Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /homepages/11/d132647312/htdocs/Amfone/mkportal/include/SMF/smf_out.php on line 47
3-watts, mountaintop




 
The AM Forum
October 19, 2017, 08:28:07 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 
   Home   Help Calendar Links Staff List Gallery Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: 3-watts, mountaintop  (Read 1858 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
ka1tdq
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 873



« on: June 27, 2017, 11:21:09 PM »

This is all extra stuff that I had laying around, so I made a go-kit.  Granted, it is a lot of stuff and weight for 3 watts CW.  I also bought an MFJ 20 meter 8' whip for the car.

The kit consists of:

 - Homebrew CW transmitter
 - Laptop for the SDRplay receiver
 - Power inverter to power the laptop charger
 - Vibroplex straight key
 - Antenna switch (household light switch)
 - Headphones

There's a mountain a few miles from my house that has a paved road to the top.  I'm going to give it a whirl sometime.

Jon


* IMG_1690.JPG (2015.69 KB, 4032x3024 - viewed 110 times.)
Logged

WB2EMS
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 544



« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2017, 02:14:50 PM »

Looks like fun, although you can probably get away without the inverter for short periods if the laptop battery is decent. I've always been fascinated, for reasons I can't explain, with radio in the field, so I often fiddle with such things. For field day, I brought a variety of equipment for minimalist radio to our club's shindig. But they had all the bases covered with 100 watt rigs and big setups and a bit of contest mentality, so I mostly hung out, helped where I could, and just enjoyed the company.

On Sunday I grabbed my little Honda Helix scooter, tossed the camera bag that has my KX3 and a battery in it, and went to a nearby hilltop and SOTA site to do a little lower key playing around. I had just built the 40-15m EFHW tuner and the single lever key paddle from QRPguys.com, and gave them both a workout. The tuner worked nice with a 63' wire and 31' counterpoise on 40. Worked so well that the first phone contact I made, at 5 watts, was with the 6db attenuator still switched in! So my 5 watt phone QSO was really a 1.25 watt one.  Grin Made a few other contacts, and then 2 pm rolled around and the bands went dead like someone threw a switch! Rain was coming, so I packed it up and ambled home just ahead of the raindrops. Oddly satisfying in a way that the more mechanized assault the day before by the organized gang wasn't.

I think the quote from Wind in the Willows goes  "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." 

And while I agree with that, I'd perhaps add, "and little radios, in the woods.".  Wink


* fd1r.jpg (591.36 KB, 1008x756 - viewed 73 times.)

* fd2r.jpg (403.94 KB, 1008x756 - viewed 74 times.)
Logged

73 de Kevin, WB2EMS
ka1tdq
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 873



« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2017, 02:41:23 PM »

Yeah, and I'm looking to add something different to my radio activities.  This'll get me out of the comfort of the shack.  I still need to sit inside the car with the AC on since Phoenix is a million-billion degrees right now.

My setup is a little different though.  I can't listen to my sidetone from the SDR software since there's a little bit of a delay.  I added a buzzer off the mercury relay on the transmitter for sidetone.  So, when I switch to transmit, I need to throw the headphones off and flip the TX/RX switch.  Then hurry to put the headphones back on for receive.  The buzzer is small, but loud!

Jon
Logged

KF7WWW
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 51


« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2017, 02:52:58 PM »

I hope you dont think South Mountain is the place to go!... Your SDR dongle will have a stroke!
Logged
KE5YTV
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 293



« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 03:30:30 PM »

Kevin, Your location in the woods is a beautiful, peaceful looking place. When the band went long I would have taken a nap.  Cool
Logged

Mike
KE5YTV  Dallas, TX
"The longest trip begins with a stop at the ATM."
WB2EMS
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 544



« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2017, 03:52:10 PM »

Quote
Kevin, Your location in the woods is a beautiful, peaceful looking place.

It's pretty nice up there. That is just about the peak of Connecticut Hill, about 10 miles southwest of Ithaca, NY in the central fingerlakes region of upstate NY. That position is about a half mile past our repeater site and the site of a couple of FM stations and some county radio facilities, at 2200 ASL, about 1000 feet above the average elevation in the  area. Not much view off the hill from there though, too wooded. Used to be better. 

As for peaceful, well I've been working on gear up there for the last 30 years on and off and have some interesting stories....but on a summer's afternoon it's lovely.  Grin We were up there about 5 weeks ago for a SOTA outing a bit further down from the rocks towards where the old CCC monument is. Road used to go all the way back there, but a few years ago they moved the rocks in to block it off. Fun place to ride horses up to and back, and I've XC skied up to the site at least once to work on some gear. Many moons ago the FM station there was a Christian Radio network hub and they had live in quarters complete with kitchen and chapel. A friend of mine used to do 2 week stints up there at a time, back in the day.

Some of us like minded folks are going to try to get out to SOTA spots around the area this year to activate some more of them. I'll post any good pics.
Logged

73 de Kevin, WB2EMS
ka1tdq
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 873



« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2017, 10:26:49 PM »

The chics dig it.

Jon


* IMG_1700.JPG (2394.05 KB, 4032x3024 - viewed 51 times.)

* IMG_1701.JPG (2070.48 KB, 4032x3024 - viewed 56 times.)
Logged

W6TOM
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 367


« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2017, 12:19:26 AM »

Looks good!! I went to Death Valley in March, used an Outbacker on my Toyota pickup, worked Idaho on 40 from Aguereberry Point, 100 watts. Later that same night back at the camp ground I was able to work South Africa on 40, that was a real kick. The next two nights I checked into the Collins Collectors Net and West Coast Military Net on 75 meters. Drove out onto the desert and pulled off the road, put out a 65 foot counter poise.

The cute little critter was at the Eureka Mine on the road down from Aguereberry point, it was in the 90's but I bet cold at night, the critter was coming out of hibernation, there were 3 of the cute little guys.


* Aguereberry Point Sign.JPG (344.77 KB, 1024x768 - viewed 59 times.)

* Radio Setup Pamamint Valley.JPG (2344.14 KB, 2592x1944 - viewed 56 times.)

* Critters-2.JPG (379.82 KB, 1024x768 - viewed 83 times.)
Logged
AJ1G
Contributing
Member
*
Online Online

Posts: 914


« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2017, 08:40:16 AM »

New Taco, Tom?  Looks a few years newer that the one I have seen in previous posts.  Man that Outbacker seems  a lot taller than the Hamstick clone whips I have been running on my Tacoma!  Can you run with that  antenna deployed vertically over the road without bonking?  I mount my whips without a spring at the base and without guy lines, no "whipping" around while driving, and have only broken one stick over 16 years, when I accidentally backed under a big apple tree.

My best DX so far with the little Elecraft K1 at 5 watts and  a Hamstick clone whip on the Tacoma was NSW Australia on 40 CW long path late one afternoon this past February from down at Stonington Point.


* AJ1G Mobile SKN 2015.jpg (1973.59 KB, 4608x3072 - viewed 74 times.)

* AJ1G Mobile SKN 2015 Sunrise 2.jpg (1144.4 KB, 4608x3072 - viewed 60 times.)
Logged

Chris, AJ1G
Stonington, CT
W6TOM
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 367


« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2017, 10:10:59 AM »

I bought a new 2016 Tacoma in April last year, I wanted more  inside space and the small extended cab is a nice feature plus I wanted a vehicle that was low mileage. I plan to go places where you DON'T want to break down, like Death Valley.

    I don't like to operate mobile, Bay Area traffic is such that I don't need the distraction, too dangerous. I don't use a cell phone while driving either.

    I put an antenna mount on the passenger side of my lock box, it is not strong enough for mobile use but is fine for operating on the side of road. I had a 6 and 10 meter antennas to use but did buy a 40 meter and 20 meter MFJ mobile antenna. This is where it got interesting. I tuned both antennas up, now the 2016 Tacoma has a composite bed just like my 2009 did. I ran a 1 inch piece of copper braid from the lock box to the metal outside of the bed and to the cab too. It drastically changed the the tune of both antennas and I couldn't get them to retune!! WTF!!!

    That caused me to try the Outbacker, it would tune to 80, 40 and 20 meters and I made a tune chart, the tuning is very repeatable and I have a LDG auto tuner. Just pick the correct tap on the antenna and adjust the stinger. Adding the counter poise does change the resonance point, no surprise there, just put it in tune chart.

    The spring on the lock box is not strong enough, if you look at the picture I have stays on the antenna, there was a very brisk wind and that antenna would lean over at a 45 degree angle so I put the stays on it. I need to revisit this and if you could send me a few pictures of your set up to my QRZ email I would appreciate it. I recall looking at your set up at NEARFEST.

     Cell coverage in Death Valley is spotty, if you get off the freeway out west there is often no cell coverage at. I would like to have a 40 meter capability just in case. One of my friends just drove US Hwy 50 from Utah to Carson City, NV, the loneliest highway in America, there are sections over a 100 miles with no road services, he passed just 2 cars on one of those sections. Think of driving from Boston to Baltimore and going through maybe 4 places the size of Deerfield, NH!!



* Antenna Mount.JPG (283.23 KB, 1024x734 - viewed 56 times.)

* Bonding Strap.JPG (360.59 KB, 1024x768 - viewed 46 times.)

* Truck.JPG (123.97 KB, 955x768 - viewed 45 times.)
Logged
KD6VXI
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1599

Making Amplitude Modulation GREAT Again!


« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2017, 10:14:21 AM »

Ask your friend about the shoe tree on US50. 

It's one of those things you just have to see....


--Shane
KD6VXI
Logged
W6TOM
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 367


« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2017, 10:42:46 AM »

  He didn't mention the shoe tree but I've read about it on the net. The Nevada Tourism people are really playing up Hwy 50, he got a book, you get it stamped at each of the bump in the road towns, then the State of Nevada will mail you a certificate and bumper sticker that you "survived Hwy 50". He did mention the Flea Bag Motel in Ely, NO AC, it was 80 in the room, not a lot of choice in Ely!!!

 His wife refused to go on the trip so he drove it alone, LOTS of driving!! I-80 from the Bay Area to Salt Lake then south to HWY 50 in Utah and back!! He was cruising at 80/90 on most of Hwy 50.
Logged
ka1tdq
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 873



« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2017, 12:43:20 PM »

Just a quick aside, I found this linear amplifier board at a Goodwill second hand store for $3.  It uses MRF412 transistors and is powered from 13.8vdc.  I thought I'd gamble for $3.  The girl at the register asked me what it was and how much it was worth.  I told her that it's worth about $100 if it works, and nothing if it doesn't.

Lo-and-behold, it works!  I just did a quick test because it isn't mounted on a heatsink.  But my 20 meter rig drives it over 50 watts output.  I just need to get a heatsink, output filter and case. 

Jon


* IMG_1703-2.JPG (2135.64 KB, 4032x3024 - viewed 99 times.)
Logged

ka1tdq
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 873



« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2017, 11:28:48 PM »

The Goodwill special!

Jon


* IMG_1727-2.JPG (2186.6 KB, 4032x3024 - viewed 82 times.)
Logged

WA1LGQ
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 287



« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2017, 09:11:34 AM »

Jon, what is that output filter? Are those available to buy somewhere?
Thanks.......Larry
Logged
ka1tdq
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 873



« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2017, 10:07:26 AM »

Yes they are, for the band of your choice:

http://www.communication-concepts.com/harmonic-filters

They're a kit though and you have to build them.  Very simple, but they give you just enough wire for the toroids.

Jon
Logged

Opcom
Patrick J. / KD5OEI
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6702



WWW
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2017, 10:01:26 PM »

In my travels, SWL was a pleasure in the wide open spaces!
Logged

Radio Candelstein - Flagship Station of the NRK Radio Network.
WD5JKO
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 1653


WD5JKO


« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2017, 07:31:46 AM »


Here is another LPF kit rated at 10 watts for $4.60....

https://qrp-labs.com/lpfkit.html

Jim
Wd5JKO
Logged
WA1LGQ
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 287



« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2017, 12:28:33 PM »

Interesting stuff on both websites. My mountain top rig is a Lafayette HA-650 1W out 6M AM portable. Also have the 2M version, but nobody on 2M AM anymore.
Larry
Logged
WU2D
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1647


CW is just a narrower version of AM


« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2017, 08:47:23 AM »

I used this 40M homebrew CW transmitter-receiver when I was in Montana for my "year off" in 1983. Took it everywhere including tenting at 8000 Ft on Bridger Range outside Bozeman and always worked stations with a simple rolled up dipole with 25 feet of RG-58.

I had built it in Florida in 1981 and it was a classic Mosfet superhet with an 1350 IF and an active filter into the good old LM380. The Tx was 4 selectable crystals 2N3866 into a CB final Transistor for 4 Watts out on a 12V Battery. Still works as built!

Mike WU2D


* QRP.jpg (1193.67 KB, 3433x2052 - viewed 66 times.)
Logged

These are the good old days of AM
ka1tdq
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 873



« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2017, 12:44:35 PM »

That's the way to go... a nice, self-contained box. 

I just tried my setup for the first time right now.  I got everything working and decided to call CQ.  Halfway through the call, the linear amp died.  It has DC, and that's where I stopped troubleshooting.  Eh...

Lesson learned here:  For a non-JS'd portable operation, buy yourself a nice Elecraft.

Jon


* IMG_1742-2.JPG (2369.44 KB, 4032x3024 - viewed 40 times.)
Logged

KD6VXI
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1599

Making Amplitude Modulation GREAT Again!


« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2017, 12:59:02 PM »

Don't think this is your problem, but that heat sink you put in the amp board is about what the 10 meter 25 Watt radios use.

I'd about quadruple that in size for a 100 Watt radio.  Fan cool for AM.

I love my ft857 for portable.  With the appropriate switch, you can toggle between 10 and 100 Watt operation.  All modes, DC to daylight (sans 220 mhz)



--Shane
KD6VXI
Logged
ka1tdq
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 873



« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2017, 10:45:13 PM »

...and out of curiosity, I checked the reverse beacon network for my CQ call to see if I was even heard.  To my surprise, I was!  I only managed to get out half of a CQ call and my antenna was an MFJ whip on the car.  Here's what I found!

And, this is what I was using for a key:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0086X6MQO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Who says white guys don't have rhythm?   Smiley

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeDgOUoDTsY

Reminds me of growing up in Maine (minus all the black people).

Jon


* IMG_1747-2.JPG (1329.11 KB, 2016x1512 - viewed 50 times.)
Logged

Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

AMfone - Dedicated to Amplitude Modulation on the Amateur Radio Bands
 AMfone 2001-2015
Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.061 seconds with 18 queries.