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Started studying for a license when I was 15 or so, but money and time got in the way for 40 years, then started again when my kids were mostly grown. Got Tech license in one-day cram class at the 2013 Trenton Computer Festival, then General later that year. Didn't really start to spend money and time on the hobby till 2014.

Currently am mostly interested in roving, in VHF contests moving between Maidenhead grids, and HF state QSO parties moving between counties. My wife is generous and patient in letting me use her minivan, but it's very time-consuming to have to keep moving equipment in and out of the van for each run.

Biggest deficiency is not knowing Morse code yet. Will work on that "soon".

QTH is Oaks, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA (FN20gd) -- about 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Never lived in W0 land, I got this vanity call right after getting the General license.

Member of Mt. Airy VHF Radio Club (a.k.a. PackRats) & Pottstown Area ARC.

Field Day - 27' elevated ground plane from ZeroFive 

ZeroFive elevated ground plane 10m-40m vertical,
here in a Field Day operation in Reading PA high spot

  
Current VHF rover: 4 low bands, 6m - 70cm

   
Early 3-band rover setup near 4-grid intersection in Delmarva.
Loops on roof for operating in-motion, and the yagis were built up only at operating locations.
I drove this setup very slowly across grid boarder.
This setup has been replaced with the full-time 4-band yagi setup shown above.

 
Portable 6m operation at Reading PA high point.
Here operating as WM3PEN in the 13 Colonies event.
The short 3-element yagi for portable operations has been upgraded to a full-sized 5-element yagi.

 

Equipment and capabilities:

Rover common:

Power:

Relay-switched 4-ga cables from vehicle battery to back cargo area -- power only on when engine is running

Optima D31T yellow top 75Ah AGM battery dedicated to powering radios

TG Electronics 80 amp voltage booster with remote control -- keeps DC supply at 14.1 volts while battery voltage decreases

Mast system:

Penninger Radio trailer hitch receiver mounted mast walk-up "tipper"

Penninger Radio quick-connect 2"x6' aluminum sections, up to ~33' high

Bottom-mounted rotator, just above tipper

VHF rover:

Radios:

FlexRadio 1500, low power SDR -- 6m 5w out, 10m IF 1mW out

144, 222, 432: DEMI transverters, 1mW in 20w out

TE amplifiers: 50 & 144 - 350w, 222 - 80w, 432 - 180w (driven to 200, 200, 70, 100 in VHF contests within "Limited Rover" spec)

Manual IF switch for 144-222-432. All-or-nothing PTT switching. :-(

Antennas:

6m stationary: 5el Yagi (M2)

6m in motion: stressed Moxon (PAR)

144, 222, 432: ~10-foot Yagis (M2): 7el, 10el, 14el

Rotator:

Yaseu 800 & Green Heron DC controller (no inverter!); USB-fed computer control

Plans:

Finish the Arduino-based automated IF switcher and PTT sequencer (2015)

Learn how to make meteor scatter contacts from the rover (2016)

Start adding microwave bands (2017)

HF rover:

Radio:

ICOM IC-7100 -- separate head is very helpful, main unit kept on rack in back

Ameritron ALS-500M "500 watt" mobile 13.8v-powered amplifier

Antennas & SWR matching:

In motion:

Tarheel model-200 80-12m screwdriver antenna

Turbo Tuner 2 automatic screwdriver controller (senses SWR from ICOM)

Stationary:

ZeroFive 10-40m elevated ground plane (27' vertical, 6x 10' radials, 8' above ground)

LDG AT-600ProII automatic transmatch for ICOM radios

Ground:

2-inch tin-plate braid bolted and soldered to body, chair hook, chassis (x2), exhaust, roof plate (x2). Hood to body (x2). [Still noisy on HF.]

Plans:

40m hamstick dipole on roof of minivan -- intention is NVIS response for the most popular state QSO party band

Wire dipole on top of walk-up mast with fiberglass upper sections, for longer-term setups

Replace IC-7100 with SDR; prerequisite is to imitate ICOM connections for existing antenna tuners with the Arduino switcher currently building for VHF

More RF power for stationary portable operations (use generator AC power)

Home shack:

Flex 5000 radio -- 100w out, excellent RX and graphical filtering

Home brew PC with Intel Core i7 920 chip

MFJ 974B balanced line manual transmatch

40-meter doublet 20-30 feet high, fed with 450ohm window line (tunable 6m-80m)

 

6852362 Last modified: 2015-11-13 18:02:15, 10107 bytes

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