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Re: [wsjtgroup] Antennas For Mobile/Portable Use

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  • Bruce Brackin
    Hi Robin - There are a number of us that are now running mobile and portable so probably as many opinions as operators! You choice of antennas will of course
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 14, 2004
      Hi Robin - There are a number of us that are now running mobile and
      portable so probably as many opinions as operators! You choice of
      antennas will of course depend on a number of factors including how long
      will you be in one spot to set up, size of vehicle (or boat!) to tot
      them or hang them from. I use loops because I run mostly while
      traveling in job related day trips so either truly mobile or in one spot
      for short period of time and no good way to haul beam(s) around. Do
      they work? Darn good on 6m and just getting into 2m mobile but have
      worked K1JT at about 900 miles with stacked KB6KQ 2m loops up about
      12-13 feet from a parking lot. Also worked AF4O with JT44 to hand him 4
      new 2m grids on two runs to Memphis.

      Mostly a 6m person and have about 75 completions (46 initials) from the
      truck setup - about 50-50 mobile vs temp portable. I have a KB6KQ 6m
      loop but really prefer homebrew copper Squalo for 6m. (except for rain
      detuning, if parked - OK mobile with wind blast) Run 100w or less. Best
      distance is 1150 miles with a QRO station. I've worked Tip, WA5UFH from
      13 oo 15 grids I've been in.

      Dave N8OC, Phil N0PB and Mike WB2FKO can share there mobile/rover
      experiences and setups on 6 and 2m as can Joe, K9KNW with his recent
      Bahamas trip with 2m loops that seemed to do very well for him. I've
      not heard reports on anyone running UHF and above but sure there are
      some out there.

      Others please chime in - Bruce, N5SIX
    • Mike Hasselbeck
      Bruce et al: I have a lot of experience with portable 2m WSJT and limited experience with 6m. I ve made about a dozen grid expeditions over the last two
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 14, 2004
        Bruce et al:

        I have a lot of experience with portable 2m WSJT and limited experience
        with 6m. I've made about a dozen grid expeditions over the last two
        years. It's difficult to be certain because of variable meteor rates,
        propagation, and the quality of the station on the other end, but here's
        what I feel comfortable stating:

        The limitations of a weak portable station can be overcome with an
        excellent operating location. I have worked over 1000 miles on 144 MHz
        with 35 Watts and a 5-element beam in under 30 minutes in the middle of
        the afternoon, when the sporadic meteor rate is supposed to be low. I
        look for places that are high in the sky, clear horizon, and free of RFI.

        That said, it makes a huge difference depending on who you are running
        with...I've had lots of success with K0PW, WA7GSK, WA5UFH, W3UUM, and
        K6AAW...these guys are all running pretty serious stations. They
        clearly make up for the deficiencies of a puny portable station.

        I have experimented with power, pushing as high as 120 Watts, but haven't
        noticed anything dramatic. I also tried stacking two 5-element beams on
        144 MHz...not sure if it is worth the trouble. I have used exclusively
        yagis on 2-meters, so I can't say anything about what happens there with
        loops.

        N5SIX is the authority on portable 6m. I have used a single KB6KQ loop to
        make QSOs via HSMS and JT44 on 50 MHz and found it easier than 144. I
        think 50 MHz is probably the place to start to give yourself the best
        chance for success. I did it the hard way -- my first HSMS QSOs were on
        144 MHz from the car -- almost a year before my home station was
        operational!

        I'd resist the temptation to make it too complicated. Running digital in
        the boonies takes a lot of thought and planning. It is essential to set
        everything up in the driveway before going out; you'll flush out a lot of
        unexpected problems. And never rush your setup in the field, although
        when the windchill starts numbing your fingers as you attempt to attach
        the coax connectors, you'll definitely be in the hurry-up mode.

        If you want more info on portable WSJT, you are welcome to read the
        article I wrote for CQ-VHF, available on my website:

        http://www.sportscliche.com/wb2fko/article.html

        Mike WB2FKO
      • Dave Witucki (N8OC)
        I ran my first little MS grid DXpedition over Field Day weekend in June, and here is what I was running... Rig: FT-857 with Rigblaster Nomic On 2M: Mirage
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 14, 2004
          I ran my first little MS grid DXpedition over Field Day weekend in June, and
          here is what I was running...

          Rig: FT-857 with Rigblaster Nomic
          On 2M: Mirage 160w Brick and 6 element Lightning Bolt Quad
          The quad fits nicely in the 6-1/2 ft box of my short box,
          extended cab Chevy
          On 6M: Ran 80-90 watts out of the FT-857
          While mobile, ran PAR Electronics OA-50 loop
          While stationary, put a 5el KMA 6M log periodic
          Clock Sync: Garmin GPS72 with NMEATime software (trial version-30 days)

          No problem with QSOs - feel like I needed some more ERP on 2M. Heard lots
          and lots more pings from the guys calling than they heard from me obviously.
          Next time will take a yagi broke down in sections.

          Watched the truck battery voltage on the FT-857 and started up when started
          to dip under 11v.

          For more details and results of my first trip:
          http://hometown.aol.com/n8oc/myhomepage/index.html

          As Mike/FKO stated, make sure to practice setting up at home first - after a
          couple times, you find lotsa short cuts and get consistent on steps, you can
          get set-up/take-down time down considerably. Also agree with finding the
          right places to set up - high and clear spots.


          73 and Good Luck


          Dave Witucki .......N8OC
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