Author Topic: Field Day...... (Keep it going)  (Read 7083 times)

Offline DonC

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Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« on: July 03, 2017, 02:03:55 PM »
Another Field Day has come and gone! It was a much better Field Day to be sure! The temps were perfect in the Central U.S. In S.W. OK, we topped off at 82°F! Considering last year was triple digits and humid, this was a welcomed break!

Besides making contacts, Field Day is meant to introduce the public to the Ham Radio hobby and perhaps more importantly, testing your gear for reliability, operability, and capability! That is what I chose to do this year. And I had lots to test. I wanted to be completely off grid. So I had a battery pack and solar panels. My 118ah battery lasted the entire event running 100w on my HF Rig. I wanted to use my own radio in the field for the 1st time since I'd been licensed. I wanted to setup and test different antennas. Our club operated 4D OK. We had 20m Voice commercial powered, 40m Voice solar powered, PSK, and CW


Making 1st Contact for FD17


Night Ops


HamStick Dipole


Raising the W3EDP



So, what other antenna setups, radios, power, etc were tested? Post your FD17 pics and share with the group! It's not just about the contacts made. I bet there were some sweet setups! I saw one post on FB where a Ham setup 20' high, 6 element beam on a trailer. I thought the way he set that up was neat!

-Don

Offline Cedar

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2017, 02:33:10 PM »
Just yesterday I was wondering when it was. Sad I missed it this year, happy it looks like you had a blast at yours.

Cedar

Offline Carl

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2017, 02:46:21 PM »
  I ran my multi-band Inverted "V" with 40-20-10 wires and my 51 X 17 Foot Zip Zep antenna at 10 feet plus my MP1c Super Antenna and mostly ran 6 -10 - 12 - 15- 20- and 40 meters from home and much of the time I ran digital while Brandi manned the microwave and refrigerator for cold drinks and hot food to keep us operating and enjoying  single op solar for the times I could operate. Link to Super Antenna below.Brandi mostly carried her UV82 to keep up with local chatter on the repeaters though she did spell me on PSK for a bit when I took a break.

 http://newsuperantenna.com/MP1-SuperStick-Portable-Vertical-Antenna-Deluxe/

Offline jerseyboy

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2017, 07:59:17 PM »
Just yesterday I was wondering when it was. Sad I missed it this year, happy it looks like you had a blast at yours.

Cedar

http://www.arrl.org/field-day

Cedar, always the fourth full weekend in June.

Jerseyboy

Offline Cedar

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2017, 08:30:12 PM »
Thanks JerseyBoy.. I knew it was going to be soon, but just as well I missed this year. I have been pretty swamped this summer, and it is going to get worse.. There is always next year, and I have fallen in with a local group.

Cedar

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2017, 06:00:54 AM »
Sad that I missed it, but talking to the crew back home they pushed the bar ever higher. Two years ago it was generators, last year radios and amps on solar and other accessories like logging computers on shore power, this year 100 percent solar including fans, computers, router, etc!

Also more contacts than ever before.  They rocked it.

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2017, 10:18:08 AM »
I did not realize it at the time, because I was looking at the computer screen, not the wattmeter, but I made 23 contacts in 17 states on both coasts, using CW and digital modes... on 100 milliwatts :o

Apparently, the Kenwood TS-50SS has blown finals.  It won't put out more than 100 milliwatts (measured with a calibrated 30 dB power attenuator and a spectrum analyzer), and it's a 100-Watt rig.  I have since found out that the VSWR on my 6-band trap vertical is terrible in the CW/digital sub-bands.  I'll be correcting that.

Cost of the transistors set is $220 from RFParts, and to have Kenwood's repair facility do it, it's $55/hr plus their cost for the parts.

I'm bidding on an identical radio on eBay for a little less than double my cost of the parts, and if it doesn't go much higher, I'll probably get that.

Offline DonC

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2017, 10:22:20 AM »
I did not realize it at the time, because I was looking at the computer screen, not the wattmeter, but I made 23 contacts in 17 states on both coasts, using CW and digital modes... on 100 milliwatts :o

Unfortunate about the finals! But still...... 23 contacts on FD with 100mw is great! Thanks for sticking with it!

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2017, 01:41:16 PM »
Sad that I missed it, but talking to the crew back home they pushed the bar ever higher. Two years ago it was generators, last year radios and amps on solar and other accessories like logging computers on shore power, this year 100 percent solar including fans, computers, router, etc!

Also more contacts than ever before.  They rocked it.

Our FD batteries:



Only 2 of the optimas are mine.  A local dude sells them reconditioned for $100 each.  While I brought out a single 100w solar panel, we didn't need it for the 24 hours operating period with a large bank.
It was easy enough to swap in a replacement cell for each rig (we operated 2A).  For a true "field" setup it is cumbersome to bring along full size PV panels.  I worry what a real emergency deployment might look like...

Offline idelphic

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2017, 04:06:26 PM »
Thanks JerseyBoy.. I knew it was going to be soon, but just as well I missed this year. I have been pretty swamped this summer, and it is going to get worse.. There is always next year, and I have fallen in with a local group.

Cedar

Awesome, I am trying to expand my club work..

  I ran my multi-band Inverted "V" with 40-20-10 wires and my 51 X 17 Foot Zip Zep antenna at 10 feet plus my MP1c Super Antenna and mostly ran 6 -10 - 12 - 15- 20- and 40 meters from home and much of the time I ran digital while Brandi manned the microwave and refrigerator for cold drinks and hot food to keep us operating and enjoying  single op solar for the times I could operate. Link to Super Antenna below.Brandi mostly carried her UV82 to keep up with local chatter on the repeaters though she did spell me on PSK for a bit when I took a break.

 http://newsuperantenna.com/MP1-SuperStick-Portable-Vertical-Antenna-Deluxe/

Looks nice, will have to review more.


Sad that I missed it, but talking to the crew back home they pushed the bar ever higher. Two years ago it was generators, last year radios and amps on solar and other accessories like logging computers on shore power, this year 100 percent solar including fans, computers, router, etc!

Also more contacts than ever before.  They rocked it.
Dang - NICE.  We ran from three generators,.. but just one would have been enough.  The Club genny is like a 7500 trailer mounted unit.  But due to distance between the phone and CW station - to far..  But was awesome never the less.  We have a trailer with solar,.. but sadly that will be sold soon.

I did not realize it at the time, because I was looking at the computer screen, not the wattmeter, but I made 23 contacts in 17 states on both coasts, using CW and digital modes... on 100 milliwatts :o

Apparently, the Kenwood TS-50SS has blown finals.  It won't put out more than 100 milliwatts (measured with a calibrated 30 dB power attenuator and a spectrum analyzer), and it's a 100-Watt rig.  I have since found out that the VSWR on my 6-band trap vertical is terrible in the CW/digital sub-bands.  I'll be correcting that.

Cost of the transistors set is $220 from RFParts, and to have Kenwood's repair facility do it, it's $55/hr plus their cost for the parts.

I'm bidding on an identical radio on eBay for a little less than double my cost of the parts, and if it doesn't go much higher, I'll probably get that.
OUch - that stinks. 


Offline idelphic

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2017, 04:07:11 PM »
Our FD batteries:



Only 2 of the optimas are mine.  A local dude sells them reconditioned for $100 each.  While I brought out a single 100w solar panel, we didn't need it for the 24 hours operating period with a large bank.
It was easy enough to swap in a replacement cell for each rig (we operated 2A).  For a true "field" setup it is cumbersome to bring along full size PV panels.  I worry what a real emergency deployment might look like...

No image...

Offline Carl

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2017, 04:16:55 PM »
  Must be stealth batteries....

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2017, 08:22:39 AM »
Security works!


Offline Carl

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2017, 09:02:48 AM »
A change I would make is to have the battery bank in the auto ,with an inverter to power equipment with power supplies and maintain voltage without having to carry and wire/set up power every time you set up,this is how I have to do with my limited mobility. Yellow tops have lasted just over 10 years for me and often worth the price as they outlast deep cycle cells that I only get about three years service from in radio use.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2017, 09:49:26 AM »
A change I would make is to have the battery bank in the auto ,with an inverter to power equipment with power supplies and maintain voltage without having to carry and wire/set up power every time you set up,this is how I have to do with my limited mobility. Yellow tops have lasted just over 10 years for me and often worth the price as they outlast deep cycle cells that I only get about three years service from in radio use.

Most have 2014 MFG dates, and I paid $100 each for the ones I have.  They are heavy as heck and difficult for able bodied folks to deal with.
Good idea about keeping a bank in the vehicle.

Offline Carl

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2017, 10:07:41 AM »
Most have 2014 MFG dates, and I paid $100 each for the ones I have.  They are heavy as heck and difficult for able bodied folks to deal with.
Good idea about keeping a bank in the vehicle.

Don ran his 100 watt rig a long time on just 1 battery a panel...you must be running an air conditioner,coffee pot and big TV off of that pile of batteries.

Offline chad

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2017, 10:14:21 AM »
Just checked Amazon and the yellow tops are $200 is that a "in the ball park price"?

Offline Carl

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2017, 10:25:38 AM »
Just checked Amazon and the yellow tops are $200 is that a "in the ball park price"?

For NEW ones ,it is. and that makes them cost about the same as lesser battery cost per year of use.At least from my past history of about 10 to 12 years use from OPTIMA red,blue and yellow top verses local deep cycle open the cap to water batteries...you just need to keep them at near C10 charge and discharge ( 1 tenth of amp hour rating ) as a 75 amp hour battery will run,without charging,a 100 watt Ham rig for about 10 hours when used with the inverter and power supply method I use to avoid battery carry.(leave batteries in the car)

Offline chad

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2017, 10:40:44 AM »
For NEW ones ,it is. and that makes them cost about the same as lesser battery cost per year of use.At least from my past history of about 10 to 12 years use from OPTIMA red,blue and yellow top verses local deep cycle open the cap to water batteries...you just need to keep them at near C10 charge and discharge ( 1 tenth of amp hour rating ) as a 75 amp hour battery will run,without charging,a 100 watt Ham rig for about 10 hours when used with the inverter and power supply method I use to avoid battery carry.(leave batteries in the car)

Good to know..

I might replace my old worn out 3 battery solar system. Regardless of charge it'll only hold at 12.2v and drops fast will little load.

Offline Carl

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2017, 10:51:03 AM »
Good to know..

I might replace my old worn out 3 battery solar system. Regardless of charge it'll only hold at 12.2v and drops fast will little load.

Sounds like sulphation or low water ...if not at 12.6 to 14.4 wile on solar panel charge and 12.6 to 12.9 at rest...they are shot or need rejuvination...

Can you hard discharge with say 500 watt load on inverter till non function and charge at 12 to 15 amps per battery till at 15.0 to 15.6 or so or the battery is  warm or near hot to the touch? a couple of cycles like this will stir the chemistry ...add distilled water to above plates first or danger of explosion!

This can recover sulphated plates and perhaps extend them a bit as water is all you lose when cell is low ...unless battery is cracked and leaking.

To keep on topic...then you can run radios for field day.  NOTE that most SCHUMACHER 3 stage chargers have a desulfation cycle that will run automatically when determined to be needed.

Offline chad

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2017, 11:02:47 AM »
Ill send you a PM so as to stay on topic..

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2017, 11:53:21 AM »
Don ran his 100 watt rig a long time on just 1 battery a panel...you must be running an air conditioner,coffee pot and big TV off of that pile of batteries.

We barely used 2 of them.

Offline Carl

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2017, 02:56:38 PM »
We barely used 2 of them.


You were loaded for bear. I often overload the front to allow for needs not foreseen.

Offline cidyl

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2017, 04:37:14 PM »
Nearly everyday is a mini-field day around here, cell service is unreliable so we use VHF for local inter-family comms fairly regularly.  But over the 4th of July weekend, with guests visiting and spread out over a 1/4 mile area, had the opportunity to re-test a crossband repeater solution I hadn't tried in a couple years.  Simplex worked fine with HTs (each of the 4 "guest groups" having at least one) over that small area, but one group was headed out canoeing/tubing/fishing a nearby river and would need a pick-up about 4.5 miles from our location some hours later.  Too far for HT-HT simplex through the woods (had tested this before), so I put a spare mag-mount dual band antenna on top of our 16' metal polebarn and connected one of our Puxing UV-9R's in crossband repeat mode using a battery eliminator and powered by a small solar power setup in our off-the-grid barn.  I could have just sat in the shack waiting for them to call and made simplex contact easily, but didn't want to sit inside when I could be outside enjoying the friends, food, and festivities.

When the river group called that they were at the pick-up point, I responded (from my lawnchair by the campfire) by HT through the repeater and told them I'd be there shortly.  A member of another group down the street heard our conversation and responded that he'd bring his truck too so we wouldn't have to cram all the people and gear into just mine.  The entire 3-way QSO took less than 30 seconds, including QSL of the plan by all parties.  This really was a good test for how we'll likely be operating if things go all sideways, security/tactical type-comms with multiple groups over a relatively small and remote area, and with operators with minimal radio experience as my guests were. 

Nothing "wow!" technically, and the majority of the work was in the radio programming done a couple years ago - but do like it when a plan comes together.  Think the most satisfying part was that it was done impromptu, using the basic parts of a plan developed a couple years back, and was quickly setup and implemented without a hitch. 

Offline Carl

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2017, 04:42:05 PM »
Cidyl  simplicity has an elegance that few recognize .  Karma.

Offline DonC

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Re: Field Day...... (Keep it going)
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2017, 04:02:40 AM »
Yellow/Red tops are nice! I'll be the 1st to admit! But while you're paying $100-$300 each, I'm snagging 118ah deep cycle marine batteries for $87 a piece. That's not a bad price, they work well. I have one I use for Ham and one I use for backup power! They last about 5years. At decent levels. Maybe a bit longer at lesser capacity.

As Carl stated, I used one of these batteries with my 100w HF Rig at Field Day and still had 60% power at the end of 24hrs! So, I'd say that was a successful test.