My Most Recent QSO's

Thursday, March 25, 2010

City Location


I've mentioned my poor location here near the "state capitol building" in Charleston, West Virginia many times on this blog. Several weeks ago (during a brief snow squall) I shot this picture from the upstairs window of our home. As you can tell, it's a wonder I get ANY signal out of this RF hole.

I've always joked about bouncing my signals off the "gold dome" of the capitol complex just up the street. It's as good an explanation as any and a good conversation item. I use my Isotron antennas because this is a "historic district" and there are more "rules and regulations" that you can ever imagine to keep everything looking "historic". Duh.........

My antennas do a fantastic job considering the circumstances here in this narrow valley. The Kanawha river is only two blocks over from here, and there are "hills" (400 ft) on both sides of me. The elevation here is only 600 ft. above sea level.

But, despite all the obstacles, I still have an enormous amount of fun with my "5 watts" of power. Most of my contacts are amazed that I operate QRP and send out good signals. It's a rare day when I can't make a contact on the bands.

Last week, I bought two "full dipoles" (with balums attached) for the 15 and 30 meter bands and am looking forward to "skipping across the pond" on the next good weather day. Fifteen meters seems to open up pretty regular the last few weeks and I've always thought thirty meters is the ideal band for QRP CW operators.

I'll keep you posted on the progress on the next "field operation". It's going to be especially nice to get away from all this electrical noise here in the middle of town.

2 comments:

Paul - PC4T said...

Hello John, great spot to live. And your doing fine with your 5 watts. Indeed, 15 meter is pretty open and a 15 meter dipole doesn't take much space. 30 meter is a nice band but very small. Too much QRO guys in that part of the band. At daytime there is a lot of noise on 30 meter. But in the early evening it's a wonderful band. 73 Paul

Jspiker said...

Hello Paul,

Good to hear you're feeling better.

Yes...I love Charleston (despite my RH hole in the middle of town). Before moving here, I operated from a three story apartment building with worse condx than this. You have to take the bad with the good. (or live in a cave) hi.

It's rained and turned colder again this week and looks like another week before I can experiment with the new dipoles. The 15 meter dipole can actually be stretched temporarily inside the house . The 30 meter dipole is just a "little" too long for inside use. I'm looking at 30 meters as the "perfect" CW band with the 200 watt power limits. Can't wait till I can get outside and stretch the wire in some trees.

I continue to be amazed with your little "miracle whip" antenna. It's surprising what you've worked with it and QRP power. You do as well as me and my Isotrons and you have the advantage of having more bandwidth. I think the name of the game is persistence and determination. You do well in both categories.

Things are "looking up" over here with the health care issue. President Obama has done a "wonderful" job of turning this nation around in such a short time. There are many more things to accomplish but this is a good start.....We're moving towards "catching up" with the rest of the world on some important social issues now.

Hope the family is doing well and the weather is warming in the Netherlands. We have a few snow flurries again today so I will probably spend most of the day on the radio and doing some reading.

It's always good to hear from you. Hope you and the family are looking forward to warmer weather.