Saturday, July 16, 2022

Status so far, from Ecuador

After spending 6 days in Quito, we arrived at our Cuenca QTH four days ago. We are staying at an Airbnb just outside the historic district of this amazing city, and you know what that means - QRN.

The Airbnb is a fully furnished two-bedroom apartment, in a 3-story building, in a residential area and we're on the top floor with a large balcony that looks to the northeast. Fortunately, there is also a gap to the northeast in the mountains that surround us. Propagation on 15m has been fantastic and I'm getting into W1, 2, 3 and Europe, no problemo, on 15m.

That's with the IC-705 into an MFJ-1979 telescoping whip with one radial dangling down from the balcony. A vertical dipole, in other words.

The whip's length is adjusted for whatever band I'm on, usually 15m, but sometimes 10m. I hear very little on 20m and am not spotted there when calling CQ on either CW or FT8.

Due to the QRN, I know I'm only working the stronger stations that call me. Apologies for not answering many callers but my noise level is monstrous. I'm QRP - stations wishing to work me need to not be!

Power matters, despite what you may have heard to the contrary.

When I'm on the air, it's usually sometime between 2000-2300Z, on 15m CW or FT8. I spot myself or let the RBN (CW) or HamSpots (FT8) take care of that.

I've pretty much given up on the POTA hopes. After my Cotopaxi failure, I'm hesitant to go to the effort of trying to activate Cajas National Park, about 45 minutes NW of Cuenca.

I'm looking forward to having coffee with a couple of local DXers later - one of whom I've worked on CW a number of times over the years. I'll also be writing up a detailed explanation of the process for US hams to obtain an HC license, if there's any interest.

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3 comments:

VE9KK said...

Good morning John, very nice top floor balcony setup. Having ham radio in a new QTH all together is going to be a fun learning time. Keep the updates and pics coming.
73,
Mike
VE9KK

John AE5X said...

Hello Mike - it's been a learning experience alright. Maybe I'll be able to get into VE9, one of the few directions I have a clear path to - a great test of your new antenna!

73,
John

VE9KK said...

Good morning John, I was doing some RBN tests this morning and seems on 20m I have no issues getting into Central America. This is a good sign as it's the right direction, once the 20 and 15m open up more today I will give the RBN a shot again to see how the results are.
73,
Mike
VE9KK