Last Saturday I visit my friend Mischa, PA1OKZ. I took my Elecraft K1. I still noticed no one replied my CQ’s when I used it and I also got weird results on Reversed Beacon Network. My idea was that transmit and receive frequency was not the same on the K1 and maybe the filters where not aligned properly.
It’s great fun to open up any case at Mischa’s. He is a very experienced guy when it comes to anything electronic and HF in particular. He also has a very impressive shack with a lot of professional tools such as a spectrum analyzer, transceiver testing unit etc.
When we attached the K1 to all the gear it became clear very quick why things weren’t as they should. Mischa aligned the band modules and low pass filters with much preciseness. Indeed the K1 wasn’t receiving and transmitting on the same frequency. So that was fixed quite quickly too. Now my beloved Elecraft K1 is putting out it’s maximum power of 7 watts on all bands, is aligned for best receiving performance and I might hear a reply on my CQ after all 🙂

Thanks Mischa for the great help (again)!

Last night I was fiddling around with my Elecraft K1. Couldn’t get it to work properly. Couldn’t even spot myself on Reverse Beacon Network. Eventually I got out my Kenwood TS-590. Turns out my home-brew coax patch-cable didn’t work! Aaaargh, stupid mistake of course.
After a few spins over 20m and 40m I heard a faint station and after a few of his CQ’s I decrypted that it was M0JRS, Jonathan from England! With shaky hands I send my call and he came back! Now I really start to sweat all over, of course I couldn’t make much of his message because I dropped letters left and right. But I did understand he send my RST and his name (which I already looked up on QRZ.com). When he finished transmitting I tried to send his RST and my name but it didn’t go so well. When I started to listen for his return, two other stations where interfering and I missed his message completely.
Nevermind, I logged him and it’s my first CW contact with hand!
So Jonathan: thank you very much for your patience and excuse me for my bad return, I’ll work hard to get better!

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 LCWO.net this evening and training again. Maybe tomorrow more luck on the air. For today I sign off! 73 de PA1JIM