Monday, November 17, 2008

The Rockmite 20 at 10k

The Rockmite is back up and running! After replacing the 2N2222 that amplifies the transmitted signal I hadn't made a contact in a week or so, and I was starting to think I'd smoked yet another component. I decided maybe a better antenna location would help. The weather was exceptionally warm in Boulder today, so it seemed like the perfect time for a hike. I packed up the rig, my fishing pole, and my antenna and headed for Lefthand Reservoir in the Roosevelt National Forest outside Ward, CO.

The temperature was quite a bit colder at altitude, (Lefthand lies at about 10,700 ft.), but the hike was pleasant and pretty easy. There's not a whole lot of snow yet and the trail to Lefthand lies entirely on a Forest Service Road that's closed for the winter. The reservoir was completely frozen over, so fishing was out, and I set up the Rockmite and its antenna right away.

View Larger Map

I hung the half-wave dipole about six feet up to start, turned on the Rockmite, and heard... a crystal clear CQ from W9FFU! I responded and W9FFU promptly called back with an RST of 449! I haven't operated in the mountains before, and the signal quality just stunned me! There was no static and no interference! The little Rockmite was reaching all the way to Oak Harbor, WA on half a watt!

I'll be back up tomorrow, November 17, 2008, between 17:00 and 20:00 GMT if you'd like to chat. The frequency should be around 14.060 MHz in the QRP portion of the band.

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