Sunday, June 07, 2015

A Little More Backyard Digital Work

I played around with the FT-817ND and digital some more today. I wanted to try my 20M MFJ-1620T hamstick antenna with the same base as my telescoping vertical. I figure that the hamstick would be good for situations where you need to be a little stealthier, or need to set it up more quickly. The hamstick is about 7' tall, in contrast to my MFJ-1979 telescoping whip, which is about 17' tall.

However, I got the high SWR warning on the rig when I transmitted. So, if I want to use it I'll need to tweak it some to reduce SWR, or use my LDG Z-817H tuner.

It's very difficult to get a clear picture of the hamstick when deployed in my yard. It blends very well into the background. Note that the antenna is nowhere near the power lines in the background.

Even with the high SWR and low power, my PSK31 signal got out as far west as Missouri and as far south as Florida.

I changed over to the MFJ-1979 telescoping vertical whip, which gives better performance and lower SWR.

Transmitting PSK31 on 20M using 5 watts, my signal was heard 2285 miles away in Washington state, and ~2100 miles away in Venezuela. I didn't have QSOs with those guys, but their PSK software uploaded the reception reports to

Pretty decent for QRP, IMHO.

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