Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by OH8STN, Jul 5, 2019.
In todays video we will take a look at my Man Portable Ham Radio Station. This is my entire portable ham radio go kit as used during amateur radio field day 2019. More important than the equipment overview in the video, is the idea of staying true to field day, operating with a "less is more" idea, and remembering the emergency and field communications aspects of field day.
Enjoy the video
Great video, Julian.
My thoughts on Field Day are much like yours. I think the point of Field Day is lost on many of the operators...but to each their own.
I am not going to fault anybody or any organization for making their Field Day into a contest with big towers, beams and amplifiers. I am just happy that everybody is getting on the air and participating.
I made a last minute decision to participate in Field Day this year. We had gotten enough rain the night before that I could no long bale hay so I decided to take the weekend off and head for the mountain for an overnight camping trip.
Since it was Field Day weekend, I took my radio gear along.
I grabbed my "bug out bag" which is packed the minimal gear needed for a QRP field station, taking only my KX3, QRPGuy's tri-band vertical, Shakespeare Wonderpole and 10Ah LiFePo 4 battery....and a microphone. My CW skills are not yet quite where they need to be to be effective enough for FD contacts, but thought I would take a key along anyway....just in case. I left the solar equipment at home so all I had was my 10Ah battery....my goal would need to be accomplished before the battery died, or Field Day ended, which ever came first.
On the 35 mile drive over to the mountain, I thought about what my goal would be for this FD. Digital modes were out since I didn't pack the Pi. 30 meters was off limits since I decided to operate SSB. Everybody seems to be on 40 meters these days....so I decided my goal would be to log 50 contacts on 20 meters SSB using 5 watts of power, then pack up the station.
Once I reached the base of the mountain, I unloaded my ATV from the back of my pickup and loaded up the camping and radio gear and set off for the top of the mountain. After reaching my favorite operating spot, I set up my tarp as an awning with my hammock strung between two pine trees. Next I setup the QRPGuy's tri-band vertical, which is a quarter-wave vertical on 20 meters. Using the back rack on my ATV as an operating platform, I was up and running about 15 minutes after I arrived at the summit.
I operated casually, stopping quite often to play fetch with the dog, take in the scenery and have a late afternoon lunch, which I shared with my puppy.
By the time the sun went down, I had logged 42 contacts and was rewarded with a beautiful sunset.
I have never operated during a Field Day in which it didn't rain. This year was no exception. I awoke Sunday morning to a light rain.
I packed up my hammock and moved the ATV under the tarp so I would have a dry place to operate since I still had 8 contacts left to reach my goal for the weekend.
In just over an hour, I had all 50 QSO's logged.....all 20 meter SSB at 5 watts.
For me, it's not about finishing Field Day with the most points or the most contacts.....it's about setting a goal and trying to reach it by using the least amount of gear possible.
I had a very relaxing day operating from my favorite spot on the ranch. I worked 50 people in 26 different states and two Canadian Provinces. My dog was happy to run around, chase sticks and sleep in the shade under a big pine tree. The weather was perfect for a night in the hammock and accomplished my goal using 5 watts of power from a battery operated station.
Nice Images and story.
I personally don't mind the big stations, towers, amplifiers, but do wish the intent of field day be kept in mind.
Like you mine was a personal goal. Setting up and operating the field station, using renewable energy to keep it on air, not relying on any mechanized transport, and doing it with zero carbon footprint.
As I write this, a smile and warm feeling ...
Well done sir. Looks like a exciting time out in the bush. Thank you for sharing.
very nice trip out and well done, nice gear and transport as well.
Nice article. But you left out one thing: WHERE'S A PICTURE OF THE PUPPY? <GRIN>
OOPS! Just found the pic of the puppy. I blame senility.
Great story and pictures!
Just one small thing:
30 meters was off limits because Field Day doesn't include the WARC bands.
73 de Jim, N2EY
Nice video and operation. Some observations are in order.
The video title is "Man Portable Ham Radio Station | Field Day 2019", though I see a fat bike was used to cart the equipment. Yes, the fat bike is "man powered." Perhaps it's just my perception and opinion that "man portable" means the man carries the gear.
The fat bike is mechanized transport, and the materials sourcing and manufacturing of said bike definitely leaves a carbon footprint.
Perhaps you meant motorized transport instead of mechanized transport?
Less is more, eh? Solar panels (plural), power controller, Raspberry PI B3+, GPS to sync up PI, JS8-call and device to run such software. No offense, Julian, but W0FW's FD operation appeared to be more in keeping with "less is more" - at least to this amateur.
I note at the end of the video special thanks going to PowerFilm Solar, Chameleon Antenna, Super Antenna, NorTent of Norway, Jordan Sherer, K-Tor LLC, Spider Beam, and Canadian Prepper. I'm curious how much of the equipment - or better yet which pieces used in the video was/were donated by manufacturers or reps.