AC4XO Field Day 2000
Benjy Has Fun in the Sun
This is the third year I've participated in the
Field Day event running a single operator/single transmitter QRP (low-power) operation.
The official category is 1B which some think of as "One Benjy", but it really means
a one transmitter, non-club operation. Here are the particulars:
- My transceiver is a
Wilderness Radio/NorCal Sierra, a multi-band, low-power rig
designed for backpacking.
- I operated on 40M (at 3 watts), 20M (at 2 watts), 15M (at 1.5 watts), and 10M
(at 1 watt). The typical Field Day operation uses 100 watt transmitters.
- The antenna was a 10M double extended Zepp (a 44' dipole) fed with ladder line. I used
an MFJ QRP tuner to operate the antenna on multiple bands. The antenna was erected
using an EZHang (TM) slingshot between two trees in
my back yard.
- I learned about this antenna from a talk by L. B. Cebik at the Four Days in May QRP
conference at the Dayton Hamvention 2000. The nice property about this antenna is
that it has a similar radiation pattern on the HF bands 40M through 10M.
is called Do the VOMBA (may require free account and login).
(Cebik's site has
lots of good antenna informaiton.)
- A Gateway Solo 9100 laptop was used for contact logging using the
- Both the transceiver and the laptop were powered from solar-charged batteries.
The main battery was a 34 amp/hour deep cycle battery. One 7 amp/hour battery
was also used. The 5 watt solar panel came from a broken electric fence charger.
- All contacts were made using CW/Morse Code. I made 210 contacts and claim three
bonuses at 100 points each: emergency power, natural power, and copying the W1AW bulletin.
- I used a Kent paddle for the first time.
- The cat at the operating position in the picture to the right is Bridget.
I started working QRP and single operator for Field Day in 1998. I ordered and built
the Sierra from a kit and put it on the air for the first time a few hours before
the contest began. I was amazed that other station could hear me. I had a wonderful
time that year. You can read the full
Last year, I greatly improved the operation. I worked multiple bands and made more
contacts. Pictures and a description
are also online.
A special thanks goes to Sue Ellen, KD4LQO, who helped with antenna setup, took these
pictures, and provided support. Thanks to N4GU for the antenna idea and doing some
surface mount work on a power supply experiment. Thanks to Obie, WA4DOX, for loaning
me his 20M band module for the Sierra.
Benjy Cline, AC4XO (benjy at tuxcat.com).
June, 2000. Images and text ©
Ben and Sue Ellen Cline