On January 10, 2022, I decided to try one more antenna: the PackTenna 9:1 UNUN random wire.
The Packtenna random wire is a brilliant little antenna to pair with radios like the X6100 that have built-in, wide-range ATUs. It’s such a small antenna and can easily find matches on my favorite POTA/SOTA bands: 40 meters and up. It’s also very compact and super durable.
I use te PackTenna random wire quite a lot in the field, so I was curious just how effectively it might pair with the X6100.
Blue Ridge Parkway (K-3378)
That Monday, the most convenient place to activate was the Blue Ridge Parkway Folk Art Center. I believe I mentioned before that this particular site is starting to feel like a “shack away from shack” I’m there so much.
Perhaps I should go ahead and order a name plate with my callsign to put on the picnic table?
Hmmm…I’ll give that some thought!
Setup was super easy–that’s the glory of using an antenna as short as the PackTenna 9:1 random wire (28′).
- Xiegu X6100
- Packtenna 9:1 UNUN Random Wire Antenna
- PackTenna 20′ RG-316 BNC/BNC
- Muji A6 Notepad and Koh-I-Noor .9 mm Mechanical Pencil (affiliate link)
- CW Morse “Pocket Paddle”
- Spec-Ops Brand T.H.E. Pack EDC
- Mini Arborist throw line kit: Tom Bihn Small Travel Tray, Marlow KF1050 Excel 2mm Throwline, and Weaver 8 or 10oz weight
- Tom Bihn Large Travel Tray
- Rite In The Rain Weatherproof Cover/Pouch (affiliate link)
- HEROCLIP Carabiner Clip (attached to my backpack–affiliate link)
- Camera: OSMO Action Camera with Joby tripod (affiliate links)
- My fingerless gloves (affiliate link)
When your radio is a shack-in-a-box like the X6100 (or the X5105 and KX2), there really aren’t a lot of accessories needed in the field– only an antenna, feedline, key and possibly a microphone if you choose not to use the built-in mic. This makes for a quick deployment–both set-up and take-down.
On the Air
I started calling CQ and the contacts were very steady.
Within 9 minutes, I worked the ten stations necessary for a valid activation. It’s hard to beat that kind of pace in POTA!
I continued until I’d worked a total of 23 stations in 24 minutes on the air.
It was serious fun!
Here’s what the X6100’s five watts can do with the PackTenna random wire on 40 meters:
I always find it so interesting to see the antenna propagation pattern on a QSO Map. In this case, the PackTenna was deployed vertically with the feedline (the shield of which acts as a counterpoise) in a north/south direction.
Here’s my ad-free, real-time, real-life video of the entire activation:
Shortly after making this video, I packed up the Xiegu X6100 to send to the next reviewer (Mike, K8MRD).
As I mentioned in the video, I did purchase an X6100 of my own from Radioddity. I look forward to taking this little radio to the field much more this year. I’m also interested to see what sort of improvements might be made with each successive firmware upgrade.
I’d like to send a special thanks to those of you who have been supporting the site and channel through Patreon and the Coffee Fund. While certainly not a requirement as my content will always be free, I really appreciate the support.
Patreon and Coffee Fund contributors help fund my radio purchases, experiments, and travels. Without this support, I would not have considered purchasing the X6100. My hope is that this little radio will continue to improve with time and by adding it to my radio arsenal, it allows me to follow progress in real time and report back here on QRPer.
Again, many thanks!
Let’s go play radio, shall we?!?
Cheers & 73,