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VO-52 smallest full duplex station?

I finally got a little time to do some experimenting today with my new toy, a Kenwood TH-F6A HT. I posted earlier that I had listened with great ease to a VO-52 pass on just a small rubber duck during lunch today. This evening on the ~1100 PM EDT pass I made a QSO with YY5FRD. The complete station was the following:

Arrow antenna
435 side connected via 4 ft of RG58 to a Yaesu FT-817 transmitting at 5 watts, powered by a small 1.2 amp hour gel cell in my pocket.
145 side connected via 4 ft of RG58 to the Kenwood TH-F6A. Headphones from the F6A to me.

My biggest problem was the cheap rat shack 3/32 to 1/8 adapter kept falling out of the radio. Got to fix this!
2nd issue is it is dark at 11PM!!! Need to see if there is a way to enable the light to stay on longer on the F6A. I'll dig around in the manual tomorrow. 3rd issue is managing the two radios. I have the 817 on a neck strap and started out with the F6A clipped off to the strap. Couldn't see it very well that way. I think I'm going to try a flat L bracket to slide in the top of the 817 case and clip the F6A in a vertical position facing me.

Tuning was simple. I followed the tried and true standard of tuning the higher of the two frequencies, in this case the transmitter. I found Lino calling CQ near the beginning of the pass. I called him while tuning the uplink until I found myself, then touched up the tuning at the beginning of each transmission leaving the receive as static as possible.

I found that rotating the Arrow on transmit made a very big difference in uplink signal strength. Tripod users should keep this in mind. I have seen arrangements that allowed the Arrow to rotate using PVC pipe as a sleeve around the antenna...being able to rotate makes a big difference.

After the QSO and as I assumed Lino was out of range, I made a few CQs and then tuned the receiver up to the next QSO I heard. One thing to keep in mind about the F6A is the SSB receive filters are about non-existant, so the opposite sideband is somewhat audible...you get used to it. Fine on a satellite, but probably not on 20m LOL.

I'll try to get some pictures together and on the web.

73, Drew KO4MA
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