Dipping into the 2m/70cm waters...an idea.

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by 2E0OZI, Sep 24, 2014.

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  1. KK4YWN

    KK4YWN Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you dumped all that other stuff you'd have more room for scotch.

    Of course I came up with this post while sipping nc white likker. I may have invalidated my own point. Either way I'm smiling.

    So carrying on with the theme of this thread: how's about the 70 on 70 hilltoper challenge?

    Build a hiking rig for 70cm for under $70 and log a few contacts. The whole kit has to be under $70. Carrying bag/backpack push-up pole radio antenna coax mic etc etc.

    If you already own some useful bit of gear that you bought new: find its retail price and deduct 20%. If you already own some useful but of gear that you bought used deduct 10%.

    I have a bag that I bought years ago for motorcycling. It cost me $25 on ebay. I'll find the current price and deduct 20% and that's how much cost for this endeavor.

    Mooching freebies (not loaners but gift) from other hams doesn't come out of your budget.

    Homebuilt stuff is 75% off. If it costs you $20 to build and antenna, it's $5 of your budget. You still have $65 to spend.

    You gotta pack this stuff up a remote hill and make contacts. Go bonkers.
     
  2. N9DG

    N9DG Ham Member QRZ Page

    If I recall correctly it was a station on Stone Mountain NC that I worked during either June or Sept ARRL VHF contests in the mid 2000's on 70cm SSB from southern WI. The time was fairly early in Sunday morning during that contest. That is around a 650 mile path. They were running about 3-4W to a smallish beam, ~10' foot boom as I recall. On my end running 100W and 13 wavelength M Squared antenna, ~32 ft boom. I do have a good VHF+ location with good horizons in that direction, they undoubtedly had a nice clear shot to their NW. That was clearly a tropo duct path contact. Basically they were high enough to be in the tropo duct, as was I. There weren't any other Qs to be had in that area that morning, so the geographic scope was fairly limited for that opening unfortunately.

    If you can, get something that will do SSB on 2M and up and also some smallish beams. And then head out to Stone Mountain during one of the warm weather VHF+ contests, ARRL June, CQ WW VHF (is 6&2M only in mid July), ARRL UHF (early August), ARRL September. In each of those events you will almost certainly find stuff to work, and if there is a honest to goodness band opening you might be surprised just how far you can work with rather low power and pretty modest beams. If you are time limited, getting up on the mountain pretty early on Sunday morning is your best bet for finding good tropo type propagation, though Saturday evenings till well after dark are often very good too.

    For some antennas that you can make, and that are well proven performers, and that are also low cost, do a web search on "WA5VJB cheap yagi". They are designed to be very repeatable and simple to build.
     
  3. KK4YWN

    KK4YWN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can vouch for at least one of those antennas: the six element 2m version. I built it over the weekend using 1x2 pine and 4 gauge copper ground wire. It has proven to be a really Big Bang for really small bucks.

    This weekend is my birthday so if the weather is nice(ish) I'm going to throw together a 70cm cheap yagi and hit stone mountain again.

    I wish the big three would make single band all mode vhf/uhf rigs. The ft817 is kinda need but awefully expensive.
     
  4. WW7F

    WW7F Guest

    They did, Still good radios, used and older but some good deals can be had if one looks hard enough:) I like my monobander Yaesus though they are heavy and put out only 2.5 w max with the 9 c cell pack it had,but it is with exception of AM an all mode rig. This link might be a big help if you are looking and spot a bargain:) Sometimes the Icom or Yaesu rigs can be found for cheap as well.
    http://www.rigpix.com/
    This site IMHO is a great help getting the lowdown on what the rigs specs are and what it looks like in many cases. I found this invaluable browsing before swapmeets so I knew for sure what I wanted if I saw it:) Fore armed is for warned a late friend of mine used to say:)
    73 and good luck finding what you wish on Rigpix for future reference eh?:) Take care, and have fun in any case on your birthday:)
    Sincerely,Michelle:)
     
  5. 2E0OZI

    2E0OZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Went up onto the hills for a test run last weekend, just setting up the antenna etc.. Lets just say that I had a few nice discussions with my freinds via the repeater 15 miles or so away, but there is a lot of work to be done on my setup. For a start I need a bigger backpack, so the antenna can fit (dissasembled) within it. Then a little fold up seat would be nice, notebook for logs, and a few other things. Started the drive to the hills, and ended up after a 20 minute walk or so sitting on a tor in fog/cloud. Oh well. Fun was had.
     
  6. KK4YWN

    KK4YWN Ham Member QRZ Page

    i have to laugh just a little bit. when i went up a mountain with my ht, i realized that i really hadn't thought the whole thing through :)

    i gotta agree with you: someplace to sit is a good idea. a portable antenna is as well. i'm going to concentrate on 70cm ops since the antenna requirements are easier to live with on a trail.

    is that a guzzi in your profile? i never rode one of them. i lost a buell to an accident earlier in the year. replaced it with a yam fz07 (i think you call them mt07 over there). i've been a bike nut all my life. haven't mounted an antenna on my helmet yet. but i'm chopping an old honda 450 twin 70's-style and plan to mount a cb radio and whip on it (modified for 10m and covered in fake fur.. oh yea)
     
  7. 2E0OZI

    2E0OZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah mate I have a Guzzi, a Breva750 that I bought in March 2004. I must like it to have it as my only bike for 10 years. :cool:

    I'm still at the "shakedown" stage of my portable walking hill operations. Lots to figure out and get right. What was nice was a few people were interested in what I was doing...1 thought it was a military operation!
     
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