Microwave Activity Day at Mt Gravatt – October 2012

The Brisbane VHF Group organized a very successful Microwave Activity Day on the 28 October 2012.

Prior to the day numerous stations had indicated that they would be in the field and operating on a number of the Amateur Radio Microwave Bands. The locations for these stations centered on South East Queensland and into northern New South Wales. It was also identified that the activity would begin at 0900hrs local and continue until mid afternoon. It had also been established that the first hour would be dedicated to 23cm and 13 cm. After 1000hrs all Bands would be used. The Brisbane 2 meter Repeater was to be used for liaison after 1000hrs with 146.550Mhz simplex being used as a backup. It was also suggested that checking the VK Logger to ascertain the locations of the various stations and the actual contacts being made would be an advantage.

With all these factors in mind it became obvious that to participate successfully in the day I needed to setup my full VHF, UHF & Microwave field day station.

The Microwave Bands to be covered were 23 cm, 13 cm, 9 cm, 6 cm and 3 cm using individual Transverters and Antennae.

The IF Transceiver for all the Transverters is a Yaesu FT817 ND that is mounted in the central console. Switching to the required Transverter is accomplished by rotating the silver knob in the centre of the console. A detailed explanation of this system is given elsewhere on my Blog.

Liaison was accomplished using the ICOM IC7000 Transceiver with a Tri-band vertical antenna (2m, 70cm & 23cm) located at the top of the mast.

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The centre console.

I used an Apple MacBook Air laptop computer to interface with my Thunderbolt GPSDO to ensure frequency accuracy of all the Transverters and the laptop also allowed Internet connection via a Telstra 3G WIFI Hotspot Modem to access the VK Logger.

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The DC Power for the entire operation was supplied by a 12 volt 150 Ah AGM Battery. The power cables all use Anderson 50A polarized plugs to feed the equipment.

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GPSDO and power distribution.

As with any portable location a covered operating position was required and this was provided by a rollout awning from the vehicle.

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The awning made operating very comfortable.

The day started under overcast skies but it soon became apparent that it was going to be a fun day and the effort involved in setting up the station was worth the time involved.

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About to setup at the Mt Gravatt site.

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Assembling the mast.

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Running the cable looms.

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About to raise the Mast.

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Mast raised and locked. The antennae shown from the top of the mast are the Tri-Band Vertival, the GPSDO, 6m Halo, 70cm Yagi, 2m Halo, 2.4Ghz Grid-Pack, 23cm Yagi, 3cm 30cm Dish, 5.7Ghz 600mm Dish and 3.4Ghz 900mm Dish.

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In contact on 3.4Ghz.

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All working and performing well.

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In QSO while monitoring the VK Logger.

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It’s 1500hrs and time to pack up and head for home – a great day!

The day was very successful and a most enjoyable time was had by all. I was fortunate to have all the equipment perform as expected and I made multiple contacts on all bands.

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