And some places have no convenient trees. Such was the case on my recent trip to Colorado.
The new method is with my resurrected FT-891 and Bioenno 12V 12AH battery. I have HamSticks for 17, 20, 30 and 40 meters. Today's test went well and I learned that:
- the FT-891 sucks the juice out of a battery so rapidly that the barometric pressure along the Gulf Coast dropped by 20 millibars.
- a 40m HamStick has a 2:1 SWR bandwidth of only 100 kHz. This means either CW or phone - not both.
- the FT-891 is a good (not great) CW rig when set up as per N4HNH's video
The benefit: I can operate anywhere that I can park and draw no attention. The disadvantage: no one comes over to inquire and get a demo of ham radio.
I've gotten into many conversations while operating from picnic tables, some of which resulted in email exchanges with links to the ARRL and other "What is ham radio all about?" types of websites. That won't happen anymore.
This new (for me) type of operation trades the personalization of ham radio for a greater number of places from which to operate and the ability to more quickly get on the air.
This morning I was tuning the 20m HamStick for lowest SWR on CW and heard a very strong CQ. I was very surprised when I heard the callsign: JE1RZR, calling from Tokyo - 7000 mi/11,200 km away. I was even more surprised when Manabu answered me.
I don't even have the radio properly installed yet. A cup holder mount and extensions to allow separation of radio front panel from its body are due to arrive today. Power came from a Li-Ion battery on the seat with the radio.
Manabu was using 500 watts and a K3 to a 5-element Yagi. When I told him my set-up, he said "Amazing!" I agree, Manabu - thanks for the FB QSO!
I had my phone with me so I quickly enabled the video camera app and recorded our QSO: