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bigredmed

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Anyone use portable QRP while out geocaching?

 

I recently bought a 40 meter pixie 2, and I was wondering what kind of antennas people had good luck with.

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40 meters portable is pretty tough. Any man-transportable antenna is not going to be very efficient--and with QRP antenna efficiency is everything.

 

I have used a kite to support a 33' 3" wire. It is cumbersome for hiking, but worked okay while camping.

 

You could always go the slingshot into a tree route. I have used this mthod to put up light weight dipoles for camping also.

 

I don't know of anything that is more portable than these, for 40 meters....

 

Dave_W6DPS

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I'm a 40 mtr CW fan but QRP while geocaching? I guess perhaps if I hiked to a good sized hill.

 

Steve

N9BGH

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Wow, that brings back some good memories...I used to have an old Yuesu FT-7 and a 40 meter loaded whip. I clamped the whip onto the railing in a second-floor apartment and worked the western states with 5 watts. That was my first experience with Ham radio and I always enjoyed that band!

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In my opinion, it seems like too much work. If your Geocaching the radio may get in the way of the real job at hand. If your hiking on groomed trails that may be a different story. If I were to setup a portable (hiking) QRP station I'd attach a hamstick to a aluminum framed pack. That way the antenna is always at about the highest point, and you don't have to hold it. <_<

 

Jon KC9AXZ

www.kc9axz.com

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I should have clarified my idea. From Geocaching, I have found several places where with a good hike, you can get to some great locales that would offer a sheltered spot to run the radio with long streches of unincumbered space for good low angle take offs. There is a pedestrian bridge the crosses the Platte by South Bend. From the bridge about 15 feet above the river, the river stretches about a mile downstream before turning east, and goes about 2 miles before turning more WNW. The river is about 500 yards wide at that point, and there is another 500 yards or more of river valley before any hills. I was thinking that that place would make a good location for a river wire antenna, but the technical aspects of that kind of antenna experiment are beyond me now. I would think that the bridge might be a good location for a slinky dipole or some other center fed dipole that could be stretched between PVC or crappie poles connected to the bridge by clamps.

 

There is a rec area north of town where I have a geocache and this location would be a great place to radio from as there are trees sheltering the location, so as long as the precipitation was not a factor, the site would be a cool one for a QRP session.

 

Any thoughts on a semi-portable antenna? Am I just having a pleasant fantasy?

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bigredmed,

i've actually been couting the same idea. i'm brand spanking new to geocaching (just got my first GPSr this morning), but thought it might lend itself to day hikes where i could engage in both activities.

 

please post if you give it a go.

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Not at the same time, but last summer I went camping several times and did some geocaching part of the time and QRP operating the rest of the time. I always take my QRP gear with me camping. I have a 20m MFJ-9020 and my newest a RockMite 20 which puts out a whopping 500 mW. I plan to do the same again this coming summer.

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I'd like some input on this idea. I have been toying with the idea of making a small 40 meter QRP transmitter into a travel bug and asking that it be passed from ham to ham. When another ham grabs this bug he/she would e-mail me and set up a sked then we would work each other using the TB. It would have to be cheap since it would likely disappear at some point and I would be thrilled if it made it to just a few hams before going MIA. If a non-ham grabbed it, it would work just like a regular TB. I would assume that if a ham grabbed it they would already have an antenna, key, power supply, etc. for getting this to work OK. I may pick up a cheap QRP xmiter kit at the next hamfest.

 

Good idea? Dumb idea? Has this been done before? ????

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I'd like some input on this idea. I have been toying with the idea of making a small 40 meter QRP transmitter into a travel bug and asking that it be passed from ham to ham. When another ham grabs this bug he/she would e-mail me and set up a sked then we would work each other using the TB. It would have to be cheap since it would likely disappear at some point and I would be thrilled if it made it to just a few hams before going MIA. If a non-ham grabbed it, it would work just like a regular TB. I would assume that if a ham grabbed it they would already have an antenna, key, power supply, etc. for getting this to work OK. I may pick up a cheap QRP xmiter kit at the next hamfest.

 

Good idea? Dumb idea? Has this been done before? ????

I have never heard of it being done before. It might be a bit cumbersome when you think about attaching antennas and keyers. It will also be expensive no matter how you cut it.

 

I would definitely look for it.

 

A cool way of getting some 40 meter DX would be to send it to one of the international cache exchange caches in some non-North American location (Germany and Spain both have them, and there is also one in Holland or Belgium--can't remember which now, Divine set it up.)

 

Another alternative would be to set up a TB with an Echolink node number. HAM's that get it could talk to you via Echolink once they find it.

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Might I suggest the use of psk-31. It requires the use of a laptop but it is far far far better when you are running QRP. I have worked the world with 5 watts output to a simple dipole.

 

Brad

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Might I suggest the use of psk-31. It requires the use of a laptop but it is far far far better when you are running QRP. I have worked the world with 5 watts output to a simple dipole.

 

Brad

That would add a lot of weight.

 

I have seen PSK-31 at work and its interesting. I would need a 10 meter rig and right now my pixieII has a 40 meter crystal. I may get into this if I decide I want a base station.

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PSK is prevelant on all bands. It works very well on 40 meters. During the day I have an average range of about 500 miles with 10 watts out on 40.

 

The size issue is a tough one. I am currently designing a palm pilot to run the program. The hardest part is the incorporation of a soundcard setup. I was in the office max the other day and saw that some laptops are not much bigger than a palm. Couple that witha rigblaster nomic (About 1/2 the size of a cigarette pack) you would have a killer setup.

 

Brad

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PSK is prevelant on all bands. It works very well on 40 meters. During the day I have an average range of about 500 miles with 10 watts out on 40.

 

The size issue is a tough one. I am currently designing a palm pilot to run the program. The hardest part is the incorporation of a soundcard setup. I was in the office max the other day and saw that some laptops are not much bigger than a palm. Couple that witha rigblaster nomic (About 1/2 the size of a cigarette pack) you would have a killer setup.

 

Brad

Set up the program to run on a CF card in a card reader for an old Handspring visor, and now you have the ability to use small, old(thus cheap) PDA and type 1 CF cards) and you may be into something.

 

Didn't know PSK was on 40 meters. With the crystal control of the pixie II, I am not sure I can get into any other ranges of the 40 meter band other than the ORP section.

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