KX2/AX1 Portability: How K8ZT worked the State QSO Party from Amtrak Platforms

Anthony (K8ZT) works two 20M stations from the Sacramento platform.

Many thanks to Susan (WB2UQP) who shared this piece by Anthony (K8ZT) which was originally posted to the Elecraft KX forum. Anthony kindly gave us permission to re-post it here on QRPer.com:


AX1 Success Story

All year I have been taking part in State QSO Party Challenge with the goal of working all 45 events.

The problem was I would be on an Amtrak trip on the California Zephyr during the entire California QSO Party (ironically arriving at my destination in Emeryville, CA just after CAQP ended).

So my opportunities to get the two required contacts would be on one of the platforms during one of the Zephyr stops (usually around 5 minutes, but with a few 10-minute stops) so there would be no way to set up an antenna. I was using my Elecraft KX2 and purchased an AX1 for the trip.

My first opportunity was 10 minutes at Glenwood Springs, Colorado Station.

Using the KX2 and AX1 with counterpoise I was able to work three stations in CA on 20 Meter CW: K6XX, W6FRU, and N6TV.

During my next opportunity, now as an in-state station, from the Sacramento platform I worked two stations on 20 Meters:
W0BH in KS on CW, and K2KR in CO on SSB

-Anthony Luscre (K8ZT)


I love this, Anthony! Combining rail travel and radio? It can’t get better than that!

I also love this because it points out the advantage of compact radio setups like the KX2/AX1 pairing: they allow you the flexibility to operate in time frames and conditions other setups might not easily accommodate.  

To think that you met your goal of working the State QSO Party from Amtrak platforms in 5 to 10 minute windows of time? Wow!

And it doesn’t even look like you’re breaking a sweat!

Thank you for sharing!

4 thoughts on “KX2/AX1 Portability: How K8ZT worked the State QSO Party from Amtrak Platforms”

  1. Brilliant! Nothing comes close to an ax1 for getting on the air quickly.

    Look at all that metal train, bet the kx2 tuner would tune that up!

    Nice story.
    73

  2. Thanks for running the story. I also have a presentation on my other radio and train adventures- “Amateur Radio & Trains” – http://tiny.cc/artrains. My wife Linda, KA8ODP did a live presentation for Virginia Beach ARC, not sure if the recording is available.

    I will be adding our latest Amtrak adventures to the slide presentation later this week.

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