SKCC 5123T----- FISTS 14979----- Flying Pigs 2331----- NAQCC 3610-----QRP ARCI 14176-----Polar Bear 257

Sunday, November 27, 2011

N4KGL Pedestrian Mobile Setup

I was inspired by a recent contact with WA3WSJ/PM Ed in Pennsylvania while I was QRP portable here in Florida. Ed publishes an excellent book Amateur Radio Pedestrian Mobile Handbook. The book has great material for PM and much of it applies to any type of portable operations.

The photos below are of my pedestrian mobile setup to try out. The clipboard holds a Wilderness SST 20 meter transceiver, a Hendricks BLT + Tuner and 10 Eneloop AA batteries in a holder. There is a camera strap to hold the clipboard in front from my neck. The antenna is a 12.5 foot vertical wire with a buddistick coil at the base. It is held vertical by a 13 foot crappie pole. The antenna components are strapped to a flat sheet of plastic that came from a lap desk. This is worn like a backpack. There are bungees to go around each shoulder and one around the waist. A counterpoise wire is hooked to the tuner and is about 16 foot long. (The best length is TBD). The counterpoise is dragged as you walk. I need to come up with a better disconnect for the counterpoise as they are easy to get stuck or snatched.

I was testing in the backyard but there is a contest filling the band today. I did get one contester to come back to me so I am pretty sure it is good to go. Ed has a lot of guidance for PM in the book including safety. I'll try a nice open area to get started and a buddy to keep me out of trouble. The weather is going downhill now. So I will look forward to a future pedestrian mobile opportunity.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

QRP Pole Dancing

This may not be what you expect. However, I have setup an 18 foot crappie pole with an attached Wilderness STT for 20 meters and Hendricks QRP BLT + tuner. The crappie pole has an step in electric fence post attached. I have a plastic key that I can just hold in the opposite hand while keying. The key is on Ebay looks like a toy but works great. The antenna was 16.5 feet of wire up the pole and the same length stretched out to a tree. I tuned with the BLT + tuner. With the tuner other configurations of antenna could be tried. My brief test in the backyard yielded a QSO of good length with AG4EA Bill in South Carolina. He was running QRP in the park that day. I also checked the Reverse Beacon and my CQ was copied in Canada as well.

While not pedestrian mobile, it would be quite easy to carry on a walk to the park. The weight of the equipment balances out with the rest of the pole collapsed. You just need some grass to poke it into and let the dancing begin.

Greg N4KGL

Monday, November 21, 2011

Breaking In the YouKits HB-1B

Actually no break-in is required. It is ready to go out of the box. You will probably want to remove the internal battery holder if you are not using it. I did not get the available 18650 battery pack. I ordered the HB-1B off of the Youkits web page. It is the latest YouKits Transceiver and has four bands 80, 40, 30 and 20 meters. I have previous experience with the Ten Tec R4020. The difference is four bands verses two and a continuously variable IF filter which goes down to 400 Hz. That is my favorite feature of the rig. It is slightly smaller than the R4020 also. You can find this rig also on eBay and on the Ten Tec web site at some point.

On Saturday I did some operating from my Dad's workshop in Dothan. I have an Off Center Dipole deployed there. It was a pleasure to have Thomas WD0HBR over. We were able to tweak the calibration on his MFJ QRP rig. This was my first opportunity to use the HB-1B and had contacts on 40, 30 and 20 with good reports.

I have been toying with trying pedestrian mobile. I got a beehive type mount and put it on my lap shack. See photos below. The mount connects to a Buddistick coil and a non-Buddistick whip that I have. I was receiving on the couch and decided to make a call to W5TV Tom on 20 meters and got him. This is not bad for a indoor contact to TX. Tom has an attic dipole by the way. So lets call this Couch Potato Portable. I used a QRPkits BLT + tuner you will see on the lap shack.

Sunday night I participated in the Run For The Bacon Flying Pigs event. I enjoyed using the new rig and exercising the variable filter. I had four contacts on 40 and four on 80 which is about par for me for the two hour event.

So I give this rig a 5 of 5. This was the second HB-1B I received. The first one had some issues. To the credit of Youkits I got a new unit shipped quickly and sent the defective unit to Youkits in Canada. You will be surprised that the shipping from China takes only 3 to 4 days. After the unit gets picked up in China it only takes two days to make the trip to your door.

Greg N4KGL

Monday, November 14, 2011

QRP Fishing

As you can see below I am making the most of the BNM fiberglass fishing poles paired with the step in plastic fence posts. The longer 18 foot pole is available at some Walmarts and the step in post is available at Lowes or Tractor Supply. Yes you will be asked if you are catching any fish.

The three pole setup was for a Half Square for 20 meters or a upside down U dipole for 40 meters. The center pole was just for support. I used a Hendricks SOTA tuner for end tuning. As I recall I started on 40 and had one contact where I was pretty weak. I also made a contact on 20 meters. My operating was brief that day.

The next configuration was a 40 meter full wave loop. I used a Military mast tripod to hold up the feed point support of the loop and three fishing poles for the other supports. It was fed with 300 ohm line to the Hendricks BLT + tuner I just built. It did tune on 40 and I was very impressed with how quiet it was. Note that the loop on the fundamental is considered a NVIS antenna. My QSOs included  KY, K4MTI local in Panama City, and Gainsville GA. The highlight was a QSO with my friend Thomas WD0HBR in Dothan 75 miles North. So I would say the loop was doing pretty well as NVIS antenna. At higher frequencies the loop would have a lower take off angle. I tried tuning the loop on 20 meters with the BLT with no luck. However, I did forget to try the low Z switch. As a last minute effort I hooked up the 300 ohm feedline to a LDG 4 to 1 balun and the LDG Z817 tuner. It did tune on 20. I snagged WA3WSJ pedestrial mobile in PA. I felt pretty good about that one. So I score the loop well for portable ops where you have room for it.