Monday, February 16, 2015

Finally - Hearing Stations Again!

Par EndFedz 15 Meter
I finally took a few minutes to throw up my first indoor antenna here at our QTH. The first one that went up was the Par EndFedZ 15 meter wire. I ran the wire from the top of the upstairs stairway down to the shack. I just had the itch to start hearing signals and decoding CW again. After running the antenna and checking he SWR, I hooked it up to my Icom IC-703+ QRP radio. As I tuned 15 meters, I noticed a constant noise level of S5 but several stations were heard above the noise. The first station heard was AD8Y in Ohio followed by a great signal from C6AUM in the Bahamas. It was nice to hear CW coming from the speaker of the 703 again!

Icom Mini Station
I have both Icom radios stacked together but I only fired up the QRP rig. I got my Navy Flameproof key hooked up the radio in anticipation of my next QSO. Even indoors, the antenna has a respectable SWR. At the bottom of the 15 meter band, SWR was 1.7:1 followed by the phone band showing a flat match, 1.1:1. Once I get the antenna outside, I'm hopeful the lower end SWR might drop a bit. Again, considering my indoor configuration as seen in the photo, I have no complaints. 

Stations heard in addition to the two I listed above was JO1KKD, YV5IUA and the strongest coming from XE2ST. I did not check propagation numbers but my initial reception reports seemed promising. Much better than what I was hearing at our temporary quarters near Crater Lake. As time permits, I plan on getting a few antenna's outside. But for now, I'll string my 15, 17 and 20 meter EndFedZ indoors when I get some time to play radio. I'm looking forward to my next QRP QSO's.     

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