QRP, a K1, and the magic of ham radio

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QRP, a K1, and the magic of ham radio

Greg Buhyoff-2
I have been a ham for over 50 years and done lots of dumb things.  Really
dumb.  Today was no different.  I was putting a recently acquired K1
through the paces and getting it ready for another of my trips to the bush.

I had just worked several stations with a output of between 5 and  watts
with the K2 and my vertical.  After this I was switching to different
radios and antennas and checking power out and using a AIM 4710 to check
the "health" of my antennas and decided to go back and enjoy the K1.

 I called CQ a  couple of times and K7FB, near Dallas, TX, answered me.  He
was really weak but I could copy him as a 429 and sent that report.  He
sent me a 549 and after this exchange, he sent "no copy".  I sat there and
wondered what happened since I was still copying him at about a 429. So, I
glanced down at the K1 and saw my output had dropped to 3W.  I also was
wondering why the band noise had dropped off since we have a pretty good
weather system coming in from the west and was getting some QRN.

Well, as I was logging the contact after signing off, I started to wonder
why my ouput had dropped since I had just set it to 5W.  I checked the menu
item and set the power out to 7 watts and was just seeing 3 bars for power
output on the K1.  As I thought about getting my LP-100A hooked up to the
K1, I looked and saw I had been transmitting into 6 feet of RG-59 hooked up
to an antenna switch --- nothing else. Yep, stupid.  But, then it was one
of those things that keeps my interest in ham radio -- the magic of it all.
And, a lot of credit goes to the "ears" on that K1 and some of the other
kind of magic called propagation nuance.

I just wanted to share this with some folks who would understand that find
of fun and appreciate the dumb and crazy things a ham does when he has too
many radios, switches and runs of coax.  I shared it with my wife, but she
simply shrugged her shoulders.

Anyway, I wish you all a great holiday season and a fine and healthy New

Greg K2UM
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