in case you don't remember me....I am the guy who ran a couple
of "Forks" as a dipole awhile back and actually worked
W1AW/5 Oklahoma running 5 watts SSB from my trusty Yaesu
FT-817....Well I have a new one for you and help will be appreciated
to reach my goal!
I will digress a bit before making my help request.
Four days ago I received a text from my portable ops partner that
15 meters was showing some signs of opening, We had been discussing
for awhile now at the lackluster band condx,
I texted him back that I had noticed condx.
seeming to be improving and that while cleaning the shack
I found the "Fork Antenna" and had been giving it a
good workout trying to get myself a spot on the RBN or possibly
another contact with it.
He laughed and said "Knowing you, I am sure you will succeed"
Standing in the yard while we were texting I noticed the two empty
folding aluminum lawn chairs sitting there and I said to him "Perhaps
I'll see if I can throw some RF into a couple of lawn chairs and
see what happens!"
Well of course as soon as we finished our conversation I folded
up the two chairs, stuck one under each arm and off to the shack
I went. Five minutes later "The Lawn Chair Antenna"
Running the 817 @ 5 watts into my favorite LDG Z11 AT, 6 feet
of RG8X coax and a 4:1 balun the chairs
loaded without a hitch on 10 thru 40! (40 you say....keep reading!)
it radiate? I threw out a quick "CQ CQ
de K2MIJ K2MIJ" on 20 meters and
was immediately spotted by N7TR Reno Nevada. Eureka, Success!
it actually work? IS DX possible?
working in earnest from that moment and the results have nothing
less than amazing! First contact was with John N0JA in MO 20 meter
SSB John gave me a 52 and I was ecstatic! Next up was Morris W4REX
in FL a 53 report on 17 meters SSB and the mind blowing contact
of the day was my 3rd QSO, Lacy HA3NU in Hungary on 17 meters
SSB a typical 59 "contest exchange" report...BUT....I
made it across the pond with 5 watts into a pair of lawn chairs
sitting on a bed inside the shack!
getting a complex, I could work phone contacts without a problem
but a CW contact was an effort in futility!
after a number of attempts....my 1st CW contact with K1GHL on
40 meters was a complete delight! The LDG Z11 tuner found a match
quite easily on 40 meters but making a contact I thought would
be at best a stroke of complete luck given the antennas obvious
inefficiency at that low of a frequency...Boy was I ever wrong!
My first CQ out of the box netted me an RBN spot by VE2WU with
a SNR of 9db! As I was picking myself up off the floor it took
me a minute to realize that was my call coming back through the
speaker...K1GHL Glenn in upstate NY gave me a 559 report but disappointingly
came back on the next go around saying he had lost me in the noise
and bid me a 73...Crestfallen, I soon was to have my spirits lifted
when immediately after Glenn, Art W2NRA called me and we completed
a solid 5 to 6 turnover QSO and a good SKCC exchange! I
now have 6 completed 2 way CW contacts on 40 meters. Furthest
distance is New Hampshire with Randy KX1NH.... Yes the lawn chairs
will work on 40! My 1st CW DX contact finally came via S.E. station
AO8BWC Canary Islands on 20 meters...
In the past 4 days, CW and/or SSB, I have so far put 55 domestic
and DX contacts in the log, 14 states NH, NJ, NY, FL, GA, AL,
IN, MI, WI, IL, MO, AR, TX and CO and 9 countries Hungary, Canary
Islands, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Poland, Czech Republic, Wales