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VHF Contest Roving K2TER

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Presentation on theme: "VHF Contest Roving K2TER"— Presentation transcript:

1 VHF Contest Roving K2TER
Bill Rogers September, 26th 2009

2 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
VHF Contest Roving Topic: A Brief History of the K2TER/Rover Initial Motivation Rover development/improvements System Diagrams/Ancillaries Operating Successes/January Results Operating Challenges/Lessons Learned Rover Sites Rover.Next Questions 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

3 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
VHF Contest Roving What is roving in a VHF Contest? Score is a product of all QSO points x (Unique Band Grid Squares + Grids activated) for a rover Operating from multiple grids allows: More QSO Opportunities – Work the same stations from multiple grids Multiplier Projection – Select sites that favor a particular direction. Operation from Premium Locations – bald hills significantly higher than the average local terrain. Operating while in motion to pick up missed QSOs Need to balance time in a grid vs. number of grids to be visited. Example: 6M opening toward the end of a planned grid stop. (Should we go for the grids or the points in the next grid) Scheds are difficult to maintain. 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

4 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
VHF Contest Roving Need to have a comfortable and straight forward operating environment hours on the air in the vehicle. Operating positions need to be flexible to adapt to different operating scenarios Need to be able to get contacts on many bands in the log fast. It is possible to be working 4-5 stations at the same time. Need to be able to set up quickly. We deploy in less than 5 minutes. Need to keep the “juice” flowing. Need to make a credible attempt to keep schedules. Need to make decisions on who to work. Need to coordinate with your partner to pass Qs. Need to maintain an accurate log. Need to check for AU conditions and 6M openings. Need to debug inevitable equipment issues. Keep the station running. Need to be safe! 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

5 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
VHF Contest Roving Paper log “tickets” for working multiple stations and “passing” up the bands 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

6 2007 W3IY Rover Recognition Award
9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

7 2007 W3IY Rover Recognition Award
9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

8 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
Roving - How I got here The Beginning: I started my roving “journey” as part of Wayne King’s (N2WK) Rookie Team in 1994 –The Greenhorns. I was introduced to roving by Charlie DuBois (WA2MOP). I helped him set up his 10 band rover at Wayne’s house. It only took 30 minutes to convert his mini van to a world class contest machine! What impressed me most about his set up was the high level of integration, system design, and the complete but elegant dual operating positions. 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

9 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
Roving - How I got here WA2MOP Rover – “Run and Gun” style: 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

10 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
Roving - How I got here Apprentice Rover: Later in 1994, George Anderson (KB3PW) took me under his wing. I apprenticed for about 2 years with a lot of 1st and 2nd placed finishes… (and lived to tell about it). This experience prepared me to break out on my own. <No photos available> – George’s rover was of the – “shoot and scoot” variety with “crank up” tower. This was effective when at site but was basically off line when in transit. Back then FM activity could be effectively leveraged while in motion, in the Rochester grids. 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

11 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
Roving - How I got here Journeyman Rover: In January 1996 – I purchased a new 4WD Ford Explorer and I borrowed enough equipment to activate 4 local grid squares. I accomplished my objective of supplying N2WK’s station with 16 contacts! I shared my experience with my colleague Tom Jennings (KV2X) and we decided to give roving a try... Tom, KV2X 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

12 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
Roving - How I got here Journeyman Rover (V1.0): (6M-2304 MHz Run and gun) Tom and I worked for a year to design the first version: We leveraged NJ2L’s (K2UA) “Flexible IF Rig Mod” to convert an HTX-100 for use as a transverter IF. Built a DEM and a Transverter Borrowed a complete transverter system from Rus Heally (K2UA) Purchased a 2nd hand 2304 transverter from someone at the Rochester Hamfest along with a loop yagi. And a 10W 903 System from Dennis Mungham, VE3ASO. We built wooden boom yagis most of which were Cheap Yagis: by Kent Britain, WA5VJB 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

13 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
Roving - How I got here Journeyman Rover (V1.0): 6M-2304 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

14 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – V2.0 Rover (V2.0) 10 Band operation & telescopic tower (circa January 2000) – combined “run and gun” and “shoot and scoot” rover approaches. Not there yet… Still a family vehicle in the off-season. 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

15 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – V2.0 Rover (V2.0) 10 Band operation & telescopic tower (circa January 2000) – combined “run and gun” and “shoot and scoot” rover approaches. Not there yet… No 6M antenna Create Log Yagi For 3 FM. By this time it was becoming overkill even for Rochester. Long Coax runs to 2304 and 3456 MHz Rotor above the tower 5.7 & 10 GHz on a separate non-telescopic mast Coaxial mess Heavy wooden “surf board” Helper springs don’t help 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

16 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – V2.0 Rover (V2.0) Rear operating position – (yes we had 3 rotors back then) 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

17 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – V2.0 Rover (V2.0) Microwave Deck (903-10GHz) 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

18 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – V2.3 The Heart of the System 4 in – 5 out transverter interface 6,2,222,432 and 144 MHz IF 4 IF Rigs and 10 band switch boxes 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

19 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – V3.1 2,3,5,10 GHz Transverter system on the tower Rover (V3.1) Rotating telescopic tower and Stack mounted microwave transverters. V3.0 introduced 24 GHz, we removed this due to the complexity and lack of stations to work PAR Moxon on 6M Air springs – much better Yaesu 450 deg. rotor at base of the tower 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

20 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – V3.1 Rover (V3.1) Rotating telescopic tower and Stack mounted microwave transverters. Avoid the next “obstructed license plate fine” “Drill interface to deploy out-riggers” 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

21 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – V3.1 Rover (V3.1) Removed passenger seat - Shared Operating Rack – Functional but not very comfortable. 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

22 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – V3.1 Rover (V3.1) Computer Logging - finally 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

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K2TER/R – V3.1 Rover (V3.1) Transverter and amplifier racks – first use of the transverter switch box. `` 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

24 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R –V3.5 Rover (V3.5) Simplified Rear Op position – dual liaison rigs & laptops 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

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K2TER/R –V3.5 Rover (V3.5) Simplified Driver position – unpopulated 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

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K2TER/R –V3.5 Rover (V3.5) Rear Equipment Racks – including FM amps and less popular FM rigs 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

27 K2TER/R V3.5 Weak Signal System Diagram
9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

28 Microwave IF Transverter 144-26 MHz
K2TER/R – Latest V3.5 Band 6M 2M 1.25M 70 cm 33 cm 23 cm 13 cm 9 cm 6 cm 3 cm Ant. Dimension 8' turn radius 8' Boom 6' Boom 5' Boom 4' Boom 2' Diam Dish Antenna PAR Moxon 8 El K1FO 10 el Yagi Orig K1FO Loop Yagi Dual Band Feed Horn Coax 9913 Equiv 1/2" Heliax LMR-400 3' SemiRigid Tower Rotating Telescopic Tower with Yaesu Rotor at the Base Filter ICE BP & LP DCI Cavity RX BPF Helical Res In Line Comm Amp TE Systems Mirage Teletec Int 50W DEM 80W Comm. 30W Tosh 40W Comm 10W Comm 5W Preamps Int JFET Int GaAsFET HB Cavity DEM Transverters (All DEM) 50-28 MHz MHz MHz MHz 903 MHz 1296 MHz 2304 MHz 3456 MHz 5760 MHz 10 Gig Rack Mount Box Stack Mount Box Microwave Switching System - 1 in 6 out Microwave IF Transverter MHz IF Switching Rack Mount 4 IF Port In / 5 Transverter Out Transverter Box IF Signals TX IF/RX IF/ PTT 10 Band Selector IF Rigs FT-1000 FT-100D IC-706 IF Rig Function Primary Liaison Op Position Driver's Position Rear Op Position 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

29 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R –V3.5 Stack Mounted Microwave Box 2.3,3.4,5.7 & 10 GHz 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

30 K2TER/R V3.5 – FM System Diagram
FM Band 6M 1.25M 2M 70 cm 33 cm 23 cm Antenna 1/4 wave Austin Triband Vertical Cellular Mag-mount Comet SB123 Multiplexer - Comet Triplexer Power 25W 80W 130W 100W 10W Amp Tokyo Hy-Power Henry Preamps Int GaAsFET Rig Alinco DR-M06 Icom see below Motorola LCS 2000 Kenwood TM541A Switching 2M A/B 70cm A/B Multiplexers Comet 2/70cm Daiwa 2/70cm IF Rigs FT-100D V/U Port IC-706-MkIIG V/U Port Op Position Driver's Position Rear Op Position 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

31 Roving – Ancillary Equipment
Prosine - Pure Sign Wave inverter Astron Rack Mount 13.8V Linear power supply 24V 6A linear supply Direct battery connection – stock alternator GPS Navigation Tool 2 Laptops with RoverLog Paddles and WinKeyers Weak Signal Source – for 2,3,5,10,&24 GHz Laser Receiver and Transmitter Cordless Drill for down riggers APRS Position reporting system 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

32 Rover Successes – K2TER/R
K2TER Rover Es Contact from FN02 <-> DM79 This was one of 250 6M Es QSOs for K2TER/R in the June 2006 contest 104 Grid squares were logged as well. Rover Station consists of 6M DEM transverter, 200W amplifier, 2 element Moxon, and a Kenwood TS-690 IF rig. 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

33 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
104 Grids on 6M – K2TER/R 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

34 January VHF Contest Results
Year Place Comment 1997 6th 1st rover V1.0 1998 7th +134% score improvement 1999 10th Need to add bands 2000 2nd V2.0 Okay that worked 2001 3rd 2002 2003 2004 4th V3.1 – vanquished by 6-land circlers 2005 2007 6 6-landers in positions 1 through 6 2008 Equipment failures 432 amp stuck in TX, new 2304 transverter fails 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

35 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
Roving – Challenges Snow – Unplowed roads – snow rising over the roof of the car Cold – Watertown -19 deg F – coax becomes solid like steel Ice fog – 100 mile trip through the fog - and antenna pattern reversal Leaking Brake lines Ditch encounter Tire air leak Obstructed license plate – cost us 2 hours of sleep at 3:00 AM Accelerator linkage sticking Amp Dies Amp quietly stays keyed – 432 – Worked FN21 from FN23 with amp in transmit Wrong turns on winding mountain roads GPS doesn’t know that road Map didn’t say that was a limited use road It’s a LONG way from FN01 to FN21 14 Grids in one contest 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

36 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
Roving – Challenges Center pin missing – 1296 – worked 50 mile contact with no coax center conductor on RX side Tower fall apart from vibration The weight in the rear – now have air springs (helper springs didn’t) Wiring complexity Fuses blow –it’s a good thing Another rover at my site – keys my 6M amplifier when he transmits The gate is locked The branches are too low! The bridge is too low, whew! Not really. Another rover – don’t go through the drive thru next time! Need to find a facility in remote towns at 3:00 AM, fast! Graceful system degradation How to supply power – inverter to 13.8V supply –foot always on the accelerator. Noise – switching, computers, ignition, other vehicle Interference – collocation issues – self and nearby sources 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

37 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
Rover Challenges - ICE 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

38 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
Roving – Highlights While in motion - Working K2AXX in one grid square at a distance of 30 miles up 50-10GHz and from 10 GHz down to 6M after crossing Working England on 6M with a loop While calling CQ getting duped by a guy on the Pacific Coast in Washington state while running 10W – amp tripped. Working Minnesota on 2M S9+20 sigs Working FM08 from 2M-432 while in motion Working N2PA on 3456 MHz miles away on the NYS thruway Getting complements on how loud we are on 10 GHz! Anytime there’s Es or Aurora Any time a faint signal is detected on the microwave bands Observing the Milky Way from a PA mountain top at 3:30 AM Reconfiguring the Rover to bounce signals off the moon at an RVHFG meeting – was “heard” by a Texas station on 2M using WSJT modes Field Day – Rover VHF Station for W2RFC in 2006 Field Day – Rover VHF Station for W2RDX in 2007 & 2008 “1st in 3A” ~ 250 6M contacts and 2009 – “2nd in 3A” 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

39 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER at W2RDX FD 2008 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

40 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER at W2RDX FD 2008 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

41 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER at W2RDX FD 2009 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

42 Roving – Questions from bystanders
Are you intercepting TV/Cable transmissions? Are you from the government? Are you a storm chaser? Are you a bunny spotter? Are you spotting/jacking deer? Can you talk to Mars on that? What is that? 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

43 Roving – Operating Sites
FN23 “100 Cows” and FN23nc Little Falls Plateau FN22dw Mutton Hill – South of the Canastota Exit 1850’ ASL full horizon. FN12au Dow Road South of Leroy. FN02vu Werner Road – near Attica when passable –otherwise Buckman Road FN03 Near Batavia Airport – college FN13gb Woodcliff Lodge Anytime we are in motion! 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

44 Rovers beget rovers - K2QO/R
9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

45 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – V3.5 No more… Rover Interrupted = Cash for Clunkers 2 hour Tear down – RIP 7/20/2009 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

46 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – V3.5 No more… The saga continues… 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

47 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – Rover.Next How to improve over our previous rover? Start with a Larger vehicle - a van maybe? Maybe a generator this time? Better power distribution – no need to keep the accelerator depressed Pneumatic mast - higher Comfortable operating conditions Enough light Better operating while in motion 2nd op not in the driver’s seat. A vehicle that can handle the weight. Not too expensive. Some internet searching…FOUND IT!!! 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

48 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – Rover.Next A flight to Chicago… 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

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K2TER/R – Rover.Next Dropping my father off in Orchard Park on the way home… 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

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K2TER/R – Rover.Next Great Starting point – WLS-TV ENG Vehicle by Frontline 9900 lb Gross Weight Fleet maintained - 10 Cylinder Gas Engine 7000W Generator with internal start/stop switch. It shares the 35 gallon gas tank Frontline AC/DC power control panel 3 19” Racks Operator console and swivel chair with seat belt 19 Meter Will-Burt pneumatic boom with Heavy duty AZ/EL microwave pointing system AC and DC compressors AC Air conditioner and heater 1000AH 12V system battery Smart charger 1500W inverter Ladder up to full roof AC convenience outlets everywhere Comfort and lighting Safety lighting and features galore 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

51 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – Rover.Next Such a deal! Cash for clunkers paid for me to trade in a 17 MPG vehicle – (toward my wife’s New Beetle) and then buy a 11 MPG vehicle to replace it!!  Actually I get 0 MPG most of the time we’re operating. (What would than be in L/100 km? Infinity?) And it passed NYS inspection! 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

52 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – Rover.Next The interior operating position… 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

53 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – Rover.Next 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

54 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – V3.1 Big improvement over this… 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

55 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – Rover.Next The exterior… 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

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K2TER/R – Rover.Next 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

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K2TER/R – Rover.Next Going up… 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

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9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

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K2TER/R – Rover.Next The generator… 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

60 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
Questions? 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

61 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – Rover.Next The system battery… 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

62 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
Questions? 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

63 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – Rover.Next The compressors… 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

64 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
Questions? 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

65 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – Rover.Next Shore power… 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

66 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
Questions? 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

67 K2TER/R – Rover.Next The antenna stack, so far… 9/20/2018
Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

68 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
Questions? 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

69 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – Rover.Next Lot’s more to do… The antenna stack A Challenge - 1-1/4” I.D. Nylex Coil – 100’ 903-10G transverter systems all on the tower Integrate a Green Heron Engineering AZ/EL rotor control box. 6M? New dish for 5/10 GHz All the interior cabling for IF rigs, FM rigs, amps transverter switching, etc. Computer integration – network? Test it all on the air… 9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org

70 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org
K2TER/R – Rover.Next Questions?... Do you want one of these vehicles? There’s one more just like it at RAM Systems.  9/20/2018 Contest Roving - Bill Rogers - RVHFG.org


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