Thursday, January 1, 2015

Radial/Counterpoise Kit (Dale-W8ABZ)

Here is a nice article on optimal antenna counterpoise lengths:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

update on USNG

Just received these great links from USNG08, who left me a message on a prior article of mine:

His comments as follows:

Some updates:
c) GMap4 works on any smartphone even w/o connectivity: 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Arkansas River Trail activation

Here are the details to my upcoming Arkansas River Trail activation on Saturday as a Pedestrian Mobile /PM Amateur Radio station:

Where: Arkansas River Trail
Transceiver: Barrett 2090
Power: 10W SSB
Antenna: DK2RZ DXM-90 with counterpoise

When you follow the individual links above, you will see a bit of background information on the various listed details. 

I will walk along the river, making a stab at walking 20km (12.4m) in 4 hours, while operating my backpack. No mountain to help me leverage my signal over the horizon. Temperature will be high and only partly cloudy - so no shade to count on (will have to wear good sunscreen!). Need to carry sufficient water too.

Yes, I am participating in the RaDAR Summer Contest but I will rag chew as much with every station as they are willing to chat with me!

Why did I choose 40m as my primary band for those 4 hours? Checking the VOACAP coverage map, I had the impression that it would yield me the best coverage.

20m band and higher did not look favorable at all, at least so I thought.

I will take on the challenge of 10W SSB with my DXM-90 40m antenna. I had a great QSO not too long ago with Greg N4KGL from Dallas when I used my 20m DXM-90, my hopes are thus that the 40m version might also deliver some good contacts. It is a gamble, but I can also always still mount my 12 foot whip or change over to a light dipole. The predicted dipole coverage certainly looks better.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

The journey is the reward.

My strategy for the RaDAR contest on the 26th:

Weather hot and humid here now, thus want to minimize gear to bare essentials, but still want to do /PM. Carrying lots of water a "must", a few powerbars for energy. Anti mosquito spray and sun screen both a conditio sine qua non. Hope there will be no thunderstorm in the forecast, since I don't like to take SUCH risks. Most will agree, some daredevils don't. Darwin will decide who's making the right choice.

Will aim to continue walking during the 4 hours, making 20km total. If I make the 20km before the 4 hours are up, I will deploy a low dipole for 40m. Walking the 20km ahead of time (before I've made 5 contacts for each way stop) should be allowable by the RaDAR Contest rules for /PM operators. Agree?

Will have to wisely choose the band I want to talk on with my whip, since it's hard to change frequency/ band once my transceiver is on my back (Alicepack). Until now, 20m was always best, but looking at VOACAP, seems like 40m is a better choice.

My personal aim for this contest date: manage the 20km in 4 hours, with number of /PM contacts made being secondary. The journey is the reward.