My rig was the Elecraft KX2. I also used the QRPWorks Sidekar. My antenna was a adjustable dipole supported by 9 foot poles. I use this antenna for NVIS on 40 meters to improve my chances of working friends back in Panama City which was about 45 miles to the East. The antenna worked well as I got 599 reports from K4GXV and WB4BLX in Panama City on 40 CW. However on 40 SSB I was not workable funny right. I later checked the Eglin Ionogram Station which would be about 20 miles from the island. I found that the foF2 critical frequency was 7.025 at 1715 UTC. So I believe I had good NVIS on the CW end of the band but NVIS failed on the SSB part of the band above the critical frequency. Of course the antenna worked well at longer distances on 40 meters.
|40 meter NVIS Dipole|
I had several of surprises. First I was called by Don KK4QAM a RADAR buddy in Sweetwater Alabama on 40 CW. I did not know Don had taken up CW. I also worked Don on 40 SSB. Second I worked a friend Bob W5RE in Crestview, Florida on 40 PSK-31. I used the PSK capabilities of the KX2 with the help of the SideKar. I have a tiny wireless keyboard for the SideKar that works very well. Bob was keying in his info on his Elecraft K3S. So neither one of us used a PC. Last surprise was a call out on 146.52 FM pulled in W5RH who was practically in sight on the bay. It is nice that he monitors the calling frequency.
|Elecraft KX2 and QRPworks SideKar|
All together I had 41 contacts. 3 on 40 CW, 12 on 40 SSB, 1 on 40 PSK, 11 on 20 CW, 13 on 20 SSB and 1 on 2 FM Simplex. I also adjusted the dipole for 20 meters so it got the job done for the activation. I tried 10 meters but none of the contest signals were strong enough to work. Suzy was my buddy. There were few people their as the weather was chilly with the cloud cover. The sun did come out before the day was over. This was my seventh activation of SS08. Perhaps I will get one more in before NPOTA concludes.