Saturday, 9 February 2013

ZS6A "One Echo – Golf Papa”

My daypack is packed and I ready for the SARL Field Day event.

I have decided to participate in the new ultra-light portable class - E
I will thus be using "1E GP" as the exchange: One tranceiver, Ultra-light portable from Gauteng province.

Class E – Ultra Light Portable:

Light weight self-contained stations, operating QRP or low power such as RaDAR, Summits on the Air, Parks on the Air (game and nature reserves), Islands on the Air, Heritage sites, etc. The entire station, antenna included, must be carried by the operator to the operating site. The distance carried must not be less than 1 km.

It is rather amazing how quickly the weight adds up:

The K2 transceiver, 3 AH SLA battery, short run of RG58au feed line, link dipole, paddle (Much too heavy), a few tools, Log book, High density foam chassis support (otherwise known as a seat cushion), snacks and 1 litre of ice water.

Total weight 8 kg

I plan to give further feedback a bit later.


I have just returned from my SARL field day excursion to Rynfield dam. The walk from home to the park was around 20 minutes. Once again, I used a tree as the antenna support and the shade for my creature comfort.

Heck, I am unfit. Maybe if I participate in all the local contests as an ultra-light portable station, I might end up becoming fit.

Erecting the 40/15m link dipole took less than 10 minutes and worked very well. Conditions over the short distances were excellent no short skip evident. The longer distances were a problem and only ZS2PE (Port Elizabeth club station) was heard no stations further south were heard or worked.

I logged using pen and paper and in parallel I used the iPhone app HAMLOG. The program worked like a charm and I have my log available as CSV or in ADIF format.

Finding CW QSOs was a problem today, not sure why.......

 I operated using < 5 watt (QRP) for all the QSOs. I was planning to use CW only, but it was evident from early in the event that this would have been a mistake. After all the effort of operating as a ultra-light portable station one needs to have at least a few QSOs to prove the effectiveness and performance of the station.

It is rather sad to see that in South Africa it appears as if there are very few newcomers to the mojo mode CW. Using the muggle modes (SSB) just doesn’t do it for me…..

I only managed to work 23 stations including 6 CW QSOs.

Had fun all the same.


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