Portable operation: Texel Isl., sept. 4-8, 2006


Portable operation from Texel, JO23JC During a short holiday break I visited the Dutch island of Texel (IOTA EU-038) from september 4-8, 2006.
I packed my portable satellite station so I could make some QSOs will I was there.

My setup consisted of (see picture):
 Yaesu FT-817ND all-mode transceiver (uplink, 5 W)
 Icom IC-R20 all-mode receiver (downlink)
 Arrow antenna (2m/70cm)
 Headset with integrated microphone
 7Ah lead-acid battery

Due to terrible desense I couldn't work FO-29 and SO-50. I only worked AO-51 which was in high power mode at that time. I could also work VO-52 but didn't manage any QSOs on that satellite.

This was my first portable satellite operation.
This is what I learned:
 This setup works very well for the current LEOs
 I need a desense filter for mode V/U operation
 VOX and high winds don't go well together
 5 W is sometimes not enough on busy FM sats
 The built-in voice recorder of the IC-R20 is just great. I don't have to write things down!
 Everything fits easily in my backpack with lots of space left for snacks

You don't really need a notebook or PDA for real-time pass prediction as long as you have a list of all passes for your (general) location on paper. If you know the AZ at AOS and LOS for a given satellite you're good to go. It helps if you have a compass to find out the right direction for your location.
While running QSOs on a satellite, I don't have time to look on a screen anyway. My hands are busy pointing the Arrow for best reception and tuning for doppler ;) And once you hear the satellite you only have to wave the antenna a bit to find out what position gives the best reception.

Conclusion: I had a great time and will do it again anytime!
Check out the QSO logbook of my first portable operation below.

PH7AT/P in JO23JC (IOTA EU-038)
Date UTC
(yyyy.mm.dd)
Time UTC
(hh:mm)
Callsign Freq (tx) Freq (rx) Report
(snt)
Report
(rcv)
Mode Locator QSO via
2006.09.04 21:32 EA2BJM 2 m 70 cm 55 51 FM IN91NQ AO-51
2006.09.04 21:34 G7KES/MM 2 m 70 cm 55 51 FM HP83BU AO-51
2006.09.05 11:31 GM0FMV 2 m 70 cm 57 53 FM IO85JV AO-51
2006.09.05 20:53 ON4API 2 m 70 cm 55 51 FM JO10NW AO-51
2006.09.06 20:13 ON5NY 2 m 70 cm 58 57 FM JO10MV AO-51
2006.09.06 20:14 SP6DCO 2 m 70 cm 59 57 FM JO81MB AO-51
2006.09.06 20:15 OZ1MY 2 m 70 cm 59 57 FM JO65FR AO-51
2006.09.06 21:49 EB3JT 2 m 70 cm 59 57 FM JN01UI AO-51
2006.09.06 21:50 EA1FAQ 2 m 70 cm 59 57 FM IN71OO AO-51