Speak Out: Going mobile
A contributor wonders "The mobile operators in the state QSO parties seem to have so much fun, and I'd like to try it someday. So, what are the absolutely essential requirements for a successful mobile contest effort?"
20 opinions on this subject.
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vu3pai on 2002-04-02
Only Mike Oscar no mobiles please.
W4AN on 2002-04-01
Steve that is a great idea! Heck, I would enter that category. Rules would be only 100w class for simplicity sake.
Anonymous on 2002-04-01
I think adding a 'mobile' class to sweepstakes would be very interesting and a good way to bring in the apartment-bound guys who do HF mobile out of necessity.
Of course, what would really happen is some overpaid geeks would mount a huge tower and antenna to a commercial truck that 'technically' could be driven in that configuration, mount a 5KW generator to the thing and operate a QRO station w/tribander, SO2R. Low bands might be a problem, but perhaps a helium-balloon-lifted vertical? Hot air exhaust lifted?
.... hmmmm.... I'm overpaid...
... hey, I'm a geek (!)
73, Steve N4SL/M!?!? Machias, WA CN88xa
Anonymous on 2002-03-29
Anonymous on 2002-03-25
Logging on my Compaq iPAQ (if backpack mobile during a contest), I use MobileLog (http://n0hr.tripod.com). Gets the basics in the log, but doesn't do contest scoring, etc. It does do ADIF - so I can import into a contest logger later.
Logging on my laptop (if somewhat fixed - like during field day), I use WriteLog (http://www.writelog.com).
IC-706MKIIG either way. 100W, all modes and bands (160m - 70cm).
Antenna-wise, it depends on how serious I am about the contest. If I'm really contemplating a good mobile/portable-fixed contest effort (say during field day), I'll setup a Butternut and drop a few radials. If I'm in the car and the XYL is shopping during contest weekend, I might turn the rig on and jump into the contest using just my Diamond HV7A multiband vertical and LDG tuner from the mall parking lot and log Qs with the iPAQ. Works great.
The main thing is don't just think about it - DO IT.
N9JF on 2002-03-25
"Successful" is how you define it. In the state QSO parties, you will be popular as a new multiplier every time you change counties. Though I have operated in contests while in motion and driving, I wouldn't recommend it for everyone, just like I wouldn't recommend mobile CW while in motion for everyone. It depends upon your skills and the traffic conditions. A separate driver is a tremendous plus if you can arrange it.
For equipment, I use a Radio Shack mag mount for 10 meters and Hustler resonators for 15, 20 and 40 on a single short mast on a trunk mount. I have a coax switch to change antennas. Last year in the IL QP, I also had an 80 meter Hamstick on the trunk. It didn't work especially well, and I think it fouled up the 15-40 array as well. This year, I'll just take off the 15 meter resonator at dusk and put on one for 80 meters. The radio I use is an FT900. It needs filters and will get them...sometime. I keyed the radio with TrLog and a laptop, with a paddle and extra keyer in parallel. As an alternative, you could skip the laptop and just use the internal keyer. Strategy is a big deal as a mobile op in a QSO party. Listen to some of the good ones and see how they operate. Those that come to mind: W3DYA, K9LU, W9MSE, KF9D, W0GXQ, W1NN, K9WA, K9WM, K9MR (and I know I left out some good ones...sorry!) GL and 73, Jim N9JF
AB7RG on 2002-03-24
An Icom IC-706MKIIG with both narrow CW and SSB filters, the Icom AT-180 automatic antenna tuner (for full band coverage), Icom SP-21 external speaker, an Outbacker Perth 75-10 meter antenna with the Diamond K-4003/8C trunk lip mount, hand mic or headset for phone or Iambic paddle for CW, and a very well thought out place to mount the faceplate. Paper and pen or a laptop while not in motion for logging. This is what works for me anyway.
73 & gud lk!
WZ3AR on 2002-03-23
Recording the contest on a tape recorder and then transfering it onto a computer log (assumably after the contest has ended) raises some ethical questions in my mind. I would NOT advise doing so.
Anonymous on 2002-03-22
For a more helpful answer than the previous one, here is what I use:
Icom 706 MKIIG
High Sierra screwdriver antenna
If I am really mobile (as in moving), I log either to paper or better yet, I just keep a tape recorder running and log to computer later.
Remember Safety first...
and have fun!
Anonymous on 2002-03-21
A car and a radio. HAHA
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