Sunday, September 7, 2014

144MHz Portable Backpacking Activity


Looking East from Black Hill
Having worked a few stations early on in the 144MHz September contest from the house on the dual band collinear,  I wondered how much louder they would be from the top of the hill. As the contest continued until 3pm clock time on Sunday and there was a backpackers contest 1200 to 1600 there should be a few signals to work.  I packed up the FT817, the KX3 with the internal 2M module, a 7AH battery and the whip off my FT817 (the only 2m portable antenna I have) in my rucksack and headed up the hill.

A few signals were heard on the East coast so these were used to compare the receivers of the FT817 and the KX3. The KX3 won by a mile, so the FT817, despite its slightly higher power was packed away. I discovered I had left the KX3 lead for the battery so it had to be used all the time on the internal cells.

The biggest challenge was how to hold the KX3 in one hand, use the microphone in the other AND put entries in the log, something I will need to work on

To avoid confusion with G4FRE used from home I used G0FRE/P, which did confuse one stations lookup database! A total of 22 stations were worked the best DX being F6KCZ/P at 324km. One ON and two PA were heard but too weak to work.

After the contest finished I walked along to the Malvern Hills Hotel for an Ice cream from the stall opposite the Malvern Hills Hotel and the British Camp Car Park

I need to consider investing in a small, transportable beam like an HB9CV for such outings. I already have one for 4m and 6m in the loft but I only have a dual band collinear for 144/432!

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