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I have been operating HF mobile, and backpack portable originally using an FT-857D, but in February 2014 I replaced it with an Icom ic-7000. The Yaesu developed a problem where it would remain on for only two seconds. It could not be repaired at a reasonable cost so I bought the Icom 7000 and a new LDG tuner.
Summer 2014: What now? Most of my ham radio activity has been "pedestrian portable" in city parks with risks I have been willing to accept. I am not willing anymore to expose myself to the risks of crime that poverty, homelessness and the increasing use of heroin and synthetic drugs creates in our community. I will figure something else out eventually, but until then I will be QRT in the parks.
Split Rock Lighthouse, ARLHS USA 783.
On the North Shore of Lake Superior, 45 miles NE of Duluth is Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, preserving and interpreting this beautiful lighthouse.
If you like lighthouses and plan a trip to the North Shore don't miss a visit to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. This spectacular lighthouse has served the shipping industry well and now tells its story to thousands of guests each year. Learn more here.
In Duluth I sometimes activate the three lighthouses on the Ship Canal:
On July 24, 2011 I completed a project of operating portable from each of the city parks in Duluth. It took 18 months, and all seasons to do this and it was a great adventure where I learned a lot about my hometown and its natural and man-altered environment. Some parks, like Cascade are carefully maintained inner-city parks while others are wilderness areas where a sprained ankle or broken leg would mean a long wait for any possible rescue. I now hike with a walking stick to help assure a safe return.
When I completed this project I thought about operating from all of the access points on the Superior Hiking Trail that goes from Duluth northeast to the Canadian border along the rugged North Shore of Lake Superior. Then I got estimating the cost in gas and decided it was better to stick closer to home for now. So now, October, 2012 I am again on a new project to Work All Duluth Parks again, giving me the opportunity to hike some of the areas I did not see in my previous venture.
Summer 2011 I completed a kayak expedition to the Apostle Islands with asignificantly altered go-kit.
Replacing the plastic tool box is a padded laptop computer case which fit in the compartments of the kayak. I have tuned my antenna for 20 / 17 meters eliminating the need for the MFJ-259 and the antenna tuner. This leaves just the FT-857D and the NiMh batteries to carry. In the case also goes the coax, radials, guy cord, stakes and QSL log.
This was my set up on Sand Island, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Western Lake Superior.
Current radio pack configuration:
February, 2014 my FT-857d died and I replaced it with an Icom ic-7000. This is a more modern rig with better DSP functions then the Yaesu had. I have also replaced my 1999 Saturn with a 1999 Toyota Corolla, but have yet to install the new rig and antenna. It has been so darn cold this winter of 2013-2014 and with 3 feet of snow on the ground I have not gotten out portable to the parks.
The battery pack consists of 48 nickel-metal-hydride cells connected 12 in series, four packs in parallel.
The batteries I use are Tenergy brand, type SC, 1.2 volts, 3800mAH, 22mm X 42mm.
Total weight 6 pounds.
Rolled up in the pack is a 28 watt Powerfilm Rollcharger. This lightweight and durable solar collector works well to extend my talk time over what the batteries can normally provide.
Shown is the 20 meter end-fed dipole; RG58 and 14ga stranded insultated wire and choke coil;1/4 wavelength feedline and second choke coil. All one length of coax.
Carry weight = 26 pounds. (12 kg). Includes IC-7000, battery box, carry bag, and lunch.There is a more complete description of my end-fed dipole HERE
When the rig is mounted in the trunk of my car I use this homemade vertical. 67 inches tall total, it is made with a 1/2 inch copper pipe mast under the coil, a fiberglass mast above and the whip from a Hamstick out the top.
The originial coil is shown at left. In October, 2012 I rewound it using rg-58 and replaced the spiral wire on the FG shaft with a braided cover from rg-8 coax then wrapped with electrical tape.
These are a few of the 131 Duluth City Parks I have operated from since the Spring of 2010.
And in December, 2010 & 2011 for the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society Christmas Lights QSO Party, I hiked to the Point Zero Lighthouse on Minnesota Point, operating portable for three hours.
To see a larger version of these images right click and select "Open in new tab".
Flag counter added August 30, 2012
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976592 Last modified: 2014-05-31 11:03:32, 11433 bytes
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