First off, let me congratulate Joe, N3HEE on that VK7 contact. So far
my best distance has been between Park City, KS and Stanford, FL (AF4K)
with my Bayou Jumper. Mine was enough to be one of the early qualifiers
for Double Oh status but it was only 1719.3 KM compared to Joe's 10K+ KM
QSO with Australia. Well done Sir, well done!
I was tuning around with mine this morning and had an interesting round
table QSO myself. I normally get on 40 QRO somewhere in the vicinity of
7.023-7.028 with one of my collection of bug keys. I usually run my
K3S/KPA500 combination at around 400-450 watts to an Alpha Delta DX-LB
160/80/40 meter dipole. I have a PAR EndFedZ 40/20/10 QRP antenna set
fairly low over the roof of the house that works surprisingly well even
though it should be an NVIS antenna as low as it's mounted and that's
the antenna I use with the Jumper as it's on a switch that allows it to
work as an auxiliary RX antenna on the K3S or switched to whatever rig
I'm playing with on the desk.
I had the BJ on the EDZ this morning as signals were pretty decent on
the low end of 40 and I came across a couple of guys I work regularly,
Benny-K5KV and Don-WB6BEE chatting on 7.025. I plugged in my 7.030
crystal and adjusted the little tuner for best SWR which gave me 4.9
watts out according to my YouKits DP-1.
I switched to the trimmable 7.025 rock which turned out to be right on
zero with the two and gave my call. Both heard me. I was using my hand
key so they didn't recognize my fist right away but I quickly got out my
Vibroplex Blue Racer bug (only one I have with an 1/8" plug on the
cable) and plugged it in. Got a 579 out of K5KV down in Star, TX and
579 to 589 out of WB6BEE who lives in Pagosa Springs, CO. The broad RX
passband in the Jumper was hearing a JA station up the band a bit but I
didn't try to work him as I couldn't shift the 7.025 crystal far enough
to get close to his frequency.
Benny, K5KV shut his amp off and lowered power to 5 watts and we were able to maintain a decent contact with QRP levels both ways. I then
shut the Jumper off and put the K3S on as I normally do to complete the
QSO with both of them as there was some deep QSB that took them out of
the Jumper's RX. The K3S will copy signals right down on the noise so
that was the better choice.
Seriously, I've had many different QRP rigs over the years but the Bayou
Jumper ranks right up there with the best of them and I think it's been
the most fun rig to build and operate of any of them. There are rigs
with better receivers and rigs with better transmitters but this combination works just fine and when the band is open there isn't a
contact beyond reach.
Jim - W0EB