June 27, 2010

20m contact made on the bicycle mobile station

Well, I can’t call it a “bicycle mobile” contact per se… it was made using the bicycle mobile station however. This afternoon about 1:50PM UTC+10 I made contact with VK100WIA being operated by the South Coast Amateur Radio Club at a frequency of 14.188MHz USB.

The station was being powered by mains, and transmitting 100W (most of it probably rattling the tuner) on a 6′ long CB whip mounted on the back of the bicycle mobile station. The SWR without the tuner was very high, so I’m going to have to look at tuning this in a lot better than it currently is. I registered a S5 Q4 signal with the other station, who was a perfectly clear S8 Q5 copy at my end. I was also hearing New Zealand elsewhere on the band… very stong signal.

I will need to tune the antenna up quite a bit for it to work on 20m… I’m surprised it even worked at all! I tried a few other bands… 10m was dead quiet, couldn’t get any of the FM repeaters, no activity. 6m, I could trigger VK4RBX at Ipswich, but no one about it seems.

This is from my driveway at my home QTH … not in a high location. So a bit of peddling up the hill and I might get quite a distance with my rather limited antennas… but I’m going to see if I can tune the thing in a bit better. My observation of others’ is that one does better when the tuner is an integral part of the antenna, and this is what I’m going to have to do. If the tuner is going to have to do hard work, then let’s get it out into the open and helping the cause.

In the meantime, I’ll have to print a couple of QSL cards… I still need to send one to Mario OS8M from the Christmas evening contact I made on 20m… but it’s only just now that we’ve got a working printer again.