The 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
- Line or rope
- 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.