June 2006

Posted By: W3DIO

2006 June VHF Contest Report

The Preparation:

After our successful outing in the September 2005 VHF Contest we decided we would need a permanent vehicle to build the system into so we wouldn’t have to build it up every time we wanted to rove and tear it down again after the rove so one of us could go to work the next day. Then I remembered during my trip to Dayton with Tom W3TOM he had mentioned the availability of an older small Winnebago RV for cheap. It started to sound like a really neat platform for a rover. The neat thing was… my XYL, Sue N3MZM was interested in an RV to go camping. Well I promised her we would keep the radio equipment clutter cleaned up and nice looking and we were in business. Dave and I went in together and purchased Tom’s 1984 21′ Minni-winnie. With 46000 miles on it. We didn’t actually begin work on it until it started to get warm in late March or Early April.

To make a long story short after fighting off numerous design problems and rushing to get it ready for the contest we just weren’t finished in time for the start . The radios were finally fired up about 8:00 in the evening Saturday night. We literally tested the systems on all bands by operating for about 2 hours in the driveway. Since nothing was stowed away for a trip and we were dog tired, we decided to wait till the morning and go for a 2 grid mini rove to Skyline Drive.

The Equipment:

TS-2000x (144/222/432/1296 Primary)
TS-2000x (50 Primary, 144 Secondary)
IC-706MK2G (903)
DEM 222-28 for 222 Mhz
DEM 902-28 FOR 903 Mhz
TE Systems 1452G (144 Mhz – 350 watts)
TE System 4452G (432 Mhz – 175 watts)
Mirage C211G (222 Mhz – 110 watts)
Power System
2 – West Mountain Super Pwrgate’s
2 – 115 AH Deep Cycle Batteries (Radios)
1 – 115 AH Deep Cycle Battery (Amps)
600 watt Power Inverter (RFI Quiet)
1 – Old Heathkit 25 amp linear supply
1 – Astron RS-30m
1 – Astron RS-70m (Amps)
Onan 2800 watt Generator

The Configuration:

Band Power Antenna
6 meters 100W PAR Stressed Moxon
2 meters 350W Directive Systems
1 1/4 meters 110W Cushcraft 11 Element
70cm (432) 175W Directive Systems
33cm (903) 30W Directive Systems
33 Element Looper
23cm (1296) 10W Directive Systems
45 Element Looper

The Trip:

The next morning we lowered the mast, tied down the antennas, and stowed the gear to begin our journey. Upon arriving at HogBack overlook we raised the mast just to warch it settle slowly back on the roof. “What the ….?” We tried a
gain with the same results. After raising and lowering our antenna over 50 times before this the mount for the jackscrew TVRO motor used to lift everything into place FAILED! We were dead in the water! It was just one big disappointi
ng end to several weeks of hard work anticipating the moment. We headed for home mostly in silence.

About an hour into the trip we began plans to overcome the failure and set our sites on September 06.

The Results:


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