Monday, January 26, 2009

Winter Portable Operation

This post is related to a winter weekend trip to Silent Lake where my wife and shared some quiet time and I was also able to operate portable.

Silent lake Provincial Park is one of a few provincial parks in Ontario which have winter camping facilities. It is located in central Ontario and is a 3.5hr drive west from Ottawa. We arrived at the park office at about 9:30AM where we were greeted by the Park Warden and were taken to our Yurt by skidoo and trailer. The temperature was -25C when we arrived, and although it warmed up a bit during the day it remained very cold.

The Yurt we stayed in was a simple and basic structure, as expected, equipped with plenty of firewood, a good axe, and a wood stove for heating. Two bunks provide room to sleep 6.

I setup the buddipole vertical in a new configuration, I replaced the standard stainless steel whip with a long whip.

The vertical was built as
  • Long Whip (fully extended)
  • Red Coil (tapped 13 from the bottom)
  • Dipole Arm
  • Wersatee
  • 1 28.5ft Counterpoise
  • TRSB set to 2:1 (for a 25ohm antenna)
  • Feedpoint about 2m from the ground
I simulated this configuration with 4NEC2 and predicted it should resonate at 7.1MHz.

The radiation pattern was also predicted as below.

The file for this 4NEC2 is archived in the Yahoo Buddipole group in the folder
(See file : AC_Vbud_40M_07_V01)

This tuned up at 1:1 SWR on my IC7000 just as predicted.

Since the Yurt has no electricity, my operating station was powered by 4 50AH Gell-cells and a N8XJK battery booster. The laptop was also powered off of the same cells. I operated for 5hrs and the 4 cells were depleted to 70% capacity.

Most of my operating was in the evening and by candle light. The small wood stove needed attention once and a while.

From 20:45UTC to 3:00UTC I was able to complete 15 PSK31 QSOs and I want to thank everyone who I was able to contact. You can see my log below.

Google Earth export shows just how far 50W and a Buddipole can throw a signal. I was very pleased by the following QSO's in particular.

EA8CFV 559 599 Padron Eligio 281 5,469.59 IL18tl Spain

P40PZ 599 579 Peter 91 3,675.83 FK42xo Aruba

W6TJK 559 599 Thomas J Kenville 291 3,931.85 CM87xb United States of America

XE1YK 599 599 CARLOS EDUARDO LEVY VAZQUEZ 50 3,610.25 EK09jh Mexico

K3ML 559 589 MILFORD C GOSSARD 291 2,348.95 EL94gq United States of America

K4WNY 559 599 RONALD S TURNER 291 1,626.32 EM55ak United States of America

VA3SQ 599 599 John D Sibbett 1 378.47 FN02jx Canada

Special note and thanks to Peter P40PZ in Aruba, as this QSO was my first to DXCC country 91.




Mark's post from an earlier trip

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Very, very cool Adrien! Thanks for dropping a note off on my blog. Our PSK31 QSO is one of my more memorable ones, and it was great to see the kind of conditions and equipment you use while operating in this cold wintery environment. I hope to catch you on the waterfall again in the future, and I'm adding your blog to my reading list.