Sunday 21 February 2016

Worked All States, QRP and magnetic loops

MFJ-1786 magnetic loop for 30m-10m
This weekend was the ARRL CW DX contest where US stations work the rest of the world. This was a good opportunity to try and work the rest of the states I need for my Worked All States award.

I need Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Nebraska.

I have actually worked quite a few of these, but those stations are not on Logbook of the World (LOTW).

Anyway, starting at the bottom of 14MHz I soon came across KI1G in Rhode Island and bingo! He was in the log with 100W to the OCFD.

I never found any of the other states I needed, but on Sunday I came across N8II in West Virginia and bingo, worked him too. Unfortunately, he isn't on LOTW – damn! I'm not sure if you can do a mixed entry with part LOTW and part QSL cards, like I did with my DXCC application. It might come to that.

Anyway, with no sign of the Dakotas or Nebraska (don't even mention Alaska), I thought it would be fun to try some QRP.

With just 5W I soon worked Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts with the OCFD. Time to up the game.

So I rigged up my MFJ-1786 mag loop on a 12ft pole in the back garden. This was about two S points down on my usual 40m half-wave OCFD, but I was able to work the eastern states on 20m in very short order. I also worked N2IC in New Mexico, W2UP Colorado and N9RV Montana on it.

So what about QRP and a magnetic loop?

A bit harder, but North Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia were soon in the log with 5W on 15m.

Now, don't get me wrong, it is the antenna at the other end of the contact that was doing all the hard work, but if anyone says they haven't got room for HF antennas tell them about the MFJ-1786. It's a miracle for hams with little space.

So I'm hoping that Rhode Island gets confirmed on LOTW. I then need to think long and hard about Alaska. That is going to be a tough one. And if I can get the others confirmed with QSL cards Worked All States (WAS) is a possibility.

1 comment:

  1. Good evening Steve, greetings from Canada and a fellow ham who also uses an MFJ Loop mine being the 1788. I was in the ARRL DX CW contest this weekend as well. I was part time and had 40 contacts. Your right it is a challenge with such a small antenna and working it at 5 watts to boot. I live in a condo and am on the 6th floor so that helps with the height. I find the digi modes work nicely as well.
    Have a great week Steve
    Mike VE3WDM