The generator that caused me so much grief in the November contest was returned to the seller, by arrangement. The seller refunded my purchase price. He was unable to provide any certainty that it would be reliable for use at the altitude of the mountains I normally operate from (all above 1500 m or 5000 ft ASL).
The instruction manual for the generator had several paragraphs about what should be done to improve its efficiency at high altitudes (defined as > 5000 ft ASL). Measures such as fitting a different jet to the carburettor were included in the manual, these being arranged with “your authorised service centre”. When this was mentioned to the seller he said he had never had anyone ask about that for these generators.
So fortunately my money was refunded and I only had to pay freight both ways.
Subsequently my brother decided to replace his ageing Honda generator of some 20 years with a new EU20i inverter generator. I took a look at the manual and found it very interesting reading. Including the paragraph about getting an authorised service agent to install different jets in the carburettor if the generator is to be used at altitudes above 5000 ft asl…
The January 2010 event was much more successful for me than the Spring field day about 6 weeks earlier.
This time Dale VK1DSH and I operated as a multiop station on 50, 144, 432, 1296, 2403 and 10368 MHz.
- Dale made several contacts on 10 GHz with Andy VK2AES operating south east of Bungendore.
- Despite leaving the feed for the 2.4 GHz dish at home, we still made a contact with Andy on that band, using a “field day special” feed constructed onsite from a piece of wire and a N type socket connected to a piece of cable through the dish centre and attached to the normal feed hardware. Signals S9 over the 70 or 80 km path.
- Several successful contacts with Dave VK2JDS near Bathurst on 1296 MHz. Some persistence was needed for the first contact, when conditions were not so good and we had to get our beam headings right. More power at both ends would have been a help.
- Other than that, we had a fair contact rate on 144 with many throws to other bands.
- For this event I used one of Owen VK1OD’s Roger Beep boards. I assembled the board on the previous weekend, mounting the board into a small box with the Icom mike plugging into a socket on the RB box, and mike output to the IC910 through a short section of shielded cable. I set the CW speed to 30 wpm and selected the K option.
- Despite some thunderstorm activity in the area, we didn’t have to shut down.
Activity was a little lower than in the past. Chris VK2DO was away on a business trip and Matt VK2DAG was roving up and down the NSW coast and unfortunately we didn’t work him once. Our score was just over 2000 points, though, with the help of the additional microwave bands. We were grateful for Andy VK2AES’s efforts in going portable on both days and giving us contacts on all bands, in particular 2.4 and 10 GHz.
VHF field day antennas
The 8 element yagi for 144 MHz and 16 element for 432 MHz are on the main mast. The smaller mast carries a half wave vertical for 50 MHz, an 18 element yagi for 1296 and a gridpack dish for 2403 MHz.
Operating desk in the tent on Mt Ginini
From left: TS670S and amplifier for 6m, rotator control for small mast, clock for logging, second rotator control, Kbeep box, IC910H for 2m/70cm/23cm, power supply. Paper logs. Power supplies on floor. For 2.4 GHz an FT290R was used.
Field constructed dish feed for 2.4 GHz
The feed you use when the real one was left at home. Made from a piece of stiff coaxial cable, a type N socket a solder lug and some wire from the spare parts box. I knew there was a reason for taking that stuff.