After work today, I decided to go off to Middleton Sands to do some portable
operating. After loading up the car, I set off. High tide was 16:48 BST and I
arrived at around that time. First surprise was that the tide was a long way out!
That was because high tides aren't that high at present.
I drove onto the sand which was quite firm. It took me quite a while to set up the
20M Moxon vertical. I connected up the KX3 and started to operate from the car,
on 5W using the internal batteries. I had already checked before I set off that the
20M band was open. Plenty of stations were active but I could not get a single
Eventually I realised that it wasn't just my 5W which was limiting me; there had to
some other problem. It turned out to be a faulty feeder. With the KX3's internal ATU
which can tune 10:1 it wasn't obvious that there was a fault. Fortunately I had a spare
feeder in the car, just in case. This was put into service and the band was alive.
As expected, the combination of KX3, 20M vertical Moxon, and most importantly
wet sand proved quite potent. All the reports I was given from around Europe were
between 55 and 59.
I worked a mini-dxpedition from Dundee ARC, active on the Isle Of Man as
GT4AAF/P. I had a long chat with Paul (GM0BKC) about our trip next month.
He said he would get in touch by email after their group returns home tomorrow,
and said he was looking forward to working our "MT0" prefix next month.
I managed to get the aerial and kit packed away just as it was going dark!
As a bonus, after I got home I worked YW5B on Isla la Blanquilla off Venezuela
(IOTA SA-037). He replied first time though this was from my Kenwood running
100W to a 20M dipole.