Enjoying the Sunshine

My intent this morning was to shake-out my portable operations gear. I am travelling out to California next week, enroute to Seattle and then Korea. For the flight to Korea I am allowed to take two duffel bags (<70 lbs each) and a carry-on. I get to ship a small amount of gear (aka "household goods") from here in Kansas to Korea, but I likely will not see that stuff again for a few weeks. So along with all the stuff I will need to function for a few weeks, I also want to bring some radio gear. The current plan is to use the Elecraft KX1. The rig has a tiny footprint and includes its own tuner and tiny set of paddles. For an antenna, I'm going to use my Buddistick. All the components fit into a small case. I decided to take the KX1 and Buddistick out for a test drive and see how everything worked together. I set up in a small park in Leavenworth on a bluff overlooking the the Missouri River. My dad had given me a heavy duty tripod from High Sierra that served as a great base for the Buddistick. The tripod is too big pack with my luggage, but I am definitely going to ship it with the rest of my household goods. I also brought along MFJ-259B to help tune the Buddistick. The Buddistick comes with a 31' radial. I found the challenge with the Buddistick is keeping the radial off the ground (as recommended). Instead of the 5.5' whip that comes with the Buddistick, I have the MFJ-1956, a 12' telescoping whip. 40M tuned up quick. I had the radial extended out all the way to 31'. Due to where I was at, there was no nearby tree that allowed me to get the radial up off the ground. The tripod let me raise up the Buddistick about 6'. It was interesting to see the SWR change as I adjusted the height. After connecting up the KX1, I found W5VYH, Bru, calling CQ around the old 40M Novice band. Bru was down in Arkansas and gave me a 559. Next up was 30M. After playing with the coil clip, I got the SWR down. Not much heard there. 20M was a bit harder to tune up. After playing with the coil clip and rolling in the radial, I was able to get the SWR down to 1:1.7. 20M was very busy with a bunch of station around 14.150 MHz. I responded to one or two stations calling CQ, but I imagine my small sized signal was hard to pull out of the mix. I'm going to try a few more trial runs. Also need to try out the adjustable clamp that comes with the Buddistick as a mount.