Let’s face it, QRP is fun, reasonably lightweight, easy on the power supply and easy to carry for longer distances to your destination. It has many advantages but sometimes you need to bring in the artillery to win the battle.

I’ve had many successes with RaDAR while running QRP and a few failures too where I could just not get the message through. Somehow 20W compared to 5W does sometimes make a difference and then with 100W capability you’re almost sure it will make a difference when conditions are not quite that good.

Since acquiring the second hand FT-897d, I have made a DX contact each day. Actually not just the “rubber stamp” kind, real QSO’s! That is on CW and SSB. Much like a RaDAR deployment I had a wire antenna just outside the “shack” around four meters off the ground. This was almost impossible to do with the 817 the way conditions are at the moment. I guess the guy on the other side makes a difference too with a good radio and good directional antennas.


Well, last night I reconfigured the rig to be able to fit everything into my larger pack. This setup weighs in at 4.5 kg. Not much really for 100W capability, an ATU that will tune just about anything, decent digital modes interfacing and an overall good number of facilities like Collins filters and DSP.

I must still fit the chopping board which will further protect the rig and permanent cabling at the back while in transit. The 897 can be fitted with it’s own internal batteries thus saving on space but for now I’ll start with a 7 A /Hr SLAB or two.

The whole lot can be changed to a “bare bones” system by simply removing the “mobile bracket” that clamps everything together thus removing the ATU and Signalink. The two units are protected by stick on “rubber feet”. It’s almost as if the system was designed this way, everything fits perfectly.

My friend Dennis, ZS4BS says now that the ATU lies on it’s side, it can only tune horizontal antennas 🙂

73 de Eddie ZS6BNE

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