First portable operating day of 2016 at Galleywood Common

This is how it started .....

This is what actually happened.....

I was all ready to set off at 10:30 so I got there at about 11:00. I was first to arrive but soon afterwards a couple of unexpected foreigners arrived in the form of George M1GEO and Dave M0TAZ. Here Dave and I are getting in some quality operating before the hordes turned up at 13:00 :-)

And soon after 13:00 we were joined by others. Here you can see M0PZT's 40m inverted vee (green), M0TAZ's 4m slim jim (blue), M0PSX's 2m slim jim (yellow) and my 30m doublet (red).

As normal there was a mixture of serious and not so serious operating during the day.

Keep an eye out on Twitter and Facebook for the next "ad-hoc" portable event either at Galleywood and elsewhere in Essex.

First outing for my new battery pack.

The more observant may have noticed a mysterious object on my table. The most popular suggestion was that I had built a spark transmitter !

I fact it was my new Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo4) battery pack. It is made from four 15Ah cells designed for use in electric bicycles. Although Lithium Polymer (Lipo) cells are cheaper they have an awkward nominal voltage (3.7V). This means that three cells aren't quite enough (11.1V) and four cells are a bit too much (14.8V). LiFePo4 cells have a slightly lower nominal voltage (3.3V) which means four LiFePo4 cells provide a more convenient 13.2V.

The new LiFePo4 pack sat at a steady 13.1 volts (3.275V per cell) for most of the afternoon. I was using it to power my KXPA-100 linear, but since this was it's first outing I had the the KX3 set to only run 40W, not the full 100W. I was pleased to see that the voltage only dropped to 12.8V when transmitting, and the pack should be OK down to 12V. When I recharged the pack in the evening it needed 6000mAh for a full charge, so the linear had used ~40% of the capacity. Note the LED display has been "contrast enhanced" to make the digits visible.

I'm now waiting for a digital Voltage+Current+Power meter and an old fashioned analogue volt meter to arrive before I start to work on putting the pack into a nice (safer) box !

Galleywood pictures courtesy of George, M1GEO

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