03 May 2013

Manyane Campground, Pilanesberg game reserve

Berry looking happy :)
On April 30th Berry and I travelled to Manyane for a 2 night visit over the May day holiday. A very pleasant time was spent there. From a radio perspective, I was able to set up a very good EFHW into a tree outside our campsite and about 30ft agl. I then formed an inverted L configuration with the vertical section about 12ft long and connected in the usual way to my tuner. I was QRV at about 10:00 local and received a 599/QSB report from ZS4SF in Welkom. I could tell that the antenna was working particularly fb. I ran 2watts. After that QSO with Monk I called CQ for about 10 minutes with no takers. I then tuned up to 7070Khz and was able to enjoy a number of QSO's on SSB and running 5 watts. It is clear that making contact on Phone here in SA is a lot easier than CW. On Phone I chatted to ZS6JSE, John in Carolina 55/56, ZS6BTY, Vince in Pretoria 58/59. Vince was operating QRP 5 watts. Some QSB. He was using an extended double Zepp for 40m.I then talked to ZS6GQ in Alberton, Sid who was running 100W into an inverted Vee, 56+QSB.

Later in the afternoon at 13:12 local, I worked ZS3AOR, Pieter in Springbok Namaqualand on 7020Khz CW. I was amazed that he copied me. My signal report was 339. Unfortunately I did not copy his antenna or power. I then had an excellent QSO with John ZS6JBJ in Witbank . This was fun. John gave me a 599+20db report on my 2 watt signal. I then reduced my power to 1Watt and received a 599 report. At 500mW he reported 579 and at 200mW he reported 559 with QSB. This was proof that my EFHW was working exceptionally well and that the condx at this time were favorable. Towards the end of the QSO I could hear the band going long and DX music and pirate stations were heard. Overall I was very pleased with the result.


  1. If I can QSO Namaqualand on 2 watts in mid afternoon then my field setup has day communications Nationwide.
  2. 200milliwatts is probably all that is needed for essential communications around Gauteng, NW province and Mapumulanga provinces.

'Room with a view'

The beloved Hornbill
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