Date   

Grid-pedition after action report

Paul Butzi (W7PFB)
 

Here are some notes on my 6/22 grid-pedition to CN98…

Narrative:

6/21 5pm:

loaded portable station into car. Holy cow, there’s a lot of stuff. Briefly considered pulling get home bag out of car to make more space (idea rejected, obviously).

6/22 11am:

Beset by anxiety that I’d arrive on site missing some essential bit of gear, I decide to set up entire station in driveway to make sure I’ve got everything, then strike it all so I can drive to site. No items missing but added USB extension cable to make arrangement slightly more comfortable.

6/22 12:15pm:

Gas up car, head to site.

6/22 1:30pm:

Arrive on site, pick parking spot in park that is facing the lake. This is a mistake, as the entire time I am operating the sun was beaming in thru side window and falling on the heat sink for the amp, which is not exactly optimal. Set up station in car. Put antenna on roof, which prompted a local urchin to shout in amazement.

6/22 1:50pm:

make a quick test to ensure that everything is set up correctly, send email to 070 list and other friends. Starting on 20m, start calling CQ, which gets an INSTANT response from KG6MZS.

more or less continuous operating from that point on, with only a brief hiatus when a different urchin, tiring of setting off firecrackers in the parking lot some 50 feet away, decided to try setting one off directly underneath my car.

while operating, also texting and emailing to coordinate band changes with grid chasers. I had solid cell connectivity so email on my cell phone worked well for this, and I turned on the hotspot on my phone so I could do QRZ lookups within FLDIGI.

Issues:
* I was sort of flying by the seat of my pants on band choices. A much better thing to do would be to do propagation forecasts for the intended site in advance, and use that to inform decisions about when to QSY and to which bands.

* To my great dismay, I could not operate on 80m because every transmission caused the USB connection to the laptop to seize up. So I need to get that sorted, which probably involves providing a ground strap for the mag mount and a ton of clip on ferrite chokes added to every cable.

* If I had had the ability to operate NVIS on 80m and probably on 40m, it would have been much easier to work/be worked by stations that were relatively close (mostly Barry VA7GEM). I spent considerable time trying to find VA7GEM, other stations could see his signal but I could not. In the end we managed to dig out a contact on 40m but working NVIS it would have been a cake walk. I have some ideas on this, mostly along the lines of a horizontal wire run from the top of the Tarheel and just stretched out horizontally over the ground. Some experiments are in order! Yay!

* Band changes on the Tarheel with the Tunematic Lite are a snap. I was checking the SWR after adjusting the antenna but I never found a problem so I could just as well have not bothered.

* Holy cats, the KXPA-100 got hot. It was warm (maybe 80F) in the car, and I was forced to fan the heatsink to help it cool off, and took time several times to let it cool. So some sort of 12v powered fan to blow on the heatsink would be a useful thing. (for reference I was running 45w the entire time)

* the Little Tarheel II antenna was not as sensitive, I think, as my 135’ OCFD at home. But it does surprisingly well especially with the big 13.5’ whip I assembled from Buddipole parts. But changing whips is more of a hassle than I’d like, so maybe I’ll try some 3/8-24 quick release things to see how well they work. My goal was to put up the longest whip I could tune to 14070 for most of the time. The combination of two buddipole arms and a buddipole long telescoping whip worked but was somewhat fiddly to deal with, so I may look into a shock cord whip that gets me the same length with less hassle.

* the site was quite noise, RF wise. Next time I’ll try to pick a site that is a) not near power lines, and b) not in town.

* some sort of defense against miscreant urchins is needed. Sadly my family advises me that a flamethrower is a bad plan.

* the bathrooms on site were locked. This was a Problem.

* in my shack at home, I have a monitor speaker hooked up to the SignaLink, so I can hear what is being piped into fldigi. In the portable setup there’s no way to monitor the receiver audio, so I’m forced to watch the laptop display like a hawk. And that makes it hard to do things like let the cq macro run and also check email, or shout at urchins, or whatever. I thought the audio was not a big deal but it turns out after years of hearing it I’m very tuned to picking out which signals are on the frequency I’m transmitting on (and thus might be replies!) and which are not, and my operating practices are all oriented around that. So I need to add some speaker to the setup - one more connection to make during setup and disassemble when striking.

* setup and strike times are too long. Setup should be to open up some box, connect power, set up antenna and connect it to box, unlimber laptop and connect it, and then power everything up. Strike should be the reverse. This business with patiently connecting Every Single Cable to set up, and disconnect Every Single Cable to strike - that’s go to go. Too time consuming. Too error prone. So some sort of go box is called for.






-p W7PFB
73, Don’t forget to smile and have fun!


Re: Fw: [TenMeters] REMINDER!

 

That sounds like a fun event.  There is also the Thirteen Colonies Special Event where you might find some new grids.  13 Colonies runs July 1 thru July 7 
The link for that is   http://www.13colonies.us/

John
KC3FL


Fw: [TenMeters] REMINDER!

Jerry N9AVY
 

If 10m is open there is a good chance of PSK31 contacts.

Jerry n9avy

----- Forwarded Message -----
From] <tenmeters-noreply@...>
To: Ten Ten List <tentenlist@groups.io>; Tenmeters <tenmeters@...>
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 12:16:36 PM CDT
Subject: [TenMeters] REMINDER!



The Spirit of 76 week is coming up and FT8 in NOT a recognized mode for digital exchange.  Maybe THAT will move some people to PSK and RTTY!

I have not seen much discussion about Spirit of 76 so here is a reminder that is June 29th to July 5th and here is a link to to the informational PFD https://www.10-10.org/Forms/Spirit.pdf .

I like this one because I pick up new numbers, new counties and new MODES for a county hunter award.



home page www.groups.yahoo.com/group/TenMeters



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Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

Rick - N7WE
 

Not seeing you on 30m Paul.  Ditto when you were on 40.  80 is nothing but static at this QTH - we have t-storms in the area.  Saw John - KG5IOB working you on 30m, but only his side of the Q.  I'm going QRT and disconnecting everything now.  Many, many thanks and it looks like you had a fantastic success for your first Grid-pedition.  Congrats!  Will be looking for your posting here telling all about your adventure!  73 from central Florida.
--
Rick - N7WE
070 - #1602


Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

Paul Butzi (W7PFB)
 

Ok. Going QRT now. Thanks to everyone for a fun day!

73, don’t forget to smile and have fun!

-p

On Jun 22, 2020, at 5:09 PM, 1470 via groups.io <boat.anchor@...> wrote:

Paul
TVM for all the fun.
Time for me to exit now.
cheers de 
Barry


Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

1470 <boat.anchor@...>
 

Paul
TVM for all the fun.
Time for me to exit now.
cheers de 
Barry


Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

Paul Butzi (W7PFB)
 

That’s me. Laptop battery at 19%

-p

On Jun 22, 2020, at 5:08 PM, 1470 via groups.io <boat.anchor@...> wrote:

seeing a trace at 10.141.500
barry


Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

John Hendry KG5OIB
 

Thanks for the 30 meter contact.   
Have fun!

73
John
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     de  KG5OIB

     John Hendry

     Decatur, Wise County, Texas

     LOC:  EM13eg

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

1470 <boat.anchor@...>
 

seeing a trace at 10.141.500
barry


Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

1470 <boat.anchor@...>
 

Trying the dipole es the vert
barry


Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

Paul Butzi (W7PFB)
 

30m it is! 

-p

On Jun 22, 2020, at 4:57 PM, 1470 via groups.io <boat.anchor@...> wrote:

Paul
Too bad about the bug.
If no other requests I wud like to try 30M agn
Barry


Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

1470 <boat.anchor@...>
 

Paul
Too bad about the bug.
If no other requests I wud like to try 30M agn
Barry


Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

Paul Butzi (W7PFB)
 

RFI problem. Double sheesh. 🤣🤣🤬🤬

-p

On Jun 22, 2020, at 4:52 PM, Paul Butzi (W7PFB) <w7pfb@...> wrote:

Ok. 80m is no go, I’ve got some friends problem. Sheesh. 

Anyone out there still trying?  Name a band and I will go there and try. 

-p

On Jun 22, 2020, at 4:41 PM, 1470 via groups.io <boat.anchor@...> wrote:

Paul
Just sent Paula email to let her know 40M works
Barry


Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

Paul Butzi (W7PFB)
 

Ok. 80m is no go, I’ve got some friends problem. Sheesh. 

Anyone out there still trying?  Name a band and I will go there and try. 

-p

On Jun 22, 2020, at 4:41 PM, 1470 via groups.io <boat.anchor@...> wrote:

Paul
Just sent Paula email to let her know 40M works
Barry


Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

1470 <boat.anchor@...>
 

Paul
Just sent Paula email to let her know 40M works
Barry


Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

Paul Butzi (W7PFB)
 

I will move to 80m abt 2345Z

-p

On Jun 22, 2020, at 4:37 PM, 1470 via groups.io <boat.anchor@...> wrote:

Paul
TVM for 40M
Catch U on 80M later
Barry


Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

1470 <boat.anchor@...>
 

Paul
TVM for 40M
Catch U on 80M later
Barry


Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

Paul Butzi (W7PFB)
 

Just got Barry. Hoping Paula gives 40m a try. 

-p

On Jun 22, 2020, at 4:29 PM, Paula K7PAX #1739 via groups.io <hamette@...> wrote:

I’ve got nothing here. Have a project waiting outside. Good luck chasers, and thanks to Paul for the effort!

Paula K7PAX

On Jun 22, 2020, at 4:06 PM, Paul Butzi (W7PFB) <w7pfb@...> wrote:

N7WE u are in my log

-p

On Jun 22, 2020, at 3:51 PM, Paul Butzi (W7PFB) <w7pfb@...> wrote:

Paula can u see me on 20m 14072.0

-p

On Jun 22, 2020, at 3:37 PM, Paula K7PAX #1739 via groups.io <hamette@...> wrote:

I see nothing on 6 meters, and no one sees me.

Paula K7PAX
,_._,_


Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

Eric <radio@...>
 

Yes it does.  Nice one on 40m Barry!


On Jun 22, 2020, at 4:19 PM, 1470 via groups.io <boat.anchor@...> wrote:

Rick
Patience pays my friend
Barry


Re: Grid-pedition to CN98

Paul Butzi (W7PFB)
 

20 is getting no takers, trying 40m for a while then maybe 80

-p

On Jun 22, 2020, at 4:28 PM, Paul Butzi (W7PFB) <w7pfb@...> wrote:

Can’t see you. 

-p

On Jun 22, 2020, at 4:25 PM, Paula K7PAX #1739 via groups.io <hamette@...> wrote:

I’m at 14.071.3

Paula

On Jun 22, 2020, at 3:51 PM, Paul Butzi (W7PFB) <w7pfb@...> wrote:

Paula can u see me on 20m 14072.0

-p

On Jun 22, 2020, at 3:37 PM, Paula K7PAX #1739 via groups.io <hamette@...> wrote:

I see nothing on 6 meters, and no one sees me.

Paula K7PAX
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