22 January 2014

First 23 cm QSO

The first 23 cm monthly activity contest date came too soon. It was my first opportunity to test on the air a 20W transverter and 23 element beam. The antenna went up easily and I used the TV coax already installed plus two BNC-N adapters: losses everywhere!

The 23 cm antenna on the balcony, beaming 60°
Apart being away for a long time from an SSB contest, I immediately felt restricted to the 3000 Hz bandwidth of the FT817, while for the last 12+ months I was able to see 2 MHz of RF spectrum.

The RTLSDR does offer an advantage. Even though I have probably not missed a QSO, I was thrown back to the good old days of search and pounce with the VFO.

I was able to speak with all the people I have heard last year. All signals were very strong, with the ODX being S9+60. Curious band!

Next month I will try to arrange more room in the shack/lab desk so that I can switch the antenna to the SDR when done with QSOs: at last I will be able to compare the two RX solutions.