This dates back in autumn of 2012. and it involves me (Zoran), an FT-817ND and QRZ.com. Let me unfold the story:
My name is Zoran and I live in city of Split, an old roman city on Croatian Adriatic coast. I’m around bands from 1977. but kinda forgot it all last decade. For years, I’ve been using an FT747GX, the rig still works OK but hey, a fresh transfusion couldn’t have harmed anyone, right? And, after a bit longer consideration and searching around local auction sites I finally decided to…but wait, this is another chapter.
Of course, I decided to buy above mentioned beauty from an amateur which barely used it. I remember being overexcited while waiting for my package to arrive and didn’t really know what to expect from that little radio. I could only rely to other guys experience having it for some time already…but generally, idea of portability and minimalistic gear occupied me for long time.
And so, in two days my package came (I remember it as happening right now beacuse rectifier on my moto-bike died the same day) and I unpacked it carefully…boy what a beauty I found! It was love at first sight, no question about it. I didn’t know…otherwise I would have bought it much earlier! But, set aside that faithful day and fast forward one week.
My little FT came with me to our summer residence on Adriatic coast some 70 km to south from my home QTH. We came there to do some work around and of course, first thing to do was to mount a simple inverted V dipole for 14 MHz. Two sides, each of 5m of insulated wire in lenght, feeding point at my balcony fence level, no balun, no antenna tuner (it came later that year), stretched almost horizontaly between balcony and nearest oliva trees…
I remember, it was early in the evening, my mother was watching some Turkish soap opera on TV and I stepped out on the balcony as not to disturb her. Of course, I took my FT with me, connected it to antenna and started listening. The band was actually closing for Europe, here and there States Side could be heard…and suddenly, on 14.350 MHz, at the upper end of the band, I heard a short sentence of 7S in strenght, spoken in low voice – this is RI1ANF and this is the last call. I took the mike and said in timid voice – 9A6BL/QRP….and the guy instantly replied!!!
But I forgot to mention, I had no external power supply, just an internal battery so power was way below 5W! And so, we had a short QSO, nothing much to tell, he gave me 55 which was even too much for me.
Well, working a Russian station wasn’t anything you could be excited about but I certainly was, it was the very first QRP QSO I ever made with FT817ND!
And here we came to the last chapter…
A week passed, we came back to Split. I switched my PC as to see how that guy I was speaking to looks like…hmmm, let me check it at QRZ.com…and what the QRZ.com came up with?
At the time I spoke to him, Oleg was at King George Island on South Shettland! Hay, my first QSO and I made a nice DX, the one that someone else could maybe only dream about.
That’s it guys. And inspite of that notorious sentence „Life’s too short for QRP“…there’s much to be told about little Yaesu, believe me.
73 de 9A6BL