SKCC 5123T----- FISTS 14979----- Flying Pigs 2331----- NAQCC 3610-----QRP ARCI 14176-----Polar Bear 257

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Checking out the Ten-Tec R4020

My first outing with the TenTec R4020 was my own backyard Sunday AM. The humidity was down so it was very comfortable. I had eight Eneloop AAs installed in the battery holders internal to the case. Ten-Tech leaves it to you to wire up the two holders in series. The initial voltage was 11.5 volts and that gave me 3.5 watts into a dummy load. I setup a 20 foot mast and a 20 meter Inverted V. I had some beginners luck working Indiana, Hawaii and Georgia. The Georgia contact was an example of NVIS I believe. Even though I was making contacts I thought the band is a little dead. It turns out I had the attenuator option on the whole time. Things sounded a lot more lively with it off. This rig has a great receiver!

Then I added a 40 meter dipole by using a T connector to give me a fan dipole. I re-adjusted the lengths of both dipoles and came to a good SWR on both 40 and 20. On 40 I had no problem working Mobile AL and Jacksonville FL. I noticed the battery voltage had dropped to about 9.9 volts after about two hours and the output power was dropping also. But I still managed solid QSOs.

I can say it was a pleasure having a rig with big rig features in a small package. The digital display, settable IF filters, memories are all very nice. So I look forward to more experience and outings with this rig.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Huntsville Hamfest and Monte Sano QRP Contest

I enjoyed the trip to the 2011 Huntsville Hamfest.. It was the second Huntsville reunion with my buddy John K4KQZ from Columbia TN. We met on the air a while back and discovered we had worked together 30 years ago. It was also a pleasure having a new ham Marv KK4DKT along on the trip. He made a new HT purchase at the fest. The highlight of the trip was the Flying High QRP Contest on Monte Sono State park only a few miles from downtown. The contest was hosted by Craig Behren NM4T at a nice cabin in the park. I met a number of QRPers including Randy Moore KS4L from Huntsville. Craig had setup several antennas and Randy provided an Elecraft K3 to operate. We had BBQ and pie for eats. Then two teams formed with a pilot, co-pilot and navigator. The pilots did the operating supported by the co-pilot and navigator. I volunteered to be a pilot encouraged by Marv. The two teams had 45 minutes to operate. There were multipliers for states and DX and a bonus for getting an QRP ACRI numbers. The other team went for DX having the highest multiplier. They snagged three. My team went for anything we could find and worked 5 states. The math revealed that five states was 10 points ahead of three DX contacts. So I was very fortunate to win a Ten Tec R4020 two band QRP rig. This rig is one that fits my portable style of operating as it covers 40 and 20 with batteries inside the small case. The digital display and features are very nice. The receiver is excellent. I plan to try it out this weekend. I also won a drawing for pick of any RadioWavz antenna. I decided to pass this on to Marv and he can use an antenna for his HF rig he just received from a friend. We chose an 80 meter OCF which should cover 80, 40, 20 and 10. The QRP gathering was great and lots of prizes. Craig says there will be more QRP activities at the 2012 Huntsville Hamfest. I definitely plan to attend. Enjoy the photos below.

Greg N4KGL

Monday, August 1, 2011

Flight of the Bumble Bees 2011

We had a good Bumble Bee flight to Solomon Park a two block walk from my parent's house in Dothan, AL. I was joined by Thomas WD4HDR and my Dad. The rig was the Icom 703 and the antenna was a 20 meter dipole about 20 feet high. We were able to snag AF4O in MS, W4MPS in NC, N1EU in NY, N5GW in MS, K3RLL in PA and KX0R in CO. The weather was a bit warm but we got a cold rain shower after a couple hours and went QRT. It was still a great event. We have the park scoped out for a return in the future.

Greg N4KGL