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Monday, March 28, 2016

30 days on 80m with Genesis G11

Seventeen days ago I've decided to put my G40 on the test- the goal was to work all 50 US states on 40m with 5Watts output.

The current total is 38 states worked!

This is an amazing result but not really a total surprise. I always knew that 5 Watts on JT65 mode is plenty. In 17 days I've made over 400 contacts with all continents on 7MHz including number of Europeans and a few South American. Basically you can work DX on 40m with baby Genesis any time you want. While reports were sometimes just marginal, there were times when I had a steady steam of callers.

I have no doubt that it would be just a matter of weeks before all 50 states will be 'worked'.

In a way, almost, 40m was too easy.

So I am now ready for the next challenge: to move on 80m band and to see if I can make two way contact with US. I am an optimist : I would expect to work at least 10 states in a month and that would be quite an achievement.

Apart form average 16,000 km distance to US, the 80m band is much 'difficult' than 40m. QRN and static charges are present almost daily, and the activity level is only a fraction of 40m. My rig of choice is G11: but make no mistake: 5W or even 10W is not that much.

The window of opportunity for DX contacts is going to be very narrow. Probably just enough to complete a contact or two with a particular state or geographic area. The timing is going to be absolutely crucial.

Another hurdle is the mere antenna size. Of course, a low wire is out of question so today I've reconfigured my vertical antenna to L/4. The vertical section is 16m which is absolute maximum I could get away with on my small city block. The remaining 4m of wire simple slope down under a steep angle. I am yet to find out which neighbor is to complain first.

But even that is not a real obstacle: it is a fact that I have no ground system- apart of 5 short pieces of wire under the base. Barely enough to make antenna resonant on 3550KHz And as a final nail in my 80DX coffin: most of my vertical is surrounded by tall trees.

So this is it friends. If you are man of faith do pray for me :-). On 80m band am not looking for magic but for a miracle.

As I type this I've completed my first QSO with VK7RB. The distance is mere 960km. I've been also decoded in New Zealand which is encouraging.

If you happen to have a very decent antenna for 80m band then we should try for a qso. Or if you live in a very quiet rural area, then tune in- who knows, maybe you'll pick my tiny signal.

Once thing is certain: a DX quest like this one is what makes amateur radio the greatest hobby of all.

73 Nick VK2DX
=== 30 days 80m challenge: CU on the air! ===


On the first night my low power 80m signal was detected in Canada by both VE9DX and VE3ODZ, then repeatedly by number of US stations. I almost had a QSO with N0JQ who answered my CQ call! Dennis has a short 8m vertical only. Unfortunately the opening was already on its way down to complete QSO. However I am now convinced that is is just a matter of time before I'll have my first two-way DX QRP 80m contact.

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