Sunday, June 27, 2010

Field Day Flop

My Station

This weekend was Field Day. For a lark I decided to setup my portable QRP station in the back yard and see if I could log a few contacts. I thought I knew where all the parts were for my station but I found out I was missing the microphone for my radio and the feedline I would normally use.

I found a feedline but it had BNC-F connectors on both ends while the radio and antenna both have SO-259 connectors. Using a pair of BNC-M/PL-259 adapters I was able to get the feed line attached to the antenna.

Speaking of the antenna this was my first outing with a shiny new Buddistick. I need to read some more and experiment a bit as I'm sure I could get better results. The Buddistick is nice and light which keeps the total station weight down. A good thing with my plan on going backpacking with this setup.

I was able to copy a few callsigns and QSOs so it wasn't a complete waste of my time. More importantly I now have a list of things to find or purchase for the next attempt.

73 de NØBML

Friday, June 18, 2010

To the Field!

I've had my amateur license since November of 2000 and have had some good times operating VHF and UHF for various ARES exercises and public service events. This is a fine aspect of the hobby and I won't give it up, but I've been itching to wade out deeper into the water.

I already own a Yaesu FT-817 but was still missing a few parts to get on the air. Using some of my fun budget I purchased a Buddistick Deluxe antenna, a Z-817 auto-tuner and some coax cable with the proper connectors on the end. Once they arrive I will have everything needed to get on the air. Everything should fit in an easy to carry bag and while it might not be light enough for a serious backpacking trip I will be able to hike out and get on the air. In the future I will add some external batteries and other antenna options to expand the operating options.

(This November will be the 10th anniversary of being a licensed amateur radio operator. Where does the time go? Only have 15 years until I can join QCWA. ;)

Discovering Loss

In preparation for moving my brother into my QTH I needed to reorganize the storage unit to make room for his stuff. Since I was moving everything around I performed a “mini-inventory” of my radio gear. I didn’t find my Yaesu FT-290R II which is part of my packet radio setup. Thinking back I don’t remember moving it from the old QTH.

About a year ago we discovered the door storage unit at the old QTH had been pried open. I looked through the contents and didn’t think anything was missing. I guess I was wrong. So now it’s a year later and I’m short one radio. Like a fool I don’t have serial numbers for my radios written down and I didn’t file a police report. Live and learn I guess.

The new project for this weekend is to make a complete inventory of all of my radio gear, including serial numbers, and make sure I have insurance to cover any loss.

Does anyone have experience with the ARRL’s equipment insurance plan?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Hello, my name is Brendan and my callsign is N0BML. I've used these words to introduce myself during several amateur radio meetings. I have tried many of the different aspects of amateur radio and while there are several more to explore I've decided to focus most of my time and energy on emergency communications and public service. This blog is going to be documenting my activities and experiments along the way. Here are a few projects I've chosen to get started.

Lancer8800 - I have a Yaesu FT-8800R that I am going to install in Zero, my 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer ES. My friend N8QG is going to help my install the radio and antenna. In a couple of weeks I'll have the funds to buy the parts we need.

ExtraMe - Currently I have a General class amateur radio license. I'm going to be studying to pass the exam to upgrade to an Amateur Extra class license, the highest class amateur radio license available. Just because I can.

PortableQRP - I also have a Yaesu FT-817ND and am going to assemble a portable station for QRP operations. Being a basement apartment my QTH is very poor for antenna placement. Having a "station in a bag" will allow me to hike up to a few mountain tops or light houses and make some contacts.

I have many more project ideas but these are the top three that are my goals. After they are complete I'll examine my options and select the next few projects. Other things that I will blog about in the coming days are training courses, exercises, public service events and anything else related to amateur radio that catches my fancy. Welcome!