Unfortunately, June VHF isn’t happening from a rover standpoint this year. Between having a work conflict, the fact that I’m still awaiting a service date from the dealer to get my hitch receiver installed (don’t want to tap the wrong wire on an EV), and my roof bars aren’t slated to be shipped until sometime in September, it’s putting me at a little bit of an impasse. For something different, and to still get on the air, I figured this would be a perfect time to experiment with a Portable Operation.
Assuming the remainder of my components arrive tomorrow as they’re supposed to – I’ll be running a staked, and weghted base with 8ft of mast, guyed at 4ft. The original purpose of this base was as a portable umbrella stand/flag pole holder, the receiver on which can accept up to 2” masts, which works out perfect. Antennas of a 6m Dipole, Log Periodic for 2, 220, 432, 1296, Dedicated 900mhz, and a short looper for 2304. The dipole is a bit of a backwards direction unfortunately, however with how open the band has been doing, I don’t necessarily see this as a problem. I’ll likely bring along my mobile vertical as well as a backup.
A Yaesu FT-818 will be my primary radio, peaking at 6w for 50, 144, and 432 – this same radio will also drive the 900mhz, and 2.3ghz transverters. This could prove to be a pain in the next when it comes to QSYing as I’ll have to move some jumpers, but BNCs are much easier to move than PL259’s. All modes will be available on all bands with the only caveat being that I could potentially be FM only on 220, and 1296, depending on whether or not I have time to test and setup my two transverters there.
The transverters will be powered by a 12Ah Battery, while the main radios will be powered by a 42Ah battery – the both of which will be trickle charged via solar for the duration. With the minimal power draw of running QRP, these should last the duration with no problem. This is actually an experiment for how I’m planning on running the rover setup in the future, so notes will be taken for every positive and negative actions observed… all puns intended…
My schedule for Saturday is looking like a quick 5-10pm evening run when I get home from work, while Sunday is looking to be a wide-open day of contesting. While I won’t be able to put in the same amount of time as I usually would, this is looking to be something different, and fun for sure!