Good times even with bad propagation

A CME has been ringing the Ionosphere like a bell the last 12 hours or so. Even so, I managed 5 solid QRP contacts on 20m today with the magnetic loop indoors. Tested the loop with a shorter piece of coax and confirmed it will tune up now on 12m and 10m. No activity on those bands now though but good to know I can try them when they are open. I noticed the SWR in the loop improves with a little height. Minimum looks to be one loop diameter. Need to test the magnetic loop outside in the clear as my office had iron bars on the windows. I added the capacitor to the loop and tuned up 40m but was unable to make any contacts. I fear that the efficiency is to low or the noise floor to high or both for use on QRP. I will likely try a larger diameter loop with this and see if it improves. Performance on 20m has been solid and I am anxious to try some contacts on 17m and 15m.

I have an antenna switch on the way as I’d like to make some side by side comparisons to the end fed antenna I use on my main rig. I did use the magnetic loop on receive the other day and was picking up a station in Guatemala about 58 on the FT-817ND. I could not hear this tation on the FT-450D using the end fed wire. This station could not hear me on 5W but did when I transmitted on 100W and listened on the FT-817ND.

I made 10 solid contacts today on 40m SSB during the NA QSO party including one contact confirmed on QRZ in North Dakota. Pity this op doesn’t use LoTW…Doh!

Not a bad day of Ham Radioactivity!

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