I had two different portable operations this weekend—a mixed bag of sorts.
Yesterday morning, I took part in an EmComm exercise with my local ARES-RACES group. We have a relatively new network of Vara FM digipeaters and Winlink gateways around the county, and the exercise was intended to try them from various locations.
For this exercise, I deployed to the local high school, where I operated “stationary-mobile” from the parking lot. My task was to connect to the county Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and send a Field Situation Report using Winlink over Vara FM on 2M. Then, I connected to the EOC using VarAC and sent a text file containing my Field Situation Report data. I was running 5 watts for both voice and data, so, technically, this was a QRP operation.
My setup in the truck worked great. I used one of those plastic steering wheel trays to support my little Evolve laptop. I used my trusty old Icom IC-207H dual band rig and a Signalink for the data. Both the IC-207H and the Yaesu FT-8800 I used for voice were powered by separate deep cycle batteries. While everything worked fine, I have a couple of cables I’m going to build to simplify the battery connections.
This morning, I went to nearby Evansburg State Park (K-1351) for a quick POTA activation. I used my TR-35, T1 tuner, and my 19-foot vertical mounted on my truck. (I didn’t take any pictures today, but, then again, there wasn’t anything special about my setup.) In about an hour, I logged 30 QSOs, including three park-to-park contacts.
While tuning around looking for park-to-park contacts, I worked a station operating with the Straight Key Century Club’s callsign, KS1KCC. My last contact of the day was with NL7V in North Pole, Alaska, on 17M. It’s always a thrill for me to work an Alaskan station. Paul gave me a 229 report, but I’ll take it.
72, Craig WB3GCK