Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Christmas is a comin' and the goose is getting fat......

So what Ham Radio goodie are you asking from Santa this year?

It's been a long time since I've asked Santa (Marianne) for anything Amateur Radio related, but this year I have asked for one of these:

The Elecraft AX-1 and the 40 Meter coil extender (and the little base thingy that supports it on a table)

I've been thinking about acquiring one of these for years - actually since 2019 before the pandemic. SPARC was holding a "Get On The Air" event at a local park in town connected to JOTA, and we were  hoping that some local Scouts would show up and take advantage of the opportunity to get on the radio. That hope didn't pan out, but that's not what this post is ultimately about.

Dave KD2FSI had his set up going (his Yaesu rig and the 20 Meters vertical he attaches to the frame of his back pack) and I had the KX3 on a picnic table with the PAR END-FEDZ going off to a nearby tree.  Dave had worked Italy on 20 Meter SSB with his station. Soon afterward, I also worked Italy, but with 5 Watts - and I hate to admit it, but I was feeling kind of smug. You know, the old QRP vs QRO thing.

Soon afterward, Bob WB2UDC came with his KX3 and the AX1 antenna. I'll be brutally honest here. I looked at it and thought to myself "No way is that thing is going to make any contacts." Much to my dismay, Bob served me with a huge plate of crow to eat when he worked that same Italian station I had worked an hour earlier! And to boot, he had gotten a 599 report! OK, maybe that was just the standard DX "599" report, but I was still impressed that the antenna was capable of a trans-Atlantic QSO.

He was making contacts - not a ton, but that little antenna was sure getting out! It occurred to me that would be just the thing to take along to Lake George for our annual summer sojourn. There's plenty of picnic tables, and I really don't like hanging anything from the trees (even though I have permission, I try not to abuse that trust), and it seems like an easier set up than the mag loop.

So I put in a request to Santa - I've been good this year and I have my fingers crossed that I'll find one of these under the Tree come Christmas morning.

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


  1. Anonymous6:53 AM

    I hope Santa is good to you Larry! The best part about the AX1 is the skeptics who say it won't work, can't work. One guy told me that while in QSO with me using it inside the house on my kitchen table! Less than a month now for you to be good -- Santa does check that list twice!

    73 de Jeff KE9V

  2. Anonymous8:38 AM

    Hoping that Santa treats you well Larry, you deserve it! I've got an AX1 and am always amazed at how well it performs with my KX2. I've even done two POTA activations with the combo and it worked like a champ. Be good between now and December 25.