WB3BEL roving FM19 Sept 1 Random Hour
- I decided that I should go on the road this morning for random hour
to Maryland FM19. It is only 35 miles north of my home qth in
Virginia FM18 and would serve as a dry run for future expedition to
I did not have the vehicle power system optimized, but decided to
press on regardless. In addition, an old laptop battery weakness
added to the power issues. But since the weather was cool, and there
was a possibility of a minor meteor shower, I woke early saturday
morning to try to throw a working system together.
I was debating using a halo antenna or taking the larger 3 element
hexbeam. I had the halo mounted on the roof racks of my sedan and
decided to lash the folded hexbeam on the racks and decide when on
location based on how much time was left on the clock. I had not
scouted this site previously for radio work, but was happy to find an
empty park lot with a hill sloping down to the west that would help
the short antenna height. I put up the hexbeam on the roof of the
car on two sections of fiberglass camo net mast at a staggering
height of 13 ft. See the photo that I added in the Rovers and grid
expeditions album. Additional construction details of this
lightweight antenna are on my webpage at wb3bel.googlepages.com
The antenna worked well and I expect to improve the mount so that
additional height may be deployed in the future.
Good fortune prevailed as many strong pings were heard on WSJT FSK441
mode as soon as the antenna coaxial cable was connected. I think
that the anticipated shower brought excellent meteor scatter
conditions. The power system held up for about 30 minutes before a
pc crash occurred and led to a battery rewiring exercise which was
for the most part futile.
Thanks for all the advice in getting to this point. I hope to work
many of you in the days to come from additional grids.