KR1S QRP Portable, II

March 18, 2008

Today I wanted to try out a 20-foot (6.1-m) "Black Widow" fishing pole, known as a "crappie pole." It has only one eyelet, at the tip, and no provision for mounting a reel. The pole collapses in six sections and is very lightweight. To support the pole I used a larger piece of aluminum tubing with a sharp end, pushed into the ground. They are sold down here to hold your fishing rod upright in beach sand.

KR1S QRP Portable, Halpatiokee Regional Park

Twenty-foot Black Widow pole ready for action.

My first operation was from Halpatiokee Regional Park in Stuart, at a picnic table beside the St. Lucie River. I had to keep my log book in the radio carrying case so it wouldn't blow away.

KR1S QRP Portable, Halpatiokee Regional Park

View from my operating position.

I took time out to photograph these Swallow-Tailed Kites. Other than the Red-Shouldered Hawk that tried to run them off, and one Mockingbird, they were the only birds in the air today.

KR1S QRP Portable, Halpatiokee Regional Park

Swallow-Tailed Kites.

The wind off the river was annoying so I relocated to another park up the road. This is my setup there.

KR1S QRP Portable, Halpatiokee Regional Park

KR1S fishing station.

Band conditions seemed down today, but it may have been my low antenna. I used a 24-foot (7-m) piece of wire from the radio to the top of the pole, and pulled out the excess with the pink cord. I also used a 20-foot (6-m) counterpoise wire. That's about as minimal as you can get.

Using 40, 30 and 20 meters, I worked 5 states and 6 countries. I worked four other QRP stations: W4DNE, WP4DQK, KCØNGA and N4UED.

My conclusion is, an antenna like this will work, but is too low to be very effective. If possible, hang your antenna from a tree or other safe support. But I'll keep the pole and pipe in my car for times when throwing a wire over a branch isn't possible.

KR1S QRP Portable, Page 1

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