So having got everything ready and with the weather, whilst chilly, was ok to go and venture out with the radio. I scheduled on the POTA activation website, and headed off to the New Forest to Bolderwood.
The drive in the Hyundai i10 was fine after its recent service, and was good to stretch its legs on the lively A roads in the area. For a small car its got a decent enough poke to make the journey without issue, as I was just carrying my IC705 and a few drinks.. I did notice I had left my ‘large’ battery behind – so I would be running real QRP from the 705’s internal battery and limited to 5W – still, i was nearer bolderwood than I was home, so pressed on.
I de-tangled the the 30 meters of radials, this took me a little while, but nethertheless wasn’t too problematic, the ends of the radials have a nice round terminator which makes de-tangling more a case of pulling the cables thru, rather than unpicking a ‘rats nest’ of wire (plenty of experience with the DX Commander and radials there!!!) I used the rig expert on 17m got the SWR across the band down to 2.1:1, which for a compromise antenna was ok.
I hooked up the laptop via Wfview, Virtual Comport and WSJTX. Signals came in no problem at all, and decodes appearing in WSJTX without issue. I then tried to TX, the SWR measurement was the same as the Rig Expert, but oddly the TX ‘pulsated’ as if it was getting disconnected. I went thru and checked the settings once more, no difference between home and here, only delta was the antenna. I tried the USB cable I had packed away to remove wifi/wfview/audio port as an issue, but the noise level went thru the roof! So I went back to trying to get wfview to work, at least at home on 2M I did get out (suprisngly!).
As I continued to try to connect, I checked PSK report on my phone – not a single RX. I could only put this down to the combination of the antenna and using wfview, as with a magloop and 5W on an ipad, I would at least get out, and as other POTA activations showed, worked without issue.
With 0 contacts and a slight piece of rain, i forgo the activation and headed home determinted to find out what I could do to solve my WSJTX TX issue.
Once home I searched around youtube and found several useful videos and this one demonstrated exactly the issues I faced when using my USB cable.
With that I searched around the house, the longest USB cable I had was 2M long, and wouldn’t take many wraps of the toroids I have, so have ordered a 5M USB cable and some cable ties from Amazon, hopefully they will be here tomorrow, then I can try USB with a nice toroid to see if that removes the QRM.
I also thought that I should of tried with the ATU between the radio and antenna, as I think that would of also acted as a ‘common mode’ choke, but will try the USB route first as that looks the most promising solution at the moment.
Until next time (which is hopefully early in the new year) 73’s !