Saturday, September 10, 2011

N4LA in the Birkheads

First Portable Op of the Fall Season
Yesterday I decided to take advantage of the nice weather
and take a hike into the Birkhead Wilderness Area
that's located about 15 minutes from home.

The photo above is my hiking buddy ... Otis
My QRP (size) Dog !!
Otis is a Wire Haired Dachshund

Antenna Line
This is what I use to pull my antenna's into the treetops
It's simply a spool of masonry string with a handle
Purchased at my local hardware store.

Here is my portable antenna launcher !!
Yes ... its a golf ball on a string, with a fishing swivel on the end.
With a good arm ... you can easily hit tree limbs at 40 to 45 ft.

On most of my portable ops
I always carry a first aid kit that includes 
a small flashlight and a fire starter for emergencies.
And I carry a lightweight tarp ...
that I can use for a ground cloth or sun / rain shelter.

Here is a couple of items I recently added to my portable op station.
On the left ... is a small digital audio recorder for qso logging and notes.
On the right ... is a small ear bud / speaker amplifier.
I have found that the small amp 
really helps improve the audio volume of my Elecraft KX1.
especially if I use my small portable speaker.

This is a photo of my portable speaker system that I use
with both my KX1 and FT-857D
It opens up like a book when in use ...
It's not amplified... so it doesn't require batteries
It's smaller than my KX1 when folded ....
and very light weight.
The sound quality isn't bad either.

My portable operating desk ...
Simply a clipboard turned upside down
which secures my notepad at the bottom.
this way the pages won't flap around in the wind.
I also put velcro on both top corners
to secure my clock (on the left side)
and my cw key (on the right side)

My Lenovo Netbook
Great for any ham software you want to take into the field.
Plus the netbook case makes for a nice mouse pad !!

Size Comparison ?
This photo shows my 
Portable speaker ... folded
micro speaker/ear bud amplifier
compared to the 
Elecraft KX1

Here's another view with the portable speakers open.
I used a 28ft vertical wire w/ 4 X 16ft radials for my antenna
With this configuration ...
The tuner on the KX1 ...
showed a swr of 1:1 
on 3 bands
20 / 30 / 40  meters !!

MY Portable QRP Station !!

I made a short video of the qrp set-up
( See video link below )

Sorry about the voice audio
I tried the YouTube download twice...
but each time the voice audio was distorted.
I hope the next video will be better


VE3WDM said...

Good video showing all you use while in out doors. Nice to have your buddy Otis along as well. I will say the music rocked...the fiddling was fantastic.

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Nice video Todd, I enjoyed it and you enjoyed it very much so to see. 73, Bas