsorship makes all the difference.

I learned a few things from the 2018 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt.

1) Even though I knew this already, it got reinforced, big time. Take weather forecasts with a grain of salt! When I woke up early Sunday morning, it was raining - hard. I turned on the computer, went to WeatherUnderground to see that "The rain will end at 11:45".

OK. Since it was already soggy as all get out, I decided to stay home and operate "backyard portable". Around Noon, I wiped down the table and chairs and then set up the Jackite, the PAR ENDFEDZ and the station. I wisely chose to operate from the patio table, which is covered (more or less) by a big umbrella - which I found out was meant more for protection from the sun than from rain.

Setup went great. It was a little damp, but it was OK. Then it came time for the Skeeter Hunt and wouldn't you know it? It started to rain again, even though the rest of the afternoon was supposed to remain cloudy, but precipitation free.

You can see that the wiped down chairs got all drippy again. It rained for about a half hour, and at times it got a little heavy. After that, the last three and a half hours of the Hunt were rain free. But not mosquito free!  I had to light the citronella candles to keep the little buggers away. Someone forgot to tell them that they were NOT the Skeeters that I was interested in for the day!

2) Pencil and paper don't work well in the rain. I'm old school in that while I DO keep an electronic log, for events like this I log on paper and transfer later. I don't type fast enough to log electronically real time in such a "fast paced" (relatively speaking) event such as a QRP Sprint. And even if I was a competent typist, I'm still lucky that I can walk and chew gum at the same time - so it's paper and pencil for W2LJ. I had to run into the house for a pen. My paper was still a bit damp; but ball point pen worked just fine. From here on out, I am going to keep a pen in my backpack.

3) An Elecraft KX3 can hold up well to water. Throughout the years, in reading various QRP forums, one of the biggest knocks against the KX3 that I have seen is that it is (I'm paraphrasing here) "flimsy and won't hold up well to the elements". My KX3 got wet. Not dumped-in-a-bucket-of-water wet, but it was covered with enough water, so that when I picked it up, it was dripping. Yes, I was covered by the umbrella, but I was not enclosed and the radio, the battery and everything else, including me, got pretty wet. The KX3 took it in stride without a whimper. After the rain stopped, I did a quick wipe off with a paper towel, and the radio is no worse for wear. It performed like a trooper.

In all, I had a blast. I logged 38 QSOs, 33 with other Skeeters. I worked 19 different states and Provinces. 20 of my QSOs  were on 20 Meters and 18 were on 40 Meters. I just realized as I'm typing this that I neglected to even listen on 15 meters. This is where the Reverse Beacon Netowrk was hearing me:

As noted on a lot of log summaries that have been submitted so far, and I concur, QSB was a big problem. A station which was 579 one second, was gone the next. I had two dupe contacts as the people who worked me weren't sure that I had them in my log. Seems that when I gave them my part of the exchange, I must have disappeared!

Another problem that I had was with motor noise. From time to time, one of my neighbors was working on fixing a lawn mower, or something with a small motor. I was plagued with ignition noise at various times throughout the event. The KX3's noise blanker did a good job of wiping a lot, but not all of it, out. I've received a couple e-mails from folks telling me that they tried calling me several times with no luck. Blame my neighbor! If he hadn't decided to play mechanic, I probably would have worked you!

My last QSO was at 2047 UTC with KI4MCZ.  With only 13 minutes to go; and not hearing anyone new on either band, I decided to tear down the station, wipe everything dry and set it all aside indoors so that it could all really dry out well.  Tired and damp, but happy, I proceeded to grill dinner and wind down after a day of hunting Skeeters.

To all who participated - log summaries are due by Midnight of Labor Day, September 3rd. When you submit your summary (use the format on the Website, please) I will acknowledge your entry with a return e-mail. Please submit any photos you have; or post them to the Skeeter Hunt Facebook page. I'll publish the scoreboard sometime the week of Labor Day and this year, I promise to get the certificates out early!

The Bumblebees and Skeeters have flown. See you all again in the NoGA Peanut Power Sprint in September!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

QRP Guys vertical antenna

Thursday evening, I came home to a delightful surprise. My son had mowed the lawn while I was at work. That gave me some unexpected free time and I used it to build the QRP Guys 3 band vertical antenna that I had recently purchased.

Today I got the chance to deploy it and check it out.  I used my 31' Jackite pole as a support, which was definitely overkill. I ordered a 20' fiberglass crappie pole from Sportsman's Warehouse for $20 - but it won't get here until next week. As per the QRP Guys instruction manual, I checked eBay for "17' fiberglass fishing pole", but came up blank.

Anyway, getting back to the subject at hand, this is what it looked like.

I hooked up my little Autek antenna analyzer, tuned it to 14.060 MHz and checked the SWR and found it to be 1.5:1.  Following the instructions, I cut a 3" section off, thinking I could get the SWR even lower, but it ended up increasing instead of decreasing!  So I replaced it with another 17' piece of wire and am going to let it go at that. In any case, the KX3's autotuner brought the match to 1:1 in less than half a second. The same held true for 30 and 40 Meters.

This is a close up of the actual circuit board portion of the kit.

After all was said and done, I secured the toroids with the provided wire ties. To secure the matching portion to the fishing pole, I am going to end up using two pieces of gardener's Velcro tape that I keep in my backpack. When not securing the board to the pole, the Velcro tape will keep the antenna and radial wire bundles neatly wound.  Here's a view of the antenna looking back towards my operating position.

The circuit board was a piece of cake to build. Even the toroids were no big deal. After all the toroids I've wound over the years, I don't even think twice when I have to wind some. The hard part for me was seeing! The "close" portion of my bifocals are OK for reading; but are useless for real close work like soldering. I took Bob W3BBO's advice and bought a cheapie pair of grocery store "readers". In my case, I chose the +1.5 magnification variety. I put those on and no problem! Those are going to be a tremendous help in kit building projects, as my eyes are nowhere where they used to be.

Tomorrow's weather is "iffy" at best for my neck of the woods. There's a 50/50 chance of showers the entire day. I may end up working the Hunt from the backyard, losing the water bonus points. My reasoning is that I have that nice, big umbrella that you can see in the third picture. That will be a real boon should it start to rain. And it it should start raining really hard then I can always finish the Hunt from the basement shack, if I really have to.

I have my fingers crossed, hoping it ends up being a blown forecast and that I'll wake up to sunny skies tomorrow morning that end up lasting for the whole day.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Friday, August 17, 2018

QSX Transceiver

Hans Summers and QRP Labs have updated the Website with information on the new QSX transceiver.

This is really exciting; as it could open HF to a whole new generation - especially those who are into building, making, experimenting. You know ....... Amateur Radio like it used to be. AND most important, it will be affordable. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to youth events, and the youngsters get all enthused about the prospect of getting their license, only to hear what rigs go for, and you can see their disappointment.

"How much will QSX cost?

We aren't sure exactly yet. It is expected to be somewhere in the region of $75 or the 40m single-band version. Addition of the 10-band filter module and the anodized black aluminium enclosure should take it to around $150 in total. These are ballpark figures and subject to change."

$150 ????  Mow a Summer's (no pun intended) worth of lawns, do some baby sitting and that can be within practical reach for a teenager!

  • Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology with standalone Digital Signal Processing (DSP), no PC required
  • Very high performance 24-bit Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) and 24-bit Digital to Analog Converter (DAC)
  • 40m (single band) or 160-10m (10-band, including 60m) versions available
  • Modes: SSB, CW, AM, FM, PSK31, RTTY, WSPR beacon
  • Power output: 10W from 13.8V supply (power output is adjustable by the firmware)
  • Single power supply needed, 12V to 14V
  • USB host interface and connector, for USB keyboard to allow PC-less operation on PSK31 and RTTY
  • USB device interface and connector, for PC CAT Control
  • QSX can appear to a PC as a high performance 24-bit USB sound card and radio - for digital modes from a PC e.g. FT8
  • Built-in CW IAMBIC keyer (or straight keying also possible) with raised-cosine key-envelope shaping
  • DSP features (selectable sharp filters, AGC, Speech Compression, Noise Reduction etc.)
  • Dual microphone inputs (mobile phone headset with VOX, or RJ45 connector for Kenwood/Yaesu mics)
  • Dual VFO (A/B/Split), frequency and message memories
  • Through-hole assembly only
  • Built-in test equipment features for alignment, debugging and general purpose use
  • Detailed assembly manual
  • Macro facility for user defined sequences of operations, or redefinition of controls
  • Front panel: 16 x 2 LCD (yellow/green backlight), 2 rotary encoders, 4 buttons, mic/earphones socket
  • Soft-power on/off switch, the radio saves its state automatically on switch off, so that it starts up in the same state next time
  • Free firmware updates for life, very simple firmware update procedure via a USB memory stick
Availability is not expected until November - maybe. But even so, this is still very exciting news. If the quality of the QSX is anything like the QCX - and I have no doubt that it will be - this transceiver WILL be the next big thing!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Say it ain't so!

The forecast for South Plainfield for Sunday:

It may end up being a washout for a Skeeter Hunt outdoor portable op. But then again, they forecasted rain and heavy thunderstorms for Field Day and all we got were a few drops here and there.

Fingers crossed that they're wrong again for Sunday.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

August 14th - SP3RN

It's August 14th, and each year on this date in the Roman Catholic calendar, we celebrate the life of Maximilian Kolbe, SP3RN.

Maximilian Kolbe was a Franciscan priest who lived in Poland. Fr. Kolbe was a Ph.D. level philosopher and an insightful theologian. He opened a monastery which was devoted to spreading the Word of God. In addition to printing many publications, he also used radio - hence his Amateur Radio call sign SP3RN.

In 1941, Fr. Max's monastery was shut down by the Nazi SS and he was taken prisoner. Kolbe was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where he was assigned Prisoner #16670.  In July of that year, ten prisoners were condemned to death in retaliation for an escape attempt from the camp.  Among the condemned was Francizek Gajowniczek, a Sergeant in the Polish Army.  Gajowniczek pled for his life as he had a wife and children.  Kolbe stepped out of line and offered his life in place of Gajowniczek's.  The Nazi commandant accepted the exchange and sent Kolbe to a camp starvation bunker where he was deprived of food and water for nearly two weeks.  Maximilian Kolbe died on 14 August 1941. He was the lone survivor of the ten sentenced to death, and his life was ended by a lethal injection of carbolic acid.

There is a St. Max net that operates every weekend.  I try to check in when I get the time and remember to do so - and the St. Max net is one of the reasons why I keep a microphone as part of the shack's equipment list.  It's a great group of guys and is interesting to listen to.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Thursday, August 09, 2018

A couple of "How To" FOBB videos

Good ones by Steve KF5RY and Myron WV0H.


Good stuff to keep in mind when planning portable ops.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

May have to change my plans.

I may have to find a site for the Skeeter Hunt where I definitely know there are trees close to the water. I was hoping to go to Donaldson Park, in Highland Park, which is about a 20 minute ride from home. Marianne and I went there a few years back for a "reunion" of Beagles rescued through Happy Paws Rescue - from whom we adopted Harold.

I know that there is a section of the park which is right on the banks of the Raritan River, which is Central New Jersey's largest river. However, the Happy Paws reunion was about 3 or four years ago and I don't recall the tree situation.

Wait a sec! (W2LJ smacks his forehead) I've got technology at my disposal! Let's see what Google Earth shows:

I like the fact that there are two parking lots pretty close to where I want to go.

Even though this photo appears to have been captured in the late Fall/Winter/early Spring part of the year, there seems to be enough trees right on the river bank to make this worth the effort.  We're supposedly in store for scattered thunderstorms all this coming weekend., but perhaps it will stay dry, long enough for a pre-Skeeter Hunt scouting session for a good operating location.

Trees are becoming a necessity as I want to continue using the PAR END FEDZ. I did order the N2CX antenna from the QRPGuys, but it just shipped yesterday; and I don't think I'll receive it and have the required time needed to build and tune it before the Skeeter Hunt, which is a week from this Sunday.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Sunday, August 05, 2018

24.5' EARCHI

Today was experiment Numero Uno in my quest for a "shortened" vertical antenna to use for the Skeeter Hunt and other portable operating sessions when a tree is not available and I have to rely on using my Jackite pole as an antenna support (for other than the PAR ENDFEDZ as a sloper).

Today I went with the EARCHI 9:1 UNUN using a 24.5' wire radiator.  The day was hot and muggy, so I waited until about 4:00 PM or so to begin experimenting, a bit after the worst of the sun was over. I set up my "mast support" to hold the Jackite. Nothing more fancy than a piece of angle iron hose clamped to some PVC pipe large enough to accommodate the Jackite.

Then I attached the wire to the top of the Jackite and started extending it. I used all but the bottom most section and I velcro tied the wire to the mast so it wouldn't go swaying all over the place.

I started on 40 Meters. The KX3 tuned the wire up, but I could tell it wasn't enjoying the job. The relays in the autotuner clacked for quite a while; but I finally got about a 1:1.4 match. I listened around 7.030 and heard Alan W4MQC calling CQ.  Alan had a 579 signal with some deep QSB, but I gave it a shot, called him and he came back to me.

It's been a while since we've QSOed and we enjoyed a short (about 15 minute) rag chew. Alan was operating from a log cabin up in the New Hampshire mountains. Talk about beautiful and idyllic! If you want to see a great summer time operating location - check out Alan's QRZ page. Color me envious! Alan gave me a 579 in return including a report of QSB on my signal as well.

From 40 Meters, it was a short hop over to 20 Meters. The KX3's autotuner much preferred 20 Meters. Just a short "brrppp" of the relays got me a 1:1 match. It was there that I heard Michel F6FJI calling CQ. He was a pretty good 579, so I figured "What the heck?" and gave him a call. Well, when you've got this as your antenna, it's no wonder he was able to pick out my signal.

Michel gave me a 559 and we had a short QSO. A little bit more than "UR 599 TU". I got an honest RST report and gave him an honest one in return. After a small chat about location and weather, Michel signed off and I turned off the rig and tore down so I could begin cooking dinner.

My impression of this set up was "Meh", although any time you cross the Atlantic with 5 Watts is no small chunk of change.  Serviceable, and certainly better than nothing, but not exactly spectacular, either . Not that I expect the sun, moon, planets and stars from a shorty compromise vertical; but I would like something that doesn't seem to throw my KX3's autotuner into fits.

Next weekend, I think the experiment will be with the 28' radiator and the tape measure counterpoise, ala' WB2LQF and Elecraft.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Thursday, August 02, 2018


You had to know something like this was going to happen.

From the ARRL:

"FCC Cites Baofeng Importer for Illegally Marketing Unauthorized RF Devices 08/02/2018 The FCC has issued a Citation and Order (Citation) to Amcrest Industries, LLC (formerly Foscam Digital Technologies, LLC), an importer and marketer of popular and inexpensive Baofeng hand-held transceivers, alleging that the company violated FCC rules and the Communications Act by illegally marketing unauthorized RF devices. The FCC asserts that Amcrest marketed Baofeng model UV-5R-series FM hand-held radios capable of transmitting on “restricted frequencies.” The Baofeng models UV-5R and UV-5R V2+ were granted an FCC equipment authorization in 2012 to operate under Part 90 Private Land Mobile Radio Service (Land Mobile) rules.

“Under § 2.803 of the Commission’s rules, an entity may not market a device that is capable of operating outside the scope of its equipment authorization,” the FCC Citation said. “RF devices that have been authorized under Part 90 rules, such as the model as issue, must operate within the technical parameters established in those rules.” The FCC also maintained that the UV-5R 2+ is capable of operating at 1 W or 4 W, while the Part 90 Equipment Authorization limits the power output to 1.78 W.

Amcrest conceded that the units were capable of operating on restricted frequencies but told the FCC that, per discussions with the manufacturer, were “only capable of operating at 1 W, the FCC said. The company instructed the manufacturer to fix the problem and later confirmed with the manufacturer that all Amcrest inventory on order and in the future would operate only on 145 – 155 MHz and 400 – 520 MHz.

While the Citation does not mention Amateur Radio, the UV-5R series radios can be programmed in a channelized configuration to function on 2-meters and 70-centimeters. According to the Citation, Amcrest had added a warning in its user manuals and marketing and sales materials implying that the UV-5R V2+ could operate on unauthorized and restricted frequencies, including Part 87 Aviation Services frequencies, Part 80 Maritime Services frequencies, and frequencies reserved for federal government use. The FCC said Part 90 radios that permit the operator to use external controls to program and transmit on frequencies other than those programmed by the manufacturer are “generally prohibited.”

Amcrest told the FCC that it had ceased marketing four models in the Baofeng UV-5R series “a few years ago,” but it did not remove them from its website until last February. Numerous online retailers continue selling UV-5R series radios for less than $25, with some ads indicating that these are “ham” equipment.

Amcrest Industries, LLC, which owns and operates Baofengradio US, is an import, distribution, and marketing company based in Houston, Texas. It also sells hand-held transceivers under its own label.

“While we recognize Amcrest’s efforts to date to achieve compliance with the Commission’s rules, the company must nonetheless ensure the version of the UV-5R V2+ it is marketing operates only on frequencies specified in its Equipment Authorization,” the FCC said in its Citation. The FCC directed Amcrest “to take immediate steps to come into compliance with the Commission’s equipment authorization rules and cease marketing unauthorized RF devices in the United States.” Amcrest could face fines of nearly $20,000 per day if it fails to comply."

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Thinking of new portable antenna ideas........

In instances when no trees are handy.

I like the idea that Stan WB2LQF has in my last post. A 28' radiator with one single counterpoise wire seems easy enough. And I'm going to try it - modified a bit to suit my situation. But there are a couple other possibilities I want to give a shot, also.

One is the venerable EARCHI antenna that I have used with good success in the past. But instead of the 53' radiator that I usually use and deploy into the trees, this seems intriguing. These are typical SWR values for a 24.5' radiator with a 9:1 UNUN.

Used as a vertical antenna, it would be interesting to see how it performs. It sure would be easy enough to deploy.

And I'm also thinking of going the N2CX route through the QRPGuys

This is their Portable 40-30-20m Tri-Band Vertical Antenna, which uses a 16' 4" radiator along with four 10' radials. Looks like a pretty easy set up as well, even though it involves deploying radials.

Joe N2CX has been using a version of this on his NPOTA and POTA exploits. If memory serves me well, he was using his car as the counterpoise, instead of deploying wire radials. It has worked very, very well for him. So I'm willing to give this a shot, as I trust N2CX implicitly when it comes to antennas. If you compare Joe's antenna knowledge to mine - what I know about antennas wouldn't fill a hollowed out pea.

My favorite portable antenna to date has been the PAR ENDFEDZ 10/20/40 MKII. It has performed very, very well for me. It's reliable and easy to deploy - when you have a tree or some other tall support handy, as its radiator is 41' long. The problem comes in when you DON'T have a tall enough tree near by, or quite possibly, you're in a situation where you don't feel comfortable about throwing a wire in a tree. That usually means that I have to employ my Jackite pole as a sloper support, because PAR ENDFEZ 41' minus Jackite 31' = 10' too much wire.

Employing the Jackite as a sloper support means bungee-ing it to something suitable, or using my drive on mast support. And believe it or not, there are instances where neither of those solutions present themselves. So I'm hoping one of the above scenarios works as a decent alternative.

You have to be ready for any eventuality.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!