FD 2022

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            ARRL Field Day has a long history and remains popular.
       Its not for everyone and requires some planning and being willing to:

          Improvise - Adapt - and Overcome.

                    ARRL Field day is a great event and is perfect for testing antennas, emergency power sources and equipment. The contest is simple as you just exchange your Club or Non Club status and number of transmitters at the site and your ARRL section. No signal reports. In my case we send 1B and DE. If you worked a station that sent 9A that would be a club station with 9 transmitters. All modes may be used but CW and AM Phone with Suppressed Carrier are the most popular.

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     Trying to keep station set up simple I used my trusty John Deere Umbrella and shade from the trees for shelter from the sun. I had emergency "Ponchos" on stand by in case of rain.

           Q. Just for fun can you spot an essential part of the Military M1952 Set?

           Q. Can you identify the AB-1089/U?





        One of my favorite Field Day rigs on phone and CW. The DDS VFO gives me a lot of flexibility.

       One problem with operating is that on CW I had to hold the PTT closed to transmit.


       Rob, K2WI still holds the TCS Field Day record.




                         Operational Goals
           1. Make contacts using the British Clansman (hand crank) Generator as power. 
                a. Solo Ops, Crank and operate CW at the same time.
           2.. Power the station entirely by solar panels or hand generator - no batteries.
           3.Test and utilize a half wave long wire antenna.
               a. Test half wave wire antenna tuner under rapid QSY condition.                

          4. Use Magnetic Loop.
               a. Evaluate rapid retuning of the loop during a QSY.
               b. Change direction of loop and note any pattern change or null.







             My maximum transmit power was approx. 3 to 5 watts so I had plenty of power from 5 panels.
      Note the long interconnect wires. The long wiring between panels allowed easy repositioning of the panels as the day progressed.


                          Clansman Gen Set secured to the operating table. Note the "Footman" loops used with an ALICE strap for an easy "tie down".

            Short Clansman video

             A short Clansman video.



           The Clansmen installation was a lot simpler than the G-76 which I modified for  pedal Ops. Overall the "modified" G-76 (which was not used this Field Day) was a lot easier to operate by pedaling.



                     Home brew Field Day table military style.




      I used a simple LM317 regulator to provide 14 volts for station equipment and voltage and current meters.


                 Q. Why use the old LM317? why not use an LM2576 as it has better efficiency

                 A. I tested the 14 volt solar/hand crank gen system with the LM317 and found that if I
               ran less than 20 volts Input to the regulator panel and regulating 14 volts then I had  efficiencies of 70-75 percent so I stuck with the standard regulator. (The LM2576 has been rated at approx 85 percent.
                 The LM317 only has 3 terminals and wiring is much simpler than with the LM2576. (LM2576 has 5 pins)
             In addition I have not tested the  LM2576 for possible noise on the line since it is a "switching" regulator. All switcher make noise. So   KISS


                                                      LM317                         LM2576



         A total capacitance of approximately 360,000 uF provides smoothing and stability to the 14 volt
  regulated DC Buss. Pick up the large value caps at the hamfest. "Hanz" through the boxes under the tables.

                         Q. Why pick 350,000 uF as a value for your 14 volt Buss?
                         A. I just kept picking up Caps at hamfests and adding them to the stack. Seemed
                              like a good idea.
                         Q. Last hamfest I went to I did not see any "large" caps.
                         A. Try "Hanzing" through some of the boxes under the tables.




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             A end fed half wave antenna was used and evaluated the entire week end

                         Q. Why feed the half wave at the end?
                         A. Its easier and is a perfect field antenna. And NO center support.
                        NO long coax feed. Easy to erect.

                         Q. My Antenna Tuner will not handle the higher impedance's presented by the
                         end fed half wave.
                         A. It probably will - - - have you tried it?

                        Q. What about dem SWR's?
                        A. With a simple matching unit you can easily achieve a flat feed line.

                        Q. What about rapid QSY as I crisscross the band during the contest?
                        A. NO problem, it easy to adjust - just peak tuner on noise in the receiver.






      Military tripod used to hold the mast for the Half Wave wire.



                               One of my favorite antenna tools.
             The outer tennis ball prevents possible damage to car wind shields and pedestrians.
           Not my invention, the Tennis Ball Hint was published in "QST" Hints and Kinks- years ago.



      The half wave wire length was easily adjusted by extending or retracking from this reel.

                     "Flexweave" antenna wire was utilized.



            Three (3) Solder marking "blobs" were added on the flex weave to mark each length.
       Throw one end in the tree and reel out the wire, count the markers.



    A short video tour while I make a contact while cranking the Clansman.
             K4CHE Video FD 2022

          No one recognize DE sent on CW as a state.

          Keep repeating it (DE) over and over or send the letters DEL, then they want a repeat
      because it won't fit in. their stupid program on their lap top.




             To avoid duplicate contacts.  My manual "Dupe" system was easy to use and did not use batteries.

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          The compact half wave matching network mounted easily on the edge of the operating table.    


            The marching network AKA "Tuner" was mounted on the end of the equipment table right next to
the 3 foot military mast. A two (2) foot stranded feed line of # 18 wire was used to connect to the antenna.
This particular network covers   80 and through 40 meters including 60 meters.

         For you SWR fans it is possible to obtain a very flat transmitter to tuner coax feed line and all most Zero SWR with the end fed half wave antenna and the above network. So you won't have to lose any sleep over those SWR's. But as a bonus remember that your equipment coax feed line is only a couple of feet -  feed line loss would be negligible anyway.So you don't lose any sleep over that. Best advice just tuner the receiver for maximum noises and use a FS meter for final peaking and forget bout dem SWRs

           The Half Wave antenna and simple matching network were evaluated during the
contest. I was concerned about rapid QSY over the band and how long it would take to retune the network.
It turns out that my concerns were unfounded. After I would QSY all I had to do was tune the variable cap slightly and peak for maximum noise in the receiver and the "system" was tuned. Small excursions of 10-15 kcs did not require any retuning. KISS

                    During initial setup.   The dial indicates whether to add or subtract wire.




      I made numerous contacts using the Magnetic Loop. However when I would QSY more
     than 10-15 Kcs then it required retuning via the variable capacitor at the bottom. Note the coupling
     loop at the top. It was easy to adjust the coupling loop for minimum reflected and maximum Field Strength. But the  usual retuning procedure was just to simply adjust the cap for max receiver noise. Adjustment of the upper coupling loop  was not necessary.

    More on the Magnetic Loop on future pages.


                   AB-1089/U for the Magnetic Loop mast.


              A Field Ops necessity. A ME-61 parked next to the antenna.



           The  M1952 fold up stool makes a nice stand for the ME-61.

            The sensitivity of the ME-61 can be improved.





        I also parked my home brew FS meter several feet away from the operating position.
        Its easier to read at a distance with the large meter. Used to confirm a max in FS
        when tuning.




        Note the mast section mounted on a tripod - the mast held the end of the half wave.
    Those mast sections that you see at hamfest sure come in handy for Field Ops.

       Overall a great weekend. WX better than CAVOK. Nothing like sitting in the shade and playing with radios and   antennas.

               FINI - See you next Field Day.


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