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.

operating-setup

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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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