About 2 months back I had the great idea on purchasing a Magnetic loop antenna as around Christmas 2020 I had received my latest new toy into my station, the IC-705.
After surfing the world wide web for a nice portbale HF antenna my attention was drawn towards the Magnetic loop by OM0ET . I already wrote a short article about my first findings when testing this loop antenna ( OM0ET Loop antenna + IC-705 – PB5X Roberto ) and I can still say that working with this small antenna is a real nice experience. But as the weather outside was starting to improve it was time to get outdoors and find out what the possibillities are when working QRP Portable.
My dear friend Toine PD4AJM recommended a very nice area close to our QTH where the possibility of RFI would be very low to none. Unfortunately we encounterd some Pulse noise(s), possibly generated by electric fences around the fields, but with the help of the NB most of these pulses where eliminated.
The setup consisted out of the Magnetic loop antenna, a Tripod Camera stand, the folded chair by DX Egineering, a Camera bag for the 705 and the IC-705 it self. Ofcourse not forgetting the Smartphone for monitorring the DX Fun cluster. But as seen on the picture, the sun was shining with a quite chilly wind making it challenging to fully erect the Tripod stand, hence I decided to keep the Loop into the lowest position.
When evertyhing was set up it was time to scroll around the band. We had chosen 20 mtr and 40 mtr as the propagation was quite okay on those bands.
After calling CQ CQ I noticed it was quite hard work, something I am not familiar to 😉 as normally when sitting at home, working QRO, having bigger antennas it is a lot easier to make a QSO :-).
After trying to be heard within a small pile up a SV1 station had generated on 20 mtr, I was faintly heard within the Pile up when trying to call him. Luckily with the support of Henk PE0SSB I was fortunate to exchange a quick Radio report (thanks Henk). Also what I noticed was the very low noiselevel, something I only can dream of having at my home QTH. During the 2 short hours I spend in the field and getting colder and colder by sitting straight into the wind, I was able to listen quite a few stations from Europe as well a lot of PA stations on 20mtr. Something what can be quite challenging from home …
In the past 2 decades being a HAM I have worked several times QRP from home and even have been able, back in Solar Cycle 24, to work ZL via LongPath with less than 5 Watts. Of course that is a complete different story because when making those kind of QSO’s we always started wih QRO power and worked our way down to the lowest possible power setting. The big advantage of this is using the YAGI beam when doing so. But working QRP in the field as a Portable station with only 5 watts and a verry small Portable antenna like the magnetic loop is ofcourse completely different. As mentioned before, I am real DXCC hunter and and I love to chase DX with QRO power. But this experience of being outdoors in the field, enjoying nature and the most important, not dragging a gazillion other stuff what will take ages before you are on air, is a real nice experience.
So in the coming months where the seasons ,Spring and Summer still needs to begin, I am looking forward to do some more short QRP/Portable activities in the early morning’s or even late hours as currently we do not have any curfew restrictions anylonger due to the pandemic
If you would like to know more about this topic please do not hestitate to drop me an email at email@example.com or just use the CONTACT form on this webpage.
73 Roberto PB5X