The Begali Adventure Mono key at “Operation Grandmothers House”
I now have some on air time with this little gem, and while its no Sculpture Mono key, it is really fantastic for such a small key. It also stays on the KX-3 and has just enough give that the KX-3 stays put. I’m an old Bug “slapper” – I’m no “delicate flower” when I send CW – so that’s a good test. It gets 5 stars in my book – its really a beautiful key as are all Begali keys.
I was heard as far away as Connecticut, and I heard other stations on the East Coast. I barely hear VK9CZ – so compared to my UrbanBeam at 55′ – this is a sad antenna for DXing. I do hear the JA’s calling VK9CZ – so that’s cool – and kind of funny.
I am not singing the praises of this antenna as anything great – its not – but for just goofing around, I must admit – its fun. I can really see how the SOTA people have the fun they do – and why they seem quite enthusiastic. In fact, I have observed that QRPers seem to know how to have fun maybe more than most other Ham Radio “sub genres” because the expectations aren’t as high as say a QRO “serious” DXer. I know – I used to be one, and I know first hand how intense DXers are – and how QRPers seem to like building stuff and getting the gear on the air – anyway they can and many times in a portable situation.
One thing I am a little worried about – and this is something I knew going into this experiment – is Common Mode noise and getting RF into the shack. It might just be ironic – but the smoke detector in “Grandma’s House” seemed to pick up RF and get triggered. But when I stopped transmitting it still beeped every now and then. I replaced its battery and it seems to have solved the problem – but I will test this again in the morning – when I can afford to make more noise.
I guess I should have purchased a small 1:1 current choke that I would have added before the coax comes int the shack. I might be getting RF on the shield – and heaven knows what a rolled up spool of wire is acting like as a ground / counterpoise.