Outdoor Radio

Took the FT-817 and magnetic loop antenna outdoors Saturday afternoon and ran solar powered. I wanted to test out the Amplifier on battery power so I was running on 20W. Reception with the magnetic loop is clearly superior to the end fed wire. I had it pointed to the north east and was getting some great signals that the FT-450D was deaf to. The RAC contest was going on so I racked up about 25 contacts mainly in Canada and the US. Not overly difficult getting stations to answer the call on 20W.

Saturday afternoon was really nice here in the low 80’s and sunny skies. What I did not count on was the lower angle of the sun casting shade through the trees. This made positioning the solar panel difficult to keep the batteries topped off. With full sunlight, I put in about twice what I am consuming with the radio on receive and the amplifier on standby.

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