The initial portable operations test

antennaThe first field test of the radio and antenna went off successfully. Though the VHF contest was a bit of a bust, I did make one contact on 6 meters that was 138 miles away. I looked on line at 6 meter band propagation and didn’t see much going on – so I gave up and reconfigured for 17 meters.

It was fairly active and I talked with a number of people including one in Belize and on in Canada north of Washington state. He was also portable and had been trying the VHF contest but also gave up – that made me feel a bit better.

I did learn a few things to address before next time. My list of essentials now includes:

  • Antenna analyzer
  • Power inverter (may not need this, but I have one so I might as well include it)
  • Extension cord
  • Power strip
  • VOM
  • Flashlight
  • Line or rope
  • Towel
  • Pencil
  • Clipboard
  • Cigarette lighter to USB adapter (anything to keep a phone charged is a good thing)
  • A towel
  • Bungie cord
  • Empty milk jug or similar – this is great ballast to keep the antenna from falling over (see above).

Below is a picture of the setup I was working from. It was 92°F but not too bad in the shade. As you can see, I am operating using a 1970s era power supply, so power is my next dimension to tackle. Closely followed by my solution for carting all this around effectively.



One thought on “The initial portable operations test

  1. […] I came up with a design fairly quickly that used about a dollar’s worth of spare parts I had lying around and half a hacksaw blade. I printed out a couple of samples to refine the model. By the time I had the second one done, I declared victory and now have a small iambic keyer. It is a simple keyer without squeeze functionality, though there are some designs out there that do that. The only real refinement I’d make is to create a tunnel in the base to run the wire through, rather than using a zip tie on the post where I screw down the hacksaw blade. We’ll see if it is ‘good enough’ in the field, next time. I’ll likely screw it into my clipboard. […]


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