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Re: Field Day - The perils of handheld ops

Handheld operations are definitely challenging, but not impossible with the
right number of people.  After a practice run on Friday evening, we realized
that a team of four was required.  One to hold the helix, downconverter and
receive radio (also track doppler) the second to hold the Arrow uplink antenna
and transmit radio (also make the contact) the third to relay the Az/El from
the PC tracking program and the fourth to log the contact.  Our first Field Day
pass was 11:30 AM local.  With 1.5 watts into the 3 element Arrow yagi we
managed to squeak our call in and get acknowledged.

Automating this process might be easier, but with the right amount of beer the
team approach can be more fun.

John W9EN 

------- Original Message -----
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2005 22:06:25 -0700
From: "kc6uqh" <kc6uqh@cox.net>
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Field Day - The perils of handheld ops

I understand the frustration, and after several Field Days Just South of 
L.A., you can't use too much power or to large an antenna! Both are required 
for a sucessful contact.
I wish it was not that way, but until something changes I will not try QRP 
on Field Day.


------- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ronald Nutter" <rnutter@networkref.com>
To: <jmeeks@gaslightmedia.com>
Cc: "amsat-bb" <amsat-bb@amsat.org>
Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2005 6:37 PM
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Field Day - The perils of handheld ops

> Glad to hear that you had better luck than I did.  Maybe next year, a
> different uplink frequency can be used from the of the spares that AO-51
> has.  I think several were trying to use the bird and didnt know that
> the downlink wasnt on UHF.  I hear so many calls that only seem to show
> up on field day.  My favorite is the one where the station calls CQ CQ
> CQ Field Day for around 3 minutes.  Really wish the ARRL would drop the
> sat bonus.
> Just my thoughts,
> Ron
> John Meeks wrote:
>> Hi Group,
>> Working AO-51 in v/s mode with a handheld station seemed like an iffy
>> proposition to me but I thought I'd give it a try. Friday nite and
>> Saturday morning got my hopes up as I made 10 great contacts with the
>> setup. pix at http://www.themidwives.org/sband
>> When the first FD pass came over, my hopes were dashed hearing the huge
>> numbers of stations all trying to work the bird at once and not waiting
>> for a QSO to finish before calling CQ. I didn't have much hope for my 4
>> watt HT to break through the noise.
>> On the evening pass my luck changed. The bird was jammed as before and I
>> didn't hear myself in several attempts to make a contact. At 0227z with
>> Echo only a few degrees over the trees and sinking fast, I heard W1AW
>> calling QRZ... threw out my club's call and was blown away to hear my
>> signal full quieting on the downlink. I was stunned to hear W1AW come
>> back with my call and his class and section. I acknowledged his info and
>> gave him my 2 alpha/Michigan. With no interruptions in the QSO he gave
>> me a QSL and echo went below my horizon.
>> I was pretty excited and hurried to log the contact. Wrote the call,
>> wrote the time and then completely blanked on the class and section. At
>> least I'd be able to get it form the mini mp3 recorder I had taking the
>> input from the W32A's headphone jack.
>> It was a long pass so I settled down to listen. About 2 minutes into the
>> recording...SILENCE   dead silence. The file was finished. One of the
>> major high points in my short ham career, lost to brain freeze and
>> technical difficulties. At least I know W8GQN is in the W1AW logbook.
>> On the last pass of FD I almost had success with VE4KK with Aruni at the
>> mike but we were thoroughly broken up by dozens of other stations
>> blasting in over both of us. So zero FD satellite contacts.
>> The Lesson?  Have someone else with a headset logging for you. And yes 4
>> watts will do it if you're awfully lucky.
>> 73 de KC8ZFN
>> John in EN75
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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