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Author Topic: Backpack portable  (Read 1925 times)

Posts: 37

« on: January 02, 2007, 05:21:48 AM »

"Ok here is my perdicament. I am a solo hiker and I'm going to be doing a multi day excersion to Big South Fork nrra. My family wants me to check in with them back in Nashville so I was thinking about hitting a 2m IRLP node. My brother being licensed could monitor echolink and we would be set. The first problem that arises is that there is only one IRLP node I might be able to hit. Thats in Cooksville, aprox. 50 miles away. I own an Alinco dr-135 mobile 35w rig but I still need to figure out how to power it in the pack without too much weight. It will only be used at the end of the day and in a pinch. I don't really wanna invest in another radio. So any good portable beams I can build? Power ideas?? anyone??" --

This was my first thought to solve the problem... could an amsat be reliable for this kinda thing? If this doesnt work I'll suck it up and go HF but this would be a lighter option (maybe)

Posts: 22

« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2007, 12:07:09 PM »

Sounds like a great trip. How about using a gel cell battery with a solar charger? As far as the antenna, how about a 1/2 wave up high or a homemade beam? check out this link for the beam. I would imagine your elevation from the node is going to be a big factor.
check this link out for the battery and solar charger
I don't know how much power the beam would be able to handle, but do some experimenting. I don't know too much about the satellite, but timing the passes might be too idiosyncratic.

Posts: 884

« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2007, 08:35:17 AM »

That is a lot of weight to pack in. You should investiagate exotic batteries such as this one:

They are very expensive and require intelligent charging systems. I was thinking of getting one for my bike mobile station last summer, but never saved up the funds (I use a TM-D700 and gell cells).

For AO-51 and the other easy sats, I've used an Arrow handheld antenna and a TH-D7. The D7 is one of the few HTs that is capable of full duplex operation. It does a great job, and if you have a 70CM repeater in the area you can get some good gain with the 7 element antenna in a small, light package. I also use this setup when hiking, usually just setting up the band I want to use.

I think you should be more concerned with performance/ounce. The lighter the better. If you are more interested in checking in than portable ops, look for a good tri-mode (analog) cell phone and external antennas.

Posts: 585


« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2007, 09:29:18 AM »

If satellites are an option for you, will that also be an option for your friend?  If not, you could set up your satellite station and meet some of the regular operators on there who could be useful in passing messages along to your friend or whoever on your progress.  

As for your own station, a dual-band HT and a handheld Yagi (the tape-measure Yagi is a decent option, Arrow Antennas' Yagi is the preferred choice by many satellite operators, or the Elk Antennas 2M/440L5 5-element log periodic is small enough to pack and hold for portable satellite work) would be a good way to go for the FM satellites like AO-51 and SO-50.  More power than 5W would be nice, but then you have to deal either with an amplifier or another (mobile) radio along with the battery to run it.  

As a backup for a handheld Yagi with an HT, look at bringing either the Pryme/Premier AL-800 or Maldol AH-510R long telescoping whip antennas.  Not as good as a Yagi, but usable with the satellites.  I've used the AH-510R whip to work these two satellites even when they are not too high in the sky - elevation around 15 to 20 degrees above the horizon.  

Don't forget a tracking program (many options, some free, is a good place to start for these) or use the pass-prediction utility on the web site to figure out when those satellites will be available for where you are going.  You should have one or two usable passes every morning and the same every evening on AO-51, and SO-50 might yield a few useful passes during the day depending on when it is passing by.  AO-51 is in a sun-synchronous orbit, which ensures it shows up around the same time every day; SO-50 is not in that type of orbit, so its pass times shift earlier day by day.  

Please e-mail me directly if you have further questions, or I can attempt to answer them through this forum.   I've been working the ham satellites for just over a year, and have had fun with them.  Good luck and 73!


Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK - Twitter: @WD9EWK

Posts: 27

« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2007, 07:27:43 PM »

 Satellites might be a bit extreme in the back woods, but if it works, let us know you did it.  
My personal favorite is to use a small QRP transceiver such as the NorCal40A or DSWII for 40 Meters. I’ve used them with great success in the backwoods of Yellowstone using AA batteries and simple end fed wires tossed into trees. It all fits nicely in a corner of my backpack. You should have no trouble communicating with your brother several hundred miles or more away.  
Whatever method you use, try it out in the backyard first. This will give you an idea as to what you are in for.

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