środa, 17 lipca 2013

IARU 2013 - picts

IARU 2013 is over... 
As every year months of preparations, constant station improvements finished with one very busy weekend in July... 
This year there were two main changes to my station configuration:
1. rotator for the antenna
2. when rotator is used it is good to have computer which calculates the bearings... computer is also very useful for other contest activities (logging, checking, playing games during storms..) So the decision was that computer will be also involved (hurrraaayy, no more paper dupesheets!!!)

My farmer (Herr Meyer) agreed to use his field as base for my contest activities (maaany thanks Herr Meyer!!!). My wife baked some cakes so both side were happy :) This time the field available was on the top of the hill and my impression is that the conditions were better then when I used the field in the valley. 

As year ago I resigned from building the tent. It takes too much time to build the tent and then to put it back to the bag. Additionally if it is raining it is a problem later to get it dry. 24 hours in the car is not that bad...

Following last year experience (started station building around 18:00 on the day before and was delayed with contest start for around an hour) this year I started much ealier - around 14:00 (2pm) on Friday. Thanks to this I started contest... with one hour delay... Maybe the reason was the changes I introduced in my GP antenna just before the contest. I thought it will take several minutes but that was definitely longer. Maybe next year I will start on time (that would be probably the first time). 

This rotator and computer changed the requirements for power. Radio alone on QRP power even with Panadapter is ok on two car batteries (my car has two). After 24 hours you can still start a car and go home. 

According to my calculations with computer and rotator I may need between 100 and 130Ah (for 24h contest). It doesn't include light and other car equipment. I was afraid that after such power consumption I may have problem to start a car - the batteries are 7 years old and don't like to be deeply discharged. For a while I wanted to buy a power generator (planned since ever) but the version I want is still to expensive. Finally I decided to get a additional battery - 12V 107Ah AGM type battery designed for solar installations and electric wheelchairs (can survive deep discharge). So finally I had almost 270Ah onboard which appeared later as more than enough.

Just before I ensured that all my three baterries are fully charged. 

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