Out on a brisk January day for Polar Bear Midnight Madness 2010. Backpack has an FT857, Z11 tuner, and a LiFe04 battery. Antenna is a buddistick on a mirror mount on the top of the pack frame. On the ground is a black widow fishpole antenna. Brought my aviatin' bear mascot along.
When you hear me on the air, there's usually some confusion about my name since QRZ pulls my first name from the FCC database, but I usually go by my middle name. We had three generations of Francis in my family, so they usually sorted me out by my middle name, Kevin, and that's what I've always been used to using.
BTW, having Francis as a name is sort of being like the "Boy named Sue", since there is Francis, and Frances. You haven't lived till you've been the only boy in your junior high school assigned to home economics and girls gym.
Airborne hamshack is a CGS Hawk Arrow II (www.cgsaviation.com) Basically a modern, aluminum piper cub class aircraft. 65 hp Rotax pusher engine. Cruise is 65 mph, climb is 900 fpm solo. Registered as an ELSA. The Hawk is a sweet flying, capable, airpane.
View from the pilot's seat. On the left the GPS feeds the Kenwood D7 for APRS spots. A camera in the nose can be fed to a VC-H1 to downlink static images every few minutes as well. In the center is the Icom airband radio. On the right is an FT-51 dual band ht that can be used to monitor a second airband frequency or 2m/70cm. PTT is the square red button on the top of the stick at the bottom of the picture. The knob just just below the airspeed indicator selects which radio the PTT and microphone on the headset are directed to. To the left is for airband, and the aviation radio audio appears in both earpieces. To the right selects the FT51, and the aviation audio appears in the left headphone while the FT51 audio appears in the right headphone.
The most important thing is to set the audio gain from the microphone very low to reduce the background noise. Most headsets and radios run the mic gain quite high. I built a simple custom circuit into the panel to supply power to the electret element in the headset and to allow me to set the audio gain as needed. Even though the engine and prop are only 4 feet behind me, most stations cannot even tell I am mobile unless I tell them.
At the moment the picture was taken, I was flying into a headwind. You can see the IAS is 66 mph, but the ground speed on the GPS is only 47 mph.
Eventually I would like to experiment with an HF rig and trailing wire antenna. I've flown with an FT817 a few times but the ignition noise was too strong to hear much.
In the winter, I take my HFpacking setup, an FT857 built into a small home brewed backpack made from an old manpack frame and a fishing lure case with a buddistick composed of the low band coil and a 4 section military style whip and go cross country skiing out behind the house and down the neighbors runway. You can see the microphone cable over my right shoulder and in front of my left arm is the FT857's control head in the control head case from the icom LC-156 pack. There is an LDG Z11 autotuner in the pack with the 857.
Here's a recent picture from a Marine Mobile trip. I sailed on a friend's Island Packet 31 sloop from Oriental, NC to Kingston NY the first two weeks of April. This picture was taken while running my Icom703 with a Buddistick vertical antenna on the stern rail and a lithium Ion battery pack. At the time we were in the Hudson River around New Paltz, NY. Temps were in the 40's. Had a lot of good contacts on 17, 15 and 10 meters on the trip, and enjoyed listening on the lower bands.
6150883 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:19:19, 4564 bytes
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