I enjoyed success with the radio yesterday. In what was the first operation from our new house, I managed to spend an hour on the back patio. With slightly cooler temps and lower humidity than we have been having, I like to think it was a real foretaste of what is to come as we slide into autumn.

My plan had been to take the IC-705 out there and use the CHA-MPAS Lite antenna in a vertical configuration. But the nice weather also had me catching up on mowing the grass at our old house and at this one and by the time I was finally ready to play radio it was almost time for the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt to get underway. So I called an audible and brought out the KX3 and used the AX2 antenna. It was a two-minute setup and I was on the air as the opening bell sounded.

I have a table-top tripod mount for the AX2 and I added a 13-foot counterpoise wire stretched across the patio to the arrangement. My five watts out was powered from a 12V battery and I used the built in paddles on the KX3. It was an all 20 meter CW patio activation.

In the one hour I had available I managed to work four Skeeters. These were in NY, AL, NH, and TX. I claimed the 12 points for these and submitted my log, soapbox, and the photo you see here. Given the bit of a rush to get on the air and the minimal antenna arrangement I was quite pleased with this result.

But that wasn’t all…

While tuning around looking for buzzing skeeters I heard a number of strong stations calling in the Kansas State QSO Party. I called several of these and ended up putting eight of them in the log. All of them at QRP and on 20 CW using the AX2 antenna.

But that wasn’t all…

A couple of POTA activators were busy calling CQ and I didn’t want to leave them hanging so I worked them too. One in Canada (VE-0986), the other in New York (K-5206).

I’m calling the first shakedown of ham radio on the patio at the new house a big success (14 Qs logged). There was no appreciable noise to contend with, something I had been a little worried about. It was a comfortable patio activation and I’m already imagining many more to come as cool breezes and long shadows should provide an excellent backdrop to ham radio in the great outdoors - without ever leaving my own backyard.