Photos and Videos
ARRL Field Day 2017 from my back yard
I always wanted to do a QRP Field Day but had a hard time finding someone to join me. This year, NB3R showed interest so I decided to give it a try.
We used my Elecraft KX3 with the PX3 pan adaptor. We ran battery power, with a 24 watt solar panel, to power the radio. We only operated CW.
Here are two videos showing the station. I am at the operating position.
Our category was 1E. Working Hawaii on both 20 and 40 metes was great. We also worked Alaska on 20 meters.
Using the Delta Loop on 80 meters, Dave worked Washington state. No bad for a hunk of wire and only 5 watts !
Our total score was 5600 points. (5350 points plus 250 bonus points)
I have to give a lot of credit to Dave, NB3R who was instrumental in putting the station together. Without Dave, this would have never happened.
The 24 watt solar panel was purchased from Amazon. It has a regulated output for charging batteries as well as two each USB outputs. It folds up into a nice neat little protected, rigid package for storage or back packing. The solar panel kept up with the current drain from the radio and also kept the battery fully charged for as long as there was daylight. The 17 ah battery carried us through the night. The station was on the air for the entire FD event.
The day before the event, I put the canopy up and got the table ready. No gear was on the table. That evening we had a heavy rain storm. The wind blew against one side of the canopy and created a pocket in the material. The rain filled the pocket and the canopy collapsed. A few of the side rails were bend. I had to run out and quickly purchase a new canopy. After the event i was able to repair the side rails so now I have a backup canopy.
We were lucky. For the entire event, that was the only issue we ran into. We are looking forward to next year's FD since we want to try this setup again. We also plan on adding six meters with the use of a K3 at 5 watts output .
I enjoy mixing my two hobbies, motorcycle and ham radio.
The radio, on the table is the You Kit / Ten Tec R4020. The antenna is a 20 foot long 40 meter dipole only 7 feet in the air.
Maybe you can say it's actually 2107 feet in the air. Hi Hi
There are so many nice places to stop for a break and I always look to sit in the shade. It only takes about 5 minutes to string an antenna so I can relax, have a cold drink and make a few Q's.
Location: High Point State Park, NJ
Elevation: 1800 feet
Again, Ten Tec R4020 radio.
The mast clamped to the table is a 28 foot fiberglass telescopic flag pole. Attached to the top of it is an Off Center Fed 40 Meter antenna. Model number: OCF40QM.
I used 35 feet of RG-174 to connect the radio to the antenna. Line losses are pretty low to use this coax on 20 and 40 meters.
What's great about this mast, compared to the ones MFJ sells, is its strength. The top does not bend over under a reasonable load.
If you are interested in where to get the mast, here is a link. Telescopic Mast
Everything I needed was packed on the motorcycle including food, drinks and a foldable chair.
The telescopic flag pole is behind the blue foldable chair. Someone actually cut away the wooded seat on the picnic table so my chair tucked perfectly in that spot. The 28 foot telescopic flag pole is only 42 inches long when collapsed.
For those who like motorcycles, this is a 2002 Kawasaki ZRX1200. I enjoy going for country road rides, taking alone my little YouKits 4 band radio and two each shortened dipoles. One antenna covers 20 CW and the other covers 40 CW.
What do you do when there aren't any trees to hang an antenna from or a table to clamp the mast to?
That's easy, fabricate a mount for a home brew multi band vertical, clamp it to the back of a foldable chair and add a few ground radial wires. Just move the tap on the coil to change bands. I've worked a lot of DX with this antenna, two each 14 foot long ground radials and only 5 watts CW. If you don't want to make you own antenna, use a commercially mobile antenna.
The radio is my KX3 with internal batteries and the Elecraft paddles attached to the bottom of the rig. I've since changed from the Elecraft paddles to the Palm Pico Paddles and also changed to an Elecraft KX2.
Super easy to frabricate. A short length of angle aluminum, two each "U Bolts" and
an insulated 3/8" fine thread antenna mount.
You can use a Ham Stick, Hustler or almost any other mobile antenna. The one I made comes apart and fits in a 3" x 24" long lenght of PVC drainage pipe with end caps. It can also be packed along with all of my other things when I go motorcycle portable.
This is the complete vertical antenna assembly shown with a 3 inch diameter by 24 inch long PVC tube that is used to store and transport the package.
The PVC is nothing more than drainage pipe with end caps. The end cap on the right can be glued fast but I decided to use two tiny SS screws to hold the cap on. The other end of the PVC has a threaded PVC end cap for easy access. It is also held fast with two tiny SS screws. The reason I used SS screws to attach the caps was so I can change the length of the PVC tube if needed.
Before I place the coil assembly in the storage tube I wrap it in bubble wrap. I want to protect the coil from any possible damage.
Since the total length of the tube is only 24 inches, it's easy to strap it to the motorcycle along with my foldable chair. The length of the tube is dictated by the length of the telescopic whip and short mast. I can make the tube longer, but not shorter. There is access space inside of the tube so you can carry more radial wires if you choose to do so.
You will notice a "C clamp" and a strip of aluminum next to the clamp. Both are used so you can clamp the antenna to a table top. There is a BNC on the plate for attaching your coax and an SS machine screw for attaching ground radials.
Delaware Lehigh Amateur Radio Club Field Day 2014
Louise Moore Park, Easton, PA
Did you ever see those green fiber glass military surplus 4 foot long tent poles for sale at a hamfest? That is what is shown above. If guyed properly you can actually make a nice 40 foot high mast using them.
I made a hinged base for the mast so it does not kick out while it is being erected. My grandson walked the mast up as I pulled on the nylon rope guys. I use three sets of a four point guy ropes.
I use this mast to support an 80 meter off center fed antenna. This was used for the, "Go To Station" and a Kenwood TS 590S was used for the transceiver..
40 feet high with the OCF80 on top
Note: If you only use 8 of the four foot poles instead of using ten poles, you can erect the mast by yourself. You will also only need two guy points on the 30 foot mast.