Tag: portable

70 MHz portable in the rain

Today was the RSGB first 70 MHz contest, and the weather was forecast to be overcast and dry. I operated from the SNBCG contest site at the Secret Nuclear Bunker Kelvedon Hatch.

The Icom 7300 and homebrew 6e beam was used in the field, and the Expert 1.3KA provided 160w to the antenna.

The pump up mast provides 10m elevation, and the bunker location has good take off in most directions. The only issue is some local noise when you beam towards the cellular mast that is on site.

Unfortunately the weather had other ideas, and it soon became apparent that sitting outside alfresco was no match for the British weather. The addition of an umbrella helped for the first shower, but the rain radar soon confirmed more was to come.

I decided to pack away after 90 minutes operating, as the weather was set to get worst. I also noticed a very high noise floor when both in and beaming towards the rain.

Sadly an early close meant not too many worked, but its the taking part that counts ūüôā

Thanks to Dave M0YOL for his help setting up and taking down. Claimed score online, best DX GW0GEI at 314 KM

Portable with Essex Ham

The weather looked reasonable, so @essexham suggested it would make a nice afternoon for a ham based meet up at Gallywood Chelmsford.

Essex Ham is a virtual club, great for like minded local hams to meet up and experiment. I opted for my usual setup, 12m fibreglass pole and a 4m slim jim antenna.

The slim jim is a tried and tested design, and made from 450 ohm ribbon feeder, although other designs are available. The antenna can be rolled up and easily transported to site.

Portable Equipment

50 Ah Portable 12v battery

Icom 7300 and 12 m Push up pole and Slim Jim antenna

It was interesting to work G1NOX Mel in Dartford, M6OVN/P Glyn near Winchester, M1ECC Dave in Basildon, M0FAQ Martin in Great Notley and G7UTB Jim in Rochester.

Glyn M6OVN/P was 72 miles away, not a bad VHF contact.

Various poles with people trying out different antenna configurations.

LEFARS and SNBCG Big Radio Weekend

Once a year the LEFARS crew and SNBCG come together at the Secret Nuclear Bunker Kelvedon Hatch for a big radio weekend.

It’s the last chance to play some radio over a bank holiday¬†weekend in 2018 before winter arrives!

On Saturday we had a BBQ for 25 people, giving everyone a chance to catch up over a burger.

The radio was split into a number of tents, VHF/UHF and 50 and 70 Mhz for LEFARS, with SNBCG running 2 HF stations. George M1GEO looked after the triband beam 14/21/28 MHz while I concentrated on 7 MHz using my vertical.

Band conditions could best be described as variable, at times allowing some big DX to be worked, and at other times presenting no signals at all due to a solar storm.

7 MHz on FT8 mode on HF helped work in the poor conditions, allowing me to work several stations from Indonesia, Brazil, West Malaysia, Argentina, Cuba, Australia, Oman, China and Arizona USA. Not bad for a 7 MHz vertical antenna with elevated radials.

I took the drone up to capture some nice aerial shot of the setup.

We had attendees from lots of local clubs including Camb-Hams, Essex Ham, LEFARS, SNBCG. A very well attended event, really nice to see everyone having fun and enjoying both the social and radio event.

 

70 MHz Cumulatives

Using the club call M0SNB June saw another chance to operate 70 MHz outdoors in the RSGB contest, with perfect weather at 24c. The contest site at the Secret Nuclear Bunker was used, at some 110m ASL it has good take off in most directions.

Using the homebrew 6e 70 Mhz beam, and the solid-state amplifier to deliver 160w worked a treat, with our best DX EI2FG @ 568 KM.

The antenna uses the latest in “push fit” technology. You can read more about the antenna in this article.

Over the course of the 2Hrs operating, I worked GW, GM, GI, GC and GD.

Here is the QSO map for the afternoon.

Summer 2018 has arrived (almost)

At last, the warmer weather has arrived, today gave me the first opportunity to operate outdoors without a coat.

It was a pleasant sunny afternoon so I decided to operate outdoors and make the most of the nice weather. Using the Icom 7100 and 65Ah leisure battery and a white stick for 145 MHz and slim jim for 70 MHz allowed me to work a number of local stations.

The 70 MHz Slim Jim is mounted on the fibreglass pole on the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The metal mast on the right had been given to me by Richard G4DDP and it was its first chance to try it out in the field. Its very heavy duty, and I think would have originally been designed to take a speaker at a gig, now upscaled to amateur radio.

On 145 MHz I worked M0FAQ Martin in Braintree, M0WJL Gordon in Corringham.

On 70 MHz I worked 2E0HPA/M Andy in Tadlow, G4YBI Paul Rainham, M0XTA Selim, G0ENN Southend.

Here you can see the Icom 7100 setup and operating on 70 MHz

The Icom 7100 all packed up in its travel box.

 

LEFARS and SNBCG Field Weekend.

The August bank holiday provided a great time to play some radio, and join forces with another club for the weekend. Many of team SNBCG are also members LEFARS, and with an active portable group, this was set to be a busy weekend.

I arrived on Friday evening with Peter G0IPA and Dave G7UVW to setup the initial masts, we put up the 144 MHz beam  (9e + mast head LNA).

The 18 MHz 3e beam was recently constructed and required some further testing, although initial results were very promising.

The 7 MHz vertical was constructed from push up poles and 8 radials.

A BBQ was planned for Saturday evening, with Ron G6LTT, Karen and Sharon doing a great job in feeding the masses. Dave M0MBD also provided a very nice Chili con carne with rice. We also had burgers and sausages and some salad, a really nice and very welcome meal. The weather was excellent, with temperatures getting to 27c in the day, and not falling below 18 in the evenings and ideal for camping. The turn out from both clubs was excellent with members travelling from far and wide to partake.

A WSPR transmitter was setup for the weekend using the QRP Labs with a 200mW output into some wire. This provided an indication of the band conditions and was active throughout the weekend.

John M0IDA dropped in on Sunday with his arrow satellite antenna and provided a demonstration on working through satellites.

Altogether a very successful weekend with members operating on 3.5, 7, 10,14, 18, 21, 24,50 and 145 MHz over the weekend, making close on 1,000 QSO in 80 countries.

Further pictures from the weekend are available here.