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CARA Moose Mountain Sept 2011 VHF Contest Expedition Michael Ross VE6TC (Photos Michael Ross and Dale Olson) Oct 5, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "CARA Moose Mountain Sept 2011 VHF Contest Expedition Michael Ross VE6TC (Photos Michael Ross and Dale Olson) Oct 5, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 CARA Moose Mountain Sept 2011 VHF Contest Expedition Michael Ross VE6TC (Photos Michael Ross and Dale Olson) Oct 5, 2011

2 Agenda Planning Equipment Operating Aids Food/Sanitation/Personal Items Safety Items Reconnaissance Participants/Setup/Operations Results/Lessons Learned What’s Next ?

3 Equipment Station 1 IRB Package All Mode Station 2 IRB Package All Mode Station 3 Azden 220 FM Station 4 Icom 706 6M Station 5 VHF/UHF FM mobile Antennas Common Equipment Support Equipment

4 Station 1 IRB 2 VE6STPCARA TS2000CARA Notebook ComputerCARA Notebook Power SupplyCARA Mouse?CARA Sound Card InterfaceCARA 12 V Power SupplyCARA CaseCARA MicCARA

5 Station 1 (continued) 1/4 Inch CW Key Splitter CARA ? BUY CW Straight Key from AO storage boxCARA CW PaddleCARA CW Keying Interface for N1MMGerry ? Headphones?CARA Power Bar?CARA N1MM installed, voice keyer working, cw keying working? CARA What else is included in the package ?

6 Station 2 IRB 1 Dale'sCARA TS-2000CARA TS-2000 ManualCARA Desktop ComputerCARA Monitor from basementCARA Mouse KeyboardCARA Sound Card InterfaceCARA 12 V Power SupplyCARA CaseCARA MicCARA 1/4 inch Stereo Key SplitterCARA

7 Station 2 (continued) IRB CW KeyCARA IRB CW PaddleCARA CW Keying Interface for N1MM (Parallel Port Version?) CARA Headphones?CARA Power Bar?CARA 144/432/1296 TriplexerCARA Coax with UHF or N connectors?CARA Triband Vertical AntennaCARA N1MM installed, voice keyer working, cw keying working? CARA What else is included in the package ?

8 Station 3 Station Mhz 10W FM only 223 Mhz TransceiverMike Azden Transceiver ManualMike MicMike EarphonesMike Power LeadsMike 222 Mhz BeamMike Coax N to UHFCARA MastCARA Mast to Boom ClampCARA

9 Station 4 Station 4 - IC Mhz 100W IC-706 TransceiverMike MicMike EarphonesMike Power LeadsMike 12V Power SupplyMike Computer Interface and CablesMike Notebook ComputerMike Notebook Power SupplyMike WattmeterMike Coax Patch CordMike

10 Station 5 Station 5 - ??? ColetonColeton Mobile Radio 146/446 FM onlyColeton LaptopColeton MicColeton 12 V Truck Battery Power SupplyColeton Mobile Antenna on TruckColeton 110 V inverterColeton

11 Common Equipment VHF /UHF Wattmeters/SWR Mhz North & South CARA 1296 Mike? MFJ Antenna AnalyzerCARA Wattmeter Patch CordsCARA Computer MicMike Coax Adapters UHF to N, double female N and UHF Mike

12 Antennas 50 Mhz 3 el Beam and coaxMike 144 Mhz 14 el Beam and coax TEST SWR CARA el Beam and coaxMike el Beam and coaxMike 2-4 Mast(s) and above rotor mastsMike/CARA Rotor(s) controllers and rotor cable (optional) CARA (Yaesu) Tower TrailerCARA

13 Support Equipment 3 KW GeneratorCARA 1 KW GeneratorColeton 2 Extension CordsCARA FD BOX 2 Small Gas CansColeton Gasoline (need to calculate consumption)BUY Coleton OilBUY Coelton 2 Power Bar(s)CARA Ground RodCARA Tools - Wrenches, screwdriver, solder iron, solder, tape, meter, CARA Computer screen shades

14 Support Equipment (continued) Shelter- Tent/Tarps Coleton & CARA CARA Banner Metal poles for Tarp Shelter Ft TablesColeton 4 ChairsColeton RopeCARA Duct TapeCARA Tool BoxCARA 2 Cardboard BoxesMike 2 SuitcasesCARA Label MakerCARA

15 Food, Sanitation, Personal Items CoolerMike Portable ToiletMike Toilet PaperMike Water Blue PlasticCARA Drink 2 plastic 7 up 2 grape, 1 waterMike Food – cookies, ritz, chips, 2 sandwiches, 4 desert bars, 2 apples Mike SunblockMike Bug SprayMike Hat JacketMike CameraMike Camera BatteriesMike MedicationMike Cell PhoneMike Cell chargerMike Sun GlassesMike

16 Safety Equipment First Aid KitCARA Fire ExtinguisherCARA FlashlightCARA Bear spray/hornColeton Sour Gas SensorColeton SidearmColeton Weather Forecast Sat 27 partly cloudy Sun 20 Sunny Mike GPS Coordinates N W Mike

17 Operating Aids GPSMike CompassMike 5 Grid Square MapsMike Compass Bearings to Major Cities/GridsMike Contest RulesMike Manual Log SheetsMike Sked List W7MEM DN17 30 past hour KC VE5KKZ 50 Mhz Sun Mike Contest Plan SpreadsheetMike Maps Pads of PaperCARA 3 FRS Radios to pass contacts to other station(s)+ chargers CARA PensCARA Compass RosetteMike

18 Compass Bearings PROV/STATECITYBEARINGGRID ALBERTACalgary75DO20/21/30/31 Edmonton17DO33 Red Deer24DO32 Lethbridge134DN39 Medicine Hat106DO40 BCVancouver258CN89

19 Compass Bearings (continued) PROV/STATECITYBEARINGGRID SASKRegina90DO70 Saskatoon73DO62 MBWinnipeg88EN19 MONTANAGreat Falls145DN45 Billings138DN55 Missoula173DN26 IDAHOCoure de Laine203DN17

20 Grid Square Map Bearings

21 Reconnaissance The weekend before the contest I took a quick trip up the mountain to look for an operating location and found the perfect drive up spot, just off the road at around 6575 ft.. ASL with great views!

22 View to the West

23 View to the South

24 View to the East

25 Participants Operators and Visitors Mike VE6TC Coleton VA6COP Chris G8APB/VA6APB Dale VE6QDO Peter VA6PJB Dan VA6DJK Joshua VA6JAZ Larry VE6KC Ham Class Student

26 Setup - Saturday On Saturday we set up the 144 and 1296 beams on the tower trailer mast with 50 and 222 beams on an 8 ft. mast and ground mounted rotor with the 432 beam on a hand rotated 8 ft. mast.

27 G8APB, VA6COP, VE6TC

28 Ham class student watching

29 Where did the other ops go?

30 Setup - Sunday On Sunday we put the 144 and 432 beams on the tower trailer mast and 50, 222 and 1296 beams on the ground mounted rotor, added a tarp sun shelter and set up the operating tables facing each other.

31 Preparing the antennas

32 Almost ready

33 Raising the mast

34 The IRB portable stations on new table configuration

35 Added some shade!

36 The final setup

37 Contest Results CLAIMED-SCORE: 1617 BandModeQSO’sPointsGrids 50Phone Phone Phone Phone Phone262 TotalAll577721

38 Lessons Learned 1. Rig control using N1MM only worked when the radio was on VFO A and did not work on VFO B. There might be a setting in N1MM to allow 2 VFO’s to be used, not sure, this might be normal. We should include in a short instruction sheet. 2. We had been storing different bands or frequencies in the same band in VFO B to quickly switch to the other frequency or band. We should instead try storing the other bands or frequencies in Memories in VHF A and see if the rig control works in memory mode or if we have to move the frequencies in memory into VFO A in VFO mode rather than memory mode. 3. We had been manually entering Mhz FM into N1MM to log that band/radio and sometimes forgot to set the program back to auto detect the frequency of the radio. We resolved this on Sunday by having a separate computer to log I don’t think the Reset Radio command in the bandmap worked correctly after such a manual entry. 4. I installed one parallel port CW keying interface on the desktop unit connected to the 1/8 inch CW key jack on the back. The manual MFJ? CW key that I got from Rob for one of the IRB packages had a ¼ inch mono connector. We need 2 adapters from ¼ inch mono to 1/8 inch mono, one for each IRB and can take one of the spare manual CW keys for the second package. I think they are $7.99 at The Source. We also need two 1/8 inch 2 to 1 adapter/combiner/splitter that allows both the CW manual key and the 1/8 inch keying line from the computer CW keyer to be combined into the one CW 1/8 key jack, also available at The Source. 5. I noticed that the tri-band antenna, when taken apart, did not always have the upper stinger sticking out the correct distance to mate with the lower connection. We need to glue or somehow secure it in the correct position so when assembled, there is always a connection.

39 Lessons Learned (continued) 6. I think an external mouse is needed for the notebook(s), either wireless ($20) or wired, would be way easier to use. 7. We need to make some kind of sun shade for the notebook computer screen(s). It was hard to see on Saturday in the sun. We put up the tarp over the desks on Sunday which was better but even a cardboard contraption would help. The external monitor was easier to read. 8. I really liked the triplexer on the station with the tri-band antenna, one coax, no plugging and unplugging multiple coax. I think we should get one or two more triplexers for the other IRB so we can use one high quality (1/2 or ¼ inch heliax or similar) piece of coax to connect 144, 432 and 1296 antennas, one triplexer at the radio and one triplexer at the top of the tower trailer mast if we go with separate antennas. I suggest 100 ft. of cable would be a good standard length for all tower trailer coax – 60 ft. up the mast with 40 ft. to connect to the operating position. I will see if they have any other duplexers for 50 and 222 Mhz that might allow one good coax to be shared on these two bands as well. They will reduce the number of coax cables from 5 to We need 100 ft. dedicated coax cables ready to go, for the tower trailer for both HF and VHF. I thought we had some for field day but will have to look in all the blue bins to check if I can find more. 10. We needed to have more and different coax adapters in the field day adapter tin. UHF to N double male, double female, right angle connectors. I brought 4 of each from home. This need may be eliminated if we go with dedicated coax to the triplexers with the correct connectors.

40 Lessons Learned (continued) 11. It took me a long time to gather up and package all the accessories and things for the contest. I think we need to package them or leave them in the suitcases so they are easy to grab and go. Some things we might want to put into the IRB packages, like the CW keys and perhaps one SWR/Power meter each. 12. The club should have its own portable antennas for the HF/VHF/UHF bands to use on the tower trailer and they should be able to fit on the trailer itself. Something like a VHF log periodic beam antenna that covers from 50 to 1300 Mhz might be a good compromise between frequency coverage and some gain. It could be mounted vertical or horizontal for SSB/FM, in addition to the multiband vertical. We also need a portable HF beam antenna that is easy/quick to assemble and perhaps a multiband inverted V and some rope for the pulley at the top of the tower mast. 13. For HF operation, the MFJ antenna tuner should be part of the grab and go kits in the suitcases, stored at the station (unless constantly required for the IRB use). 14. I suggest we get some foam for the suitcases so we can better protect the portable accessories that do not fit in the IRB cases themselves, like I had in my Pelican case. I have a source for foam in Calgary. Dumping everything in loose was a bit of a mess. 15. To run CW on the notebook from N1MM we need to get a CW interface like the one Jerry TL made for field day. Will need 2 if we plan to replace the desktop with a notebook. Maybe Jerry can make them?

41 Lessons Learned (continued) 16. To run the voice keyer from N1MM we need the sound card interface to be connected at the same time as the mic. I think the notebook worked but the desktop had the mic cable from the interface disconnected when the mic was plugged in the front. Is this correct? If we go to a notebook instead this won’t be an issue. 17. Larry suggested adding hose clamps to the field day package. 18. Suggest we get at least one SWR/Power meter for 440/1296 so we can check the output power and SWR, unless the radio includes an SWR meter function. I know it has an output power meter. 222 SWR seemed to work using the HF to 150 Mhz SWR meters. 19. Suggest we get at least one 222 Mhz transverters so we can cover more bands from 50 to 1296 using the TS packages. Elecraft XV222 Transverter: kit $349 ea. 20. Think we need to have the trailer tool box stocked and ready to go rather than having to steal from the station tool chest, with some basic tools like wrenches, tape, sockets, etc., enough to assemble the tower trailer, rotor, antennas. 21. I think we would benefit from low noise VHF preamps but would have to investigate if there are any multiband preamps that might work in conjunction with the triplexer design on multiple bands. Certainly 2m and 432 would be priority. The internal preamp is not sensitive enough. 22. It would be nice to be able to disconnect the rotor from the rotor cable from the control head, with some kind of 8 pin connectors. I think we should get 100 ft. of proper 8 conductor rotor cable too.

42 What’s Next? January VHF Contest 2012 June VHF Contest 2012 Sept VHF Contest 2012


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