Archive for Velddag

Fieldday

For the third time this year, I’ll take my Gobox on a fieldday today (Wednesday 27 September 2017). It will be a perfect day for this little outing. Not too hot or too cold, and most important, no rain!

I like planning ahead. So I search on Google Maps for a suitable place. And I found one. After packing the car I set off to go to….  West Maassluis. Maassluis is a small village within 20km from my home. (see image below).

Peter (PD2GOG) was interested to see my gobox in action, so he meets me at the chosen field. After packing my trolly (a fishing cart, see the first image of the gallery below), we walked to the site. Just a couple of minutes walking we got there. First inspecting the field, is it really possible there? And yes it was!!

When everything was ready, including starting my generator, I switched on the power to the gobox. Why is that so exciting? Well, I totally rebuild the gobox. I had some power issues, losing power to the Icom while it was (or would like to) transmitting. (I will write an article about this and the complete rebuild). But everything was working as planned.

And then…. I would start making some qso’s on 2m and 70cm. But no respond, ehmm.. is there something wrong? When Peter left, we make some contacts when he was back at his car and also one when he was driving near Vlaardingen (app. 10km).  So it was working! I think that my dual antenna (Slim Jim) was too low for a good 2m qso.

Then I switched over to HF (Icom 706mkII), because I love the digi-modes (PSK/RTTY, etc) I connected my laptop to the radio. My antenna (Buddipole) was set up for 20m. On 14.070MHz I soon saw (on screen) some qso’s going. Then someone (a Finn named Unto, OH6XB) was calling cq, I direct response to that. Doing that I noticed that my power output was low, just 2W instead of the 25W. But I was heard and Unto was coming back for me. So this was also a first for me, 2w PSK, that’s QRP, wow!! That’s was the only station how had heard me (or at least respond). After some setting tweaking, the radio was now on the 25W. I made many qso’s after that. The furthest station was in Asiatic Russia (4500km away).

After spending over 4 hours there, it was time to go home again. I must be quick or else I get stuck in the rush hour… Which I did 🙁

It was really nice to do this. And a promised me to do this more often.

A short impression of the day:

 

First real use of the GoBox

Since some time I’m working on my mobile setup (GoBox). After some setbacks, I finally finished it mid-August 2016. However such project is never finished.

img_040813th September 2016, I was on a short break and I took the complete setup with me (see the picture on the left). And get it ready for use.

My short break was the north of the Netherlands where it is a lot quieter and has a rural character with large open fields and located close to the Wadden Sea. Which is a preserved nature area. The level of interference (QRM) was significantly less. So much less, that I began to doubt whether my radio was in good working order.

It was quiet although it was beside a road. However, this road wasn’t very busy. In the time I was there (nearly 4 hours), I saw maybe 10 to 12 cars.

When I reached this place (at 11 o’clock), the temperature was already 26C (78F). And this only rises during the day. And of course, I forgot every possible sun blocking method available. Well, say for yourself, mid-September, 26C, in the Netherlands……

Full setup

The highest temperature I saw that day was 33 degrees Celsius (91F) in the shade of my GoBox. But this was the real test if everything would survive!

After and 30 minutes, the whole setup was up and running. Including my generator which provides me of the 230v to run my laptop and GoBox.

I recently bought the Buddipole, this was also its first use. I had some trouble getting the Buddipole to work. Not because it wasn’t any good. But it was an operator error. I didn’t get any good SWR readings. Everything I did turns out even worse than it was before. Finally, I start reading the manual (I did read it at home, but forgotten the important bit) and quickly discovered that one simple cable was connected wrong. After that, it works like a charm. I change many time from band, without any problem.
I should invest in a good SWR meter, this will help me a lot.

I also get my endfed antenna out, that worked without any adjusting! But the only problem I had with it, was that I didn’t have a high tree or something like that. I hang one end to the Buddipole and the other end to a hay bale, so I created a sloper.

I still made 43 QSO’s, which were 39 digital (psk and rtty).

So a successful day, The whole setup needs some tweaks to getting it better.

img_0418

img_0417

img_0416

img_0414