- This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 5 months, 2 weeks ago by M0PWX.
22 March 2023 at 22:41 #1492M0PWXParticipant
so after 2 1/2 years since i passed foundation with Essex Ham i have been outdoors and done 2 POTA activations
it has taken a while (part due to lock downs etc, part due to getting the kit together)
my radio for this is a Xiegu X6100, runs on internal battery for a couple of hours while TX, or 3-4 hours RX, on battery it only puts out 5 watts, so QRP operation challenges to be heard
the X6100 is 5w on battery, 10w on PSU, built in USB sound card and CAT interface, ATU, SWR scan,
antenna is a https://moonrakeronline.com/spx-300s-9-band-plug-n-go-hf-mobile-antenna on a mag mount, on the cable into the car i put 6 turns about 10mm diameter as an ugly balun to limit RFI in the car
the beauty of the X6100 is it has a single USB cable for both inbuilt USB sound card and CAT control
final piece of kit is an old laptop with WSJT-x on (tethered to my phone for psk reporter and timesync)
so i had all the kit, next thing was to test it all and make sure talks to each other and works, before finding a site for my first mobile (POTA) ops
so i found POTA location G-0006 (Aston Rowant SAC Conservation Reserve) just off the M40 at stokenchurch (was on holiday nearby) its a nice piece of high ground with clear view of the horizon all round
i drove to the carpark, set up the antenna, checked the SWR (the X6100 has a nice SWR scanner app built in) got it reasonable, then ran the ATU (also built into the X6100)and got a great match
now QRP ops is fun, it takes time and patience, you need a bands which are active but not too active as you won’t have the power to push through the noise, i tend to find the less busy FT4 mode is great for QRP, 10m, 15m, 20m and 40m generally have active FT4 frequencies
watch the WSJT-x waterfall for 4-6 cycles to find a free slot, then transmit CQ into it for 3-4 cycles then look at PSKReporter to see how the bands are responding, if you get a reply your off and running
if your not getting any spots try a couple more slots if still not getting out move down a band and check conditions again
i generally find for QRP ops on FT4/8 when the waterfall is about 50-60% full is best, and work the band until it closes, you can get some great DX when there are only a few stations left on, so don’t be in a rush to move down the bands as the bands close at night
so yesterday i got 6 QSO’s in 40 minutes, and today 10 QSO’s in 90 minutes, but i was only running 5w into a 1.2m tall antenna on the car
total was 6 US, 1 Canada, 3 Ukraine, 5 EU and 1 UK so 5 watts with a mag mount on a car is totally workable with reasonable band conditions
hopefully this will inspire some of the new M7’s that they can work DX even with their 10w limit
HF opens up all sorts of modes and fun, for me VHF is very quiet, HF there is always something to find
HF bands MUF (max useable freq) drops below 7mhz(40m) but up to 28mhz(10m) during the afternoon, and is more influenced by solar activity, no two days are the same on HF
24 June 2023 at 13:49 #1553M7IWWParticipant
Hi-very interesting to read of your experience. I’ve recently bought an X6100 and I generally use it with a 40m dipole slung between 3 trees in the garden. I got the radio from ML&S with an EFHW as a complete package and I’m quite impressed with that antenna so far when I’ve used it.
I’ll check out that mag mounted multiband as your feedback sounds positive and I fancy trying Mobile FT8
24 June 2023 at 21:38 #1557M0PWXParticipant
i used the same setup on a boat on the Thames near Reading and Cookham and logged a number of QSO’s with US and south America, and a few in EU
i may take it up to the top of detling hill near maidstone and have another go with it, i run the X6100 from home om my main antenna when i want to get down onto 60m or 80m as the ATU in my FT-991a won’t tune my antenna on those bands
- This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by M0PWX.
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