Having spent about 24 operating days running HF mobile, I can say that it’s definitely something that I enjoy. In that short amount of time, I’ve worked nine different countries (Brazil, Cuba, France, Greece, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Slovenia, and the US), and made 43 contacts.
All on the FT-897D and 100w.
After a failure of the ATAS-120 lower matching unit (currently off to Yaesu for warranty repair), I’ve grown to really liking the 17m hamstick. After reading and talking to so many operators that have had negative experiences with them, I was determined to spend a little time with them and see if I couldn’t make them work.
After working 40m for a while, I decided it wasn’t that great of a band for mobile. 20m was good but always busy. After a friend of mine suggested running 17m mobile, I settled into it. With a little mentoring, I was able to take my 1.8:1 stock match of the hamstick, wind a matching coil and bring that down to around 1.2:1.
Mind you, the hamstick by itself was doing great. But the matching coil makes a huge difference between the 5/7s I was getting and turning them into 5/9s with “excellent audio” from the stock Yaesu mic. You know, the one everyone likes to modify. 🙂
So…if you happen to work me on 17m, it is exclusively my goto band for mobile and portable operations. Be patient with me if I happen to work you as I’m trying to jot down your call.