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Friday, October 25, 2019

Minimalist Masochism at Solar Minima -- But More Contacts with the ET-2

Dylan Thoams
  "Rage, rage against the dying of the light" 

I thought of that line from Dylan Thomas's poem when I read on G3XBM's web site that we are kind of at the very bottom of the solar cycle.  Roger wrote on 22 October: "Solar flux is 64 and the SSN 0. A=5 and K=0. As far as I am aware this is the lowest solar flux this solar minimum."   

I also thought of this as I pounded brass (Indian brass!) in an effort to make a few more contacts with my ET-2 two transistor rig.  Obviously venturing forth on 40 meters with just TWO transistors (one for transmit and one for receive) and crystal control AT SOLAR MINIMA is not for the faint of heart.  It is almost a Dylan-esque act of defiance. 

I have had to resort to please for help on the DX Summit, the SolderSmoke blog and the SKCC Schedule page.  Fortunately for me, the brotherhood has sprung to my support.  

W1PID (who gave me contact #3) also gave me contact #4 on 21 October. 

W4KAC in Hickory NC was contact #5.  This was on 22 October.  This was the only marginal contact so far.  He was running 5 W into an end fed half wave. 

Yesterday was a big day for the ET-2. I had two solid contacts: 

#6 was N2VGA in New York UPDATE:  Larry N2VGA confirmed by e-mail that this was a "random" contact -- not the result of my on-line pleas for assistance.  He just heard my CQ and responded.  FB.  

#7 was K4CML in Newport News, Va.  He switched to QRP himself at 2.5 watts for a nice 2X QRP contact. 

Looking at my Rigol 'scope, I now think I'm putting out about 150 milliwatts.  Not bad for a single J310.  I may have to invest in a heat sink.

40 seems most cooperative in the morning (around 0930 local) and again in the afternoon (around 1630 local). 

Thanks to all who have helped.  I will try to make a few more. 

1 comment:

  1. If you are into regen and QRP-induced 1-transistor masochism, you might take a look at an Chris Trask's(N7ZWY) 1-transistor transceiver - the Gnat:


    It's on my list to build...


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