2018-08-17 I've been having lots of fun playing with my 35 ft antenna and FT817nd based portable station. I've managed a QSO or two nearly every day. Today was notable as my QSOs were SSB as I checked into the YL system on 14.332mhz twice. Once with the control operator in Alabama and the other with one in Ohio. The Alabama contact was touch and go but the Ohio one a couple hours later was solid.
I used my Shakespeare TSP20 Six-Piece Wonderpole mast and was able to connect the antenna to the very tip of the pole twenty feet up. I get a rush from a SSB contact at five watts with a compromise antenna. I've grown to expect a contact using CW but SSB is a bit more illusive. Soon I'll be giving PSK a try as I've put all the pieces together for that. You can see more about that on my Ultra Portable PSK page.
2018-07-25 Today made up for the failure yesterday somewhat, though only in my back yard. I don't have a switch to replace the one that I broke as the pins are much closer together than anything in my junk box. I'm working on that. In the meantime I hard wired it with jumpers so the tuner works and since my FT-817nd indicates SWR I can work with it. So to the back yard I went with my 35 ft. antenna, Wonderpole and rig. It tuned up nicely on both 40 and 20 (didn't try any other bands as I had limited time). Forty was devoid of signals but twenty had a fair amount of activity. I tried the YL system at 14.332 but couldn't get the attention of the operator. Then I tuned down to the lower end and ad a nice 5 watt 559 QSO with AH6AX in Maryland on 14.052mhz. So once again the antenna, tuner and rig work.
2018-07-24 This afternoon I finally decided to head out to a local hiking place, set up my rig and try a QSO using my 35 ft end fed stealth antenna. So I walked in about a half mile or so to their picnic shelter, set up the antenna, got out the rig, battery and Tuna Tunah II tuner, connected it all together and, no signals or noise or anything. Then I saw it, the switch which switches from tune to operate position had broken so it was in neither position, thanks to the careless way I had put it in the bag with other things! Bummer! I had my 40/20 meter stealth inverted vee with me, but by then I was losing interest and just packed up, finished the two mile walk and came home. The lesson... pack carefully and look things over before you set up. Had I done that I would have just put up the inverted vee and been on the air. The good news is that setting it up, discovering it was damaged and packing it all away again only took 20 minutes! And I really did get out of the back yard!