Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My QRP Adventure Begins

I scored well on a recent eBay auction and purchased a new to me Icom 703 Plus. It's great to receive a radio used that looks like brand new. I have not purchased too many used pieces of equipment over the years but I would have to say, this is the best "used" piece of equipment I have ever purchased.

With summer still several months away, I have plenty of time to dwell on accessories and antenna's that I can use with my Icom. My list is bigger than my budget but I'm excited, as this was the first major step to my QRP / portable operating. We have so much great country around here and with my ATV, I can get to most of the places, outside of Denali National Park of course (inside the Park on foot).

Operating up north at 63 degrees is a challenge for 100 watts let alone 10 watts. I chose the Icom due to the internal tuner and extra 5 watts over the Yaesu QRP rig. I have always had Icom HF equipment so the decision was not hard. So I need to make sure my antenna's will be as good as possible as I will need all the help I can get if the bands are not in very good shape.

My operating will be (most likely) 99% CW and digital (PSK31). Again, my mind wonders on the possibilities and of course, I'm limited due to being in the field. I am already looking at solar as my main source of power (I mean, we have so much daylight in the summer time, why not?).

I had my very first contact with the 703 with my close friend Sean, KL1SF. I also experienced 60 meters for the very first time! Granted, it was with Sean who lives only a few miles to the north of me in Healy, but it was still great. The joy of a new toy!!

Now, if only summer would hurry up and get here!!


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