I’ve got my amateur radio license when I was in high school. even though I fully understand the science behind it, being able to hear those week sounds that originate from a far away place, might be even a different continent, walks magic on me. but for way to many years I wasn’t really active with this hobby.
One of the main reasons is the space needed to set up an HF antenna. for most of my adult life I’ve been living in apartment buildings. a simple dipole would require hanging 10 meters of wire would mean getting permission to access to the roof and a running a long coax. putting a beam antenna was really out of the question. so I started looking for some small antenna and found out about magnetic loops. these antenna are about 1 meter in diameter and would fit nicely in my balcony. the disadvantages are the narrow bandwidth that requires you to re-tune every frequency change, and the air-gap tuning capacitor which limits the amount of power you can use.
being limited to using low power transmission (also known as QRP), I opted on using digital modes and not voice.I could use morse code (CW) which have the best results, but after so many year, my skills are quite extinct. so I found out about JT65 which have a very good weak signal propagation. JT65 is something like the twitter of ham radio. every message takes about 1 minute to transfer, and is limited to 13 characters (most of them are the callsigns) so you need to chose your words carefully….
Last weekend I had the time to setup my shack. I blow off the dust from my trusty old TS-440 (might give you a hint on how old I am) and started connecting everything together. I took some time to get all the cables needed, learn how to tune the antenna and dial all the knobs on my transceiver for best conditions. but in the end, I had everything up and running.
It didn’t took long before I started answering CQ calls. and to my amazement they answered back ! WOW ! In no time I had contacts with Slovakia, Ukraine, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Germany, Estonia and even India. WOW indeed !
73 DE 4X6UB