Weather was okay with some drizzle but almost no wind. I arrived at the nature reserve rather early (for me anyway) at 8am UTC. To my surprise there were already quite a few people out in the reserve.
|Spiderbeam 18m pole with EFHW for 40m|
It turned out there was an Italian contest going on that completely filled 40m with s9 signals. Luckily I found a spot at the end of the band around 7.198.000 I stayed there for about 40 minutes logging almost 60 chasers, until I could not bear the QRM anymore.
|Running the FT857 with a Heil headset and an Ameritron mobile amp (approx 300w)|
DX included 4Z, R9, OD5 and to my surprise JA.
Before packing up I decided to give 40m one more try. It was even worse than earlier in the morning. The FT857's filtering is rather basic but with one big wall of sound all over the band I think there was not much to gain anyway. I gave up trying and went down to 80m. The antenna is not very effective on this band but I did log 4 chasers.
|Weather improved during the activity|
In total I was busy for about 4h. Subtracting time for antenna changes and finding spots on 40m I was really QRV for 3h. In that light the 296 calls from 39 DXCC I logged is quite a lot. If it weren't for the contest on 40m, I am sure I would have logged a lot more chasers on that band. The band actually seemed quite good (hence the strong contest signals).
Judging from the 2h continuous stream of chasers on 20m, it seems that the special call does attract some extra attention. The fact that it was Sunday morning might have contributed as well (I am not that often active /P during weekends).
Anders SA2CLU inquired about my set-up today. So I will just add two more pictures. The first one is just to show how effective something small can be. These are the two antennas I used: end fed half wave antennes for 40m (home brew) and 20m (commercial).
|End Fed Half Wave antennas for 40m and 20m|
The 40m antenna is just a bit too long for the 18m pole. So I slope the last bit of the wire away from the pole. It ends up where ever I can attach the transformer. This time just 30cm or so off the ground. In the first picture on this page you can just make out the transformer box in the bushes behind the car. Below a zoomed in picture of this simple set-up.