Marine Mobile on 17-40 Meters
(See details below photo)
October 3, 2005  Prospect Lake, Colorado: 39 deg 46.6' N 105 deg 07.6' W

Here is my current marine mobile setup. With the continuing decline of Solar Cycle 23, I decided it was time to try out a lower band. I operated on 40 meters from the boat for the first time in October, 2005. It's also the first time I tried using a thirty-three-foot MFJ mast on the boat. It supports my tri-band antenna for 20, 30 and 40 meters. The boat is still amazingly stable. Twenty meters was a breeze with a full-size halfwave, working into Ontario, Tennessee, Alabama, etc.

On forty, I hooked up with the HFpack gang on 7.296 MHz for over an hour and talked with John, K6ERO in AR, Ken, W6FLU and Bonnie, KQ6XA both in CA, Jim, KA8TUR in MI, and Scott, KQ7DX in AZ. Plus I could hear Gary, N5ANF (also in Colorado) on groundwave 15 miles away.

I also use a full-size wire for 20 meters. There is a Molex connector that breaks at 26 feet for 17 meters, and I can switch bands in a minute or so by pulling the mast down, separating the connector, re-hoisting the mast and tuning the matching unit for maximum receive noise.

On April 21, 2006 I was on Prospect Lake running five watts (SSB) and worked CT1DQV in Portugal, LU7YZ in Patagonia and IK4GRO in Italy - all on 20 meters. I finally remembered the digital recorder sitting in my tackle box and recorded my contact with Lauro, IK4GRO in Italy and edited the QSO down to one minute. Listen here.