17 March 2014

Manyane camp at Pilanesberg National Park March 2014

Dung Beetle hard at work!
We had a wonderful weekend at Manyane camp/Pilanesberg national park, as usual. Given the unbelievable rains this past two weeks we were not sure what we would find there.

In the park we were only allowed to drive on the tar roads and one dirt road. We were amazed at the road destruction caused by the rains. There was water flowing everywhere with water flowing in over abundance out of the sodden ground.

From a radio perspective I deployed my usual end-fed half wave up into a tree at about 30ft height. This was a very easy deployment with the launch going smoothly and with only one try. This trip I used my field coupler which is a parallel circuit consisting of 30T on a T50-2 and a poly varicap installed in a altoids tin. I am amazed how well this coupler works. I also took along my ZM2 Z match tuner. In comparative tests with om Monk ZS4SF in Welkom he could not tell the diffference between the couplers. I received excellent reports all weekend for my 5Watt QRP signal with Monk saying that my signal was better by at least 2 s points over my home system which is an 84ft end fed wire. I always receive good signal reports on my EFHW and have full confidence in it.

Using the ZM2 I also tuned up on 20m and 15m. The bands were alive and DX condx were obviously good. The highlight of the weekend was a 5Watt QRP contact with PY2GQT on 40m just at sunrise 04:15UTC on Saturday morning. He gave me a 439 signal report hi.

We saw at least 9 Rhino this trip

Our favorite waterhole Ratlhogo was full to the brim with not an animal in sight

Operating in luxury

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