Having bought the Super antenna MP-1from the National Hamfest at Newark last week I thought it was time to take it out into the field.
Being blessed with some good weather yesterday I packed the rucksack with my Elecraft KX3, a fully charged battery and the MP-1.
I didn’t stray far from the home QTH about a mile or so to a place called Hockenhull Platts
, it is a quiet spot with just a few dog walkers and ramblers passing by, it took me about 20 minutes to walk down (wasn’t in a hurry) after a quick look around I set up the antenna which took about 5 minutes, I set the tuning coil to 40m using the guide provided in the kit and ran the radials out along the bushes away from the path I didn’t have the room to fan them out, so antenna set up I then powered up the KX3 and checked the SWR it was 1.4:1 according to the KX3 (I didn’t take the antenna analyser with me) if I had spent some time tweaking the coil I could have got the SWR down further however the internal ATU on the KX3 did it’s job and gave me a 1.0:1 SWR.
Tuning around a very busy 40m band I managed to find a clear spot on 7.1490mhz and started calling CQ, after a few calls EI5CYB
Joe from County Wicklow just south of Dublin came back to me giving me a 5-1 report he was a good 5-9 with me, after my QSO with Joe I was suffering with QRM from european stations above and below me so I moved down to 7.1325mhz and after putting an email out to the RAYNET-HF
team reflector started calling CQ and was answered by G6INU
Doug from Sidcup in Kent giving me a 5-5 report again he was a good 5-9 with me, then a call from G8BLS
Peter in Ipswich who had just read my email 5-9 reports were exchanged each way also with Peter in his shack was Mike M0MCY
who took the microphone after Peter then a call from David M0TGC
team member from Lyme Regis again a good 5-9 with me and he gave me a 5-8.
Now time was getting on so I decided to start packing up and head home, this was a worthwhile exercise as I hadn’t been out with the KX3 and backpack before and noted a couple things that I need to change for the next trip out:-
- Take a headset with me and use VOX not the fist mic leaving both hands free to fill out the log etc.
- Take a decent pen or pencil, the one I took with me fell to bits and I ended up trying to write using just the refill (not easy when you’re trying to use the fist mic at the same time).
As for the MP-1 antenna first impressions are very good, it is quick and easy to deploy and pack away also it fits nicely into the backpack, it’s performance on 40m I thought was excellent and it out performed my expectations.
I do plan to go back to the same location and try the MP-1 on 15,17 and 20 metre bands and see how it performs.