I had the opportunity to spend two weeks of vacation with my family on the Paradise Island in the Bahamas. This is such a lovely and unique place, that it's hard to explain in words. In this article I'd like to share my radio related experiences and will not write too much about the island and the holiday complex itself, but in case of interest you may google around a bit to find out more about this special place on Earth. It is definitely a mighty candidate for any bucket lists. 

I was so happy that I've received my licence prior to the winter holidays and I could get on the air from Hungary as HA/HB9GIU! 

From home, I've used my new FT-991A transceiver, powered by an MFJ-4230MVP and connected to a home-brew λ /4 vertical wire antenna that we had built together with HA7GN.

Lambda / 4 vertical wire antenna
Lambda / 4 vertical wire antenna

This was an excellent antenna built on a fishing rod with 4 radials, and dimensioned to the 20 m band. The SWR was below 1.2 at resonance frequency, and below 1.5 through the entire 20 meters band. Some interference in the "shack" required to exchange the USB cable between the radio and the laptop to a better shielded one. Otherwise CAT control for the digi modes malfunctioned when using output power exceeding ~20W. An additional 1:1 balun helped to fully reduce interference at the end. 

But the real highlight was HA7GN's station in the Mátra Mountains!! Have a look at this! :)

Matra QTH - HA7GN
Matra QTH - HA7GN
Matra QTH - HB9GIU
Matra QTH - HB9GIU

It was an excellent learning opportunity and lots of fun! Altogether 100 QSOs have been collected during the holidays as HA/HB9GIU in the mixture of PSK32/PSK64 and SSB modes. The longest distance was 7643 km, which will most likely be a challenge for me to beat from my QTH in Switzerland. :)

I've found "The Art and Skill of Radio-Telegraphy" from N0HFF very useful to get started and to find your own path to learn Morse code in a successful and enjoyable way. It is available for free download in multiple languages here

There are several different tools out there that teach you Morse Code. My number one recommendation is lcwo.net, which is also available in several languages, and offers a great variety of different options to practice. It is very easy to start with and to proceed step-by-step in a systematic way. I'm far from being proficient in CW yet, but could successfully learn all the 41 standard characters, while getting prepared for the ham exams recently.

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Do It Yourself Electronics