Ham Radio Portable Ops at Chandler Park

On Thursday, 29 December 2022, Mark, WA5MA, and Andrew, W5AWS, met at 1300 hours in Chandler Park where we spent about three hours operating, WA5MA on 40m and W5AWS on 10m. Neither of us succeeded in making any contacts; WA5MA used between 50-80 Watts into a “Hamstick” dipole, as you can see in the pictures, W5AWS used 5 Watts from a Yaesu FT-818ND
into a Buddistick.

W5AWS: Initially, I set the Buddistick on a photographic tripod, attached the loading coil to two 11-inch arms, on top of which I screwed the 5.5ft six-section whip antenna. I tapped the coil at the
second turn from the top, which delivered the most noise in my headphones, then adjusted the length of the single-wire ground plane until I moved the least SWR point into the center of the band, as measured by my antenna analyzer. At the exact mid-point of the band, I got almost 1:1 SWR that rose to just under 2:1 at the band edges. On the QRP calling frequency, 29.385 MHz, I measured an SWR of about 1.43:1. The wire ground-plane sloped away from the tripod to where I hung the kite-winder on an electric fence post pushed into the ground.

Weather was at first sunny with temperatures in the high 60s accompanied by gusty winds with a thin overcast that thickened towards the end of our operations. I have an audio-to-Bluetooth transmitter that I used to hear reception in wireless noise-canceling headphones, which eliminated the mechanical noise of surround civilization. Over- the-ear headphones also kept my ears warm, which could be a problem in the high-heat of summer.

Later, I tried the Buddistick on the included picnic-table mount. It was a rickety installation that demonstrated the tripod as preferable. SWR was almost the same. For use on the tripod, I made a 1/4″x20 adapter so that I could use a VersaTee.

On 10m I heard a couple of extremely strong voice stations, one of which was running 800W into a beam antenna. I checked POTA to see if anyone wanted hunting. I even tried a CQ call on the FM simplex frequency 29.600 MHz.

Despite making no contacts, events like this are always a useful exercise for deployment of equipment, testing, and generally being comfortable operating in the field. And it was just good to get out in the fresh air. Chandler Park is a good place to operate.


Posted in Member Corner.

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