Tag: portable

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.

QRO portable from Cromer North Norfolk

I have always enjoyed operating portable HF as you can put up antenna and work bands not possible at home. This coupled with finding an RF quiet location can make HF portable very enjoyable.

Using a 12m spider beam roach pole, an 80m doublet fed with 300 Ohm ribbon cable and Icom 7100 I parked in a rural country lane surrounded by fields. The doublet was cable tied to the roach pole at around 11m, and the pole secured to a farmers fence.

 

 

The Icom, Expert 1.3KFA linear and ATU was placed in the boot of the car, and power was provided by an EU20 Honda generator. I started operating at 19:26 with the first call in the log G4JXC Bob from Bristol, signals seemed very good with reports usually over s9, sometimes s9+40.

At times I had a pile-up, really hard to pick out any calls, I did try and pull out a few QRP stations some running just 3 and 4w.

The amplifier definitely helped, but getting a large antenna in the air inverted V means a lot of the RF goes up in the air. Over the next couple of hours, I worked 57 stations in 10 countries. As darkness descended the skip did lengthen out a little, with stations calling me from Sweden, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

 

I was also able to monitor my own signal on my KiwiSDR located some 100 miles away. It was fun to work some stations that had also used my SDR, and also catch up with some people on twitter.

 

A enjoyable was to spend an evening, thanks to everyone who called.

 

70 MHz Cumulative Contest #4

The RSGB CC run a series of cumulative contests through the year, you can partake in either a fixed station or out portable. I prefer to operate out portable, as this gives me a significant advantage to attempting this from home.

Using our contest site at Kelvedon Hatch SNB and with the assistance of John M0UKD we set up the following station.

12m Racal 714 push up mast

Homebrew 4e 70 MHz beam a DK7ZB design

Icom 7100

Honda EU20 generator

Expert SPA 1.3k FA Solid state amplifier

The weather was forecast to be dry and breezy and so we opted to set up in the fields overlooking the bunker and the mast. The contest ran from 3 till 5 pm, and with around 1hr setup time to organise the portable station, you can maybe see why some people operate from home. It’s quite a lot of effort for a 2hr contest, but on the positive side, you would expect the activity to be condensed into this short timeframe.

Setting up the beam.

The makeshift shack was constructed to keep out the wind, and the odd  spot of rain.

The beam worked really well, having very good directivity and F/B ratio despite its small size.

Over the course of the next 2 hrs, we worked 45 stations, in 4 countries. England, Wales, Guernsey and Northern Ireland. Our best DX was  GI4SNA at 527 KM.

You can view the claimed scores online.

70 MHz Trophy Contest and QRP CW

George M1GEO and myself took part in the RSGB 70 MHz trophy contest this weekend at the Kelvedon hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker contest site. The weather was ideal for alfresco operating, using the Icom 7100 and homebrew 6e beam at 10m on the Racal PU12 mast. Using 50w and a 85Ah leisure battery we operated from 11am till 4 PM.

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Here you can see the PU12 and home-brew 6e 70 MHz beam. Operating from the base of the mast provided quick access to turn the beam. We managed to work 59 QSO with best DX into Scotland at 518 KM. The QSO map is shown here.

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Meanwhile Rob M0VFC was operating QRP HF on 3.5, 7 and 14 MHz using a range of dipoles. Unfortunately the HF bands have been a challenge at the best of times during the day, and QRP provided to be interesting. After a few hrs operating Rob had completed 30 QSO, and under the conditions that counts as a sterling effort ! Here you can see Rob operating from the boot of his car28269614632_56228cce62_k28371817405_9c30de0d70_k Altogether another great weekend of alfresco operating in the sunshine.

 

The only way is Essex Ham

Spent a very enjoyable Sunday with the crew from Essex Ham. The operating site is at Gallywood common near Chelmsford, and the operating is outdoors and subject to weather. The sun was shinning, and alfresco portable operating was possible.

Stations included 2 HF, 1 VHF/UHF and 1 on 70 MHz. I opted for the 70 MHz station, using a Icom 7100 and a slim Jim supported on a spidebeam roach pole.

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Here you can see various various roach poles supporting HF and VHF aerials.

Over the afternoon I worked 12 stations on 70 MHz, they ranged from Southend, Colchester and Waltham Abbey so around 20 miles.

Band conditions on HF left a little to be desired, although this didn’t stop Peter G0DZB from working CW on 10 and 14 MHz.

 

Many thanks to the Essex Ham team for their hospitality, bacon sandwiches and tea. I hope to see you again soon on another sunny afternoon for some further portable operating.

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Peter has some further pictures and operating report on his blog.

73 Dave M0TAZ

© 2015 Dave, M0TAZ