Spring PortaVenture - Results

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    <center>Spring PortaVenture - Fun with mixed results

    April 28th, 2001 - A Live-Wire Group Special Event</center>

    The Live-Wire Group's Spring PortaVenture [An organized multi-station "Poor Man's DXpedition"] was held over the weekend. At least 9 stations reported in as participants, including several from the HF Pack List. It's the start of a new ham concept and participants loved it! The idea is to operate from a unique location [near home] or a special operating mode. Many stations battled against noise, poor WX and less than ideal band conditions. Nevertheless, they had fun! Be sure to see the outstanding pictures below. Here is a summary of the event...

    N1BQ writes, "My Porta/Venture was combined with NorCal's QRP To The Field I had a great spot, Mt. Mansfield "looming" 3000 feet above me in the background, the sun shining, hardly any clouds, and did I mention the bloody wind???? I spent the last three hours with a sweat sock on my left hand to write and my right hand in my shirt and jacket Napolean style except when I was working the Bencher paddles. I finally reached a point where I couldn't hear the CW for all the shivering I was doing. YES ... I DID HAVE FUN. My wife, the lovely Sara, W1SLR, came up and took a few pix, declaring me nuts for even being there in that wind, but then again this pronouncement has been made on more the a few occasions!"

    N1BQ's PortaVenture picture


    KQ6XA [also on the HF Pack List] writes, "I was operating Pedestrian Mobile from the North Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. From about 15:50z to 18:30z I worked about 20 stations. I used a ~10ft backpack whip with 20W and a 2-wire counterpoise, capacitively coupled to the steel walkway. So I was actually using the entire Golden Gate Bridge for my antenna! My approximate height was 200ft above the surf, and I used the huge steel north tower as a reflector. I could walk around the tower, to direct the signal like a beam. This was a convenient and very effective rotator method, since the walkway is a semi-circle around the outside of the tower, similar to a crows-nest. It was a very fine day... sunny 22C, blue sky... sailboat races below... a wonderful place to enjoy some hfpacking. Sometime I will go back there when propagation is better.


    N0GQ writes, "KC0INZ and I headed out to Kenosha Pass, just east of South Park, Colorado. The view view from the site "Bankrupts the English Language", as Teddy Roosevelt said. KC0INZ put up a W3FF-designed Dipole and I put up a 1/2 G5RV between two trees, maybe 10-12' up. KC0INZ set up his SGC2020 and I set up my Icom 756Pro on the tailgate of my pickup. An hour into the event, we started pulling a few people out of the aether. After an hour or so of "tailgating", we cranked up our 'Pedestrian Mobile' stations and hiked around a bit. It was fun working KC0HIR on Pikes Peak. You could *almost* see Pikes Peak from where we were (we were at 10,000ft, PP is at 14,000ft, but there was just one small ridge between us)."

    N0GQ's PortaVenture picture

    [Be sure to scroll to the right]


    AB2KT [also on the HF Pack List] writes, "I set up on the Great Lawn of Central Park in NYC in two different spots, both on a large hilltop near the Western edge. Rig was an FT-817/Z-11 @ 2.5w to conserve batteries.

    Spot 1 was on a large rock, with the radio/tuner sitting on a little homebrew platform with a mounting for an ATX antenna, counterpoise running down the side of the rock and along the ground.

    Spot 2 was on a picnic table about 100 yards from there, antenna was a 30'+30' wire/counterpoise thrown into a nearby pine tree.

    Results: Zilch, for one simple reason: QRN. The automotive noise in the environment was S5-S6. Could barely hear anything but the booming sigs anywhere 20m-10m. Might have picked a better spot farther North in the park, to get a better angle over the buildings, but it's doubtful that would have helped the ignition noise problems. I tried for over an hour but am not sure whether anybody heard me or not. (Guessing not.)

    While already at Spot 1 there was an impromptu but genuine wedding ceremony on another big flat rock about 50' away. If they didn't mind, I didn't mind! CW sidetone as wedding music."


    K2FRD writes, "My location was Crumhorn Mtn. Boy Scout Camp (aka Henderson Scout Reservation near Oneonta, NY), elev. 1900'. Drove my HF-rigged Toyota to my own permanent campsite, well off the beaten path. I answered a FL QSO Party's CQ - Yup! Radio's working 5x9. Moved up to 17m, another CQ. More Florididians, talked to one briefly. Also, since this was the first dry run for my upcoming Labrador DXpedition for mobile operations on the trip up, I was pleased to be able to test the equipment as it is presently configured. I certainly would hope that we can do this again. I love the concept, there's no pressure to compete, it's different."


    KJ6AP writes, "I went to Larch Mt. about 20 miles east of Vancouver WA. I took a dirt forestry road and in the fog couldn't tell which direction was east. Next time I will carry a compass. I worked 7 stations. I worked two PortaVenture stations, Brian KC0HIR who was on Pikes Peak and Jeff N0GQ in CO. I worked N0GQ with my IC 706 and hamstick on 20. I had put up my rotatable dipole (made with a Hamstick and a Hustler with 20 mtr resonater) he said I was 59 and louder than before. I made 4 contacts on 20, 1 on 17 and one on 15. My military whip worked great on 17 but not good condx there."

    KJ6AP's PortaVenture picture


    KC0HIR [also on the HF Pack List] writes, "They opened the Pikes Peak Highway at 8:55 am, and it took me most of the first hour to make it up the hill and get set up. I was the first non-employee at the summit, and I got a great series of baffled looks from the passengers on the first train of the day up the cog railway, where I tried operation first. I figured I'd use the rails as a counterpoise. Made no contacts, and spent 20 minutes doing nothing but reaching up to the top of my backpack where the MP-1 was mounted to change bands. Got one guy that walked up to me and said: "What's that?" I told him, "It's a low power ham radio." His response: "What's can that do?" I gave him a quick response about talking to the other side of the world and such, and he did not seem impressed. Next, I walked to the west side of the summit, stood up on top of a rock and flung my counterpoise down the slope. First contact was with N0GQ at Kenosha Pass on 14342.5 , 59. This was a no-brainer, as I said on the air: "You wanna try 70cm FM?" He informed me that KC0INZ was with him setting up at that time. Rig was an FT817 running 5 watts into an MP-1 vertical up
    14,100 feet."


    W3FF [also on the HF Pack List] writes, "I had a ten minute window for operating today. Was mobile in CA in the parking lot of a church in Aptos, CA. Worked just two stations, but ALMOST logged a third. On 18157 Khz, I snagged Brian, KC0HIR, along with Ken, KC0INZ, both in CO. Ken heard me right away, and tried to get me a Q with Jeff, N0GQ, but I could not pull Jeff out of the ether. Thanks to all three of you for being on today"

    W3FF's walking dipole


    N9ZRT writes, "I went air-mobile in Wisconsin, riding the back seat of my buddy's 1950 Piper Super Cub. We dragged a 300 foot aluminum wire off the left wing and flew back and forth between the shorelines of Lake Michigan and Lake Winnebago. We checked in at MidCars [7.258] for a signal report and then worked 13 stations on either 40 or 20 meters. It was a blast."

    N9ZRT's PortaVenture pictures


    <center>The next scheduled PortaVenture is December 12th, 2001, a kite-lifted antenna event celebrating the
    100th anniversary of Marconi's transatlantic test message.

    Read about the PortaVenture concept.

    Watch for future PoraVenture events here at the
    Live-Wire Group.

    Contact person: David H. Hatch - N9ZRT - oslc@netnet.net</center>


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