Monday, December 27, 2010

Portable ham radio station gear

We spent Xmas at Fisherman's Paradise (presumably AKA "Fish Hell") so I was keen to enjoy some ham radio reception without all the electrical noise of a big city.

Here's my portable kit:

go pack.jpg

It's hard to beat the Yaesu FT-817 for portable operation, all HF bands plus VHF and UHF, about 350mA on receive, built-in rechargeable batteries and lots of advanced features in there (if you can find them in the menu system).

I also take a sealed lead acid battery and a small solar charger which is easily able to top it up.

Co-ax and wire dipoles are coiled on mains extension cord holders (a great buy at Bunnings). I took antennas for 20m, 30m and 40m.

To get the wires up in the trees I use a "Bait Caster" (no, it's not a sling shot) to fire a sinker on heavy fishing line right over the tree and then I connect a line to the dipole leg end and pull that up. This system works really well but the local bird life likes the new perches a bit too much:

20m antenna.jpg

The noise floor was very low, usually S1 or below, compared to S7 here in Sydney, but even this location has some TV sets that pollute the spectrum.

My thanks to Henry, VK2HE, who heard my callback to the VK2WI Sunday broadcast and passed on my details. Henry was about 1,000Km north of me and could hear me pretty well on 5W mid morning.

Amazing what a bit of wire and 5W can do.

1 comment:

Grant Stowell said...

That's one reason I purchased an 817. The enjoyment of a bit of wire and 5 watts can't be beat.