I visited K7QO’s home page yesterday to see what Chuck was up to lately and wasn’t surprised to discover that he has indeed been up to something new. Since July 2020 he’s been using a kit-built five watt transceiver (CW, duh) with a couple of whip antennas arranged in dipole fashion. These affixed to a pole that’s stuck in the umbrella hole of a patio table. It’s a 17M only experience and he seems to be doing well in this adventure.
Simple equipment, simple antenna, and nothing to gain other than personal satisfaction. I’ve found that when there’s a pre-defined outcome, like achieving a high-score in a contest or obtaining WAS or DXCC, the station is built or modified specifically to achieve those goals. But when the goal is self-defined, it usually comports to the equipment and antennas already on hand.
Let’s say you decide to see how many states can be worked over a 30-day period on 80 meters using just ten watts and operating only from 10pm to 11pm. There certainly is no certificate or shiny award at the end of that journey, but there could be copious amounts of personal satisfaction in setting a goal and working to achieve it.
Not to mention learning a thing or two that you didn’t know about how your station performs on 80 meters, and about propagation on that band at a particular time. This kind of quest can provide important lessons in improving your station. The best part of making your own fun is that there’s no end to the twists and turns you create for yourself.
Plus, you won’t have to produce something as arcane as a Cabrillo formatted log for submission.