Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Field Day 2009

Hello All,

Well Field Day 2009 is behind us and fortunately I had just a little bit of time to get on the air and make a few contacts.  I started late on Saturday on 20M and then worked 40M in the morning and then 20M SSB voice in the afternoon.  All total I made 29 contacts (17 digital and 12 ssb) for a total of 92 Points with the power multiplier.  In the end I operated at 2D MDC (2=FT-817 and IC-735, D=Home Commercial Power, and MDC=Maryland District of Columbia).  I used both my 20M dipole, which I got up another ~6' to a total of 20' and the MP-1.  The MP-1 worked great both on 40M digital and 20M ssb.  I discovered that the low-pass filter I was using on the 20M has gone bad and was causing serious issues in my system (I've since removed and remedied the problems it was causing).

I must admit that I got bit by the contest bug with field day, especially with the ssb voice operations.  It's a great exercise of brain coordination given the amount of information you need to track.  I'm looking forward to the next contest event to give it a try again.

Although, not as elaborate as I envisioned, field day turned out to be a great experience.  I'll leave you with a flip video of a New England station calling Field Day CQ.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ham on the Grill

Hello All,

It's been sometime since I last blog, just home after a great vacation, I found sometime this afternoon to turn on the radio.  With field day around the corner I want to make sure that everything is still functional.  

Late this afternoon, I  connected my FT-817 to my MP-1 vertical antenna.  Over the course of roughly 1.5 hours, I made 4 contacts Germany (DF1KBN), Brazil (ZY0F),  Italy (IZ1OQT) and Puerto Rico (KP4DXC).  Both the Laptop and FT-817 ran on battery power for ~ 1.5 hours.  The 817 was pushing 2.5W to the MP-1 with 25' of coax connecting the radio to the antenna.

The MP-1 Super Antenna has a MFJ 10' Telescoping whip attached to it, in lieu of the 4' whip that comes standard with the antenna.  I highly recommend purchasing a longer whip, it will make a world of difference in your SWR.


 I shot the following videos with my Flip while operating: