Friday, July 13, 2012

Simplicity's Reward

On July 9, I answered a CQ from KB8BWE using my Vanguard 1 station setup. Charlie came back to me straight-away with a 529 report. Unfortunately, my signal subsequently dropped into the noise. While it didn't qualify as a full-fledged QSO, nevertheless, I was pleased to learn that he was operating with three watts into a three-foot diameter loop antenna. The full details of his station arrived in his follow-up email

"...I was using a 3’ diameter magnetic loop called the “Alexloop Walkham” from here:


The loop itself is a piece of RG213 coax. I had just received it in the mail that morning, and was trying it out on the deck behind my house. It all folds up into a laptop-sized case.

The rig is a TenTec 4040 (Youkits HB-1B) 4-band QRP rig that I got at Dayton this year." 

I have, these past twenty-five years, worked and lived atop Mt. Mansfield; Vermont's highest peak. My task there is to maintain a powerful commercial television transmitter that is coupled to a huge antenna. For all of that, it might seem curious that having my 25mW signal copied by a guy sitting on his deck in Ohio with a 3' loop antenna would be the thing to send a chill up my spine. In fact, my passion for radio minimalism has long since spoiled me for anything else. :-)     

"Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art."  Frédéric Chopin