Showing posts from July, 2010

Field Day 2010 Operations

  Field Day 2010 Operations Filed in Contests on Jul.07, 2010 Conditions were generally not as good this year as last. We found that the settings for the antenna tuner that we made last year were still completely valid. The only problem we had was when we had the 160 meter switch turned on for 80 meters at one point, which may have led to some dismal results there. Ken (KF7FAM) joined John and I for his first Field Day this year. He started out by helping out with antenna construction, then by watching and logging while he learned the flow of the Field Day contact.   Ken logs as Randy operates     Later, he got more ambitious, and had his first HF contact, followed by several more throughout the weekend. I think he enjoyed each new section he contacted. As usual, we wern’t trying to maximize points, but were more interested in the technical setup, and the challenge of contacting as many sections as possible.   Ken making one of several HF contacts     There were a couple

Field Day 2010 – Preparations Part 2

  Field Day 2010 – Preparations Part 2 Filed in Contests on Jul.07, 2010 We first tried using the Receiver Noise Bridge to check the antenna operation, but could not get reasonable nulls an any band.  That was our first sign of trouble.  After hooking up the radio and the bias-T connections, we found the operation of the vertical pretty dismal on all bands.  We hauled out a battery to energize the band switching arrangement as needed while troubleshooting.   After fields day operations had started, we continued to debug the problem, while simultaneously doing some operating with the 135′ doublet (which worked great, as always!) We found some wiring errors, and fixed them.  Our expectations were high, but again, the antenna just did not perform well.   We decided to go back to basics and check with the simplest configuration.  We took the noise bridge out and measured the resonant frequency of the antenna with no matching network.  At 5.34 mhz, we found a null at 20 ohms r

Field Day 2010 – Preparations

  Field Day 2010 – Preparations Filed in Contests on Jul.07, 2010 For Field Day this year, we had 3 members to our group.  John (WB0WHO), Ken (KF7FAM) and Randy (WB0SMX).  We needed to finish up the installation of the 43′ vertical that we hoped would complement the operation of the 135′ doublet that we used last year. We brought along the 80/160 meter matching network and installed it at the base of the vertical.   Ken and John measured out about 36 radials, each 40′ long for the ground plane.     Next, we needed to terminate the 150′ of LMR-400DB Direct Burial coax.  This coax has a little better loss characteristics than the typical RG-8, and can be buried underground without a conduit.  It has the sticky waterproof gel inside that you sometimes see in direct burial telephone cable.  We used gasoline to clean it off of the ends (be careful!).   It was a challenge untangling all of the radials from one another.  We found the best way for us was to pull a single radial f