So it’s been a while since I’ve had the station online, but I took care of that today with a fishing reel and a crossbow. I slung the G5RV Jr in the tree next to the trailer and got everything wired up inside.The crossbow was something I’ve had on the get list for a while, so I’m not going to count it as part of the cost of this project, I will concede to the pair of bolts I stuck up in the tree, though. The ‘bow fishing’ reel couldn’t quite keep up with the payout rate of the line, so I ended up just laying out the line out in serpentine fashion on the ground and all went well.
HF was pretty much dead all day with the FT8 slots on each band showing the only audible activity on a consistent basis. Just using the side-tone, I worked on getting my fist back in shape, but I think this is going to take some real practice. The paddles are working now after I did a full reset to the FT-991, so there must have been a setting undone.
After the sun went down, 40m stayed pretty quiet. There were a few stations sending nice, clean CW, so I got some practice in there, too. I’m still just not quite confident enough to hop in on anywhere but the Novice bands. Maybe this weekend.
For what it’s worth, I can see why people were warning against the uBITX. If it were my only radio, I would have some serious confidence issues when the bands are tight. But when a modern commercially manufactured HF rig is also silent, I don’t worry so much about the QRP kit.