Sunday, January 10, 2016

SKCC January WES And My TRX-80 Vertical Close To Hook'n Up

Mini Vertical
The bands for this indoor antenna'd QRP station were pretty rough this weekend. With that being said, my main goal was to fire up my straight key and work a few stations in the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) Weekend Sprintathon (WES). I accomplished that goal only after working just two stations on 20 meters. I worked Tony, K6ELQ and of course Ed, W7GVE (always easy to work, even with my current setup). Both had great signals here into southern Oregon, but others just did not seem strong enough for me to work. I did hear a few signals on 10 meters but they were very weak, so I just kept to tuning 20 meters when I was at the desk.

I'm still working on purging much of my shack and downsizing, focusing on a more portable perspective. Several months ago, I purchased another addition to my portable antenna arsenal, that being a TRX-80 vertical antenna. It's small and should allow me to operate without a tuner on most of the bands, 40 and higher. If the bands are favorable, it should yield a few QSO's with any luck. I have yet to connect it to a transceiver but my goal is to use this with my Yaesu FT-857D at 100 watts or less. With NPOTA in full swing, I need to get working on getting on the air from the office (Crater Lake National Park) for National Parks On The Air (NPOTA). 

With the winter weather of the last several weeks, I've spent more time with my snow shovel than I have in ages. Having had a few extra days off has allowed me to wade my way back into the shack and turn on the rig for a few hours. I found it easier to stay in my shack while living in Alaska during the winter months when the temperatures would plummet to -30F or colder. Not that same issue here, so my shack time has decreased dramatically. Having a 100% indoor setup that's QRP also does not draw me to the shack, but it's here when I need my CW fix. 


  1. The TRX-80 antenna looks like the superantenna idea. Some small differences. It will work, that's for shure. It is only the question how effective it will be. But having all antennas indoors everything is better. Good luck. 73, Bas

  2. Howdy, Bas. Yup, it will put out a bit of a signal but with any antenna that size, you're very much at the mercy of propagation. I will use this portable (if it works out well) and will be testing it at the house probably this weekend. Just ran out of time and daylight this past weekend. Thanks for commenting and I'll post any failure or success stories in future blogs. 73!