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Re: Field Day summary



This year was actually not too bad for satellite contacts at K0MIW.  I
don't have the exact number with me, but I know it was more than 10,
probably 12 or 13.

2 ISS packet contacts, about 6 SO-50 contacts, and the rest on FO-29.  I
did listen for AO-7 but it wasn't in mode b apparently. I spent several
passes listening on mode a as well, but with the little ground mounted
outbacker antenna we had, I had little hope I'd hear anything on 10
meters.

The setup this year was:

18 ft of Rohn 25
Yaesu G5400B
Fiberglass crossboom (with problems)
40 element KLM UHF cross yagi
14 element KLM VHF cross yagi
~40 ft LMR-400 ultraflex (UHF)
~40 ft RG8 (VHF)
Yaesu FT-847
Labjack U12 for the autotracking of the G5400B


I had used the uhf KLM last year, knew it worked well, but the VHF one
was still disassembled from when I picked it up in Michigan.  Assembled
it at the field day site and checked it out, barely moved the needle on
reflected power at 145.850, so I was a happy camper :)

Unfortunately, due to years of stress, tightening, etc, the fiberglass
crossboom was cracked and egg shaped on the vhf end, so after we got the
antennas up on the crossboom, the vhf one would move on the boom and get
about 20 degrees out of sync with the uhf one.  One of our club members
(Evan, WC0C) came up with the idea to hang a couple of tower ground
anchors off the vhf reflector by rope to counterbalance the antenna and
keep it bound up on the egged ridge of the fiberglass boom.  After doing
so, the antennas were in perfect sync the rest of the weekend.  The
unfortunate side effect of this was it put the rotor under some stress
where it couldn't lower the antennas back to horizon from shallow
angles.  That is, if it was autotracking and got down to around 15
degrees then stopped for a period of time, it couldn't get to 0. 
Manually going up to around 90 then coming down in one swoop usually did
the trick.

The satellite station drew lots of interested parties and I ended up
running without headphones most of the weekend (sorry for those who
heard any noise or feedback).

I did hear Mike on the last pass of the day, full scale for the whole
pass, however I could not work him.  Tried 144.490, 145.800, 145.990,
the whole bit trying but couldn't do it.  For someone that did work him,
were they on 144.490? or some other frequency?  I didn't even think of
trying the uhf side, good job Drew!

On the whole power issue, I tried to start out low around 10 watts, but
other than the first minute or two of the pass, that was pretty much
impossible to maintain.

If you worked K0MIW this field day, it was most likely me.  Pat (N0JAK)
did work an ISS packet pass early Sunday morning and a SO-50 pass
Saturday afternoon.

For next year I think I'm gonna wooden dowel the ends of the crossboom
or replace it all together and perhaps get the polarity switching relays
hooked up so they can be used and perhaps get some preamps up.  All in
all it was a blast.

Ryan Butler KB0JQO


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