This weekend there where multiple contests to choose from. To optimize my score I picked out the Melee Tara RTTY contest on Saturday and the ARRL RTTY 10 Meter contest on Sunday.

I started off with a well prepped N1MM. Loaded with call history file and a fresh master.dta and country file. FSK was working (plenty of practice on Saturday). But since 10 meters doesn’t open up until sunrise I did have breakfast with the family first. Then I climb up the roof to put some extra’s on for 10 meter. My Fritzel FD-3 can do 10 meter of course, but it’s not ideal. I put up my Buddipole and trimmed it for 10 meter. I found an old Solarcon Antron 99A vertical in the shed which (if I remember correctly) can be used for 10 meter too. Everything is functioning and a cup of hot coffee I went in the shack.
The Buddipole did a great job in the early morning hours! In the afternoon the vertical seemed to work better then the dipole. Q’s where running low, but that’s only logical for a single 10 meter band contest. I did manage to squeeze out 100 Q’s.
It was already dark when I put down the Buddipole. The vertical I left up for now. Maybe it’s handy for coming contests?

Holiday setupFirst thing I did when we arrived was setting up my little holiday shack. Only brought with me the little Elecraft K1 with four band module (40, 30, 20 and 17 meter). Because I don’t own (yet) the internal antenna tuner for the K1, I did bring my good old Kenwood AT-120 tuner (which is almost the same size as the K1).

Of course I did bring my Buddipole but also a fishing rod of 10 meters high and a MFTF WiMo 10:1 balun and some 10 meters of wire. So this was the first antenna I put up, a vertical. Did some testing with it, but it turns out the 10:1-balun is horrible for QRP-work. I should know the efficiency of this setup isn’t great, but the last time I tested it, it worked fine (with 100 Watt). After a few test runs with disappointing results, I figured I really need to setup the Buddipole.

The buddipole gives me kind of nice results on Reverse Beacon Network. Even in the Buddistick setup I’m able to get my signal picked op by RBN.

But I’m unable to get a QSO going. It’s already hard enough to find a station that is a little more QRS like me (12 WPM with more spaces). When I found one, they couldn’t hear me. I did a lot of CQ’s but no one returned. No luck on 17 and 20m this afternoon and again, no luck this evening on 30 and 40m.

I realized, I really need to speed up my cw to catch the ride. So back to this evening and training again. Maybe tomorrow more luck on the air. For today I sign off! 73 de PA1JIM  

At the end of next week I’ll stay at QTH-locator JO32EK, the eastern part of The Netherlands for a week of holiday. The house we rent is in the middle of nature and (hopefully) has plenty opportunity to put up some antenna gear. At least I’ll bring my Buddipole. I only have traveling space for the Elecraft K1 receiver, so operation will be QRP, but it will be interesting. There is WiFi available in the house, so be prepared for some photo’s soon!

At home antenna’s are down at the moment due to chimney restorations. No radio-activity for a longer time, I’m afraid.