Portable Rig for the Field

Project 2 of 7 for 2020.

Currently the rig for the field is the venerable Yeasu FT-817. It has provided many hours of enjoyable operation as well as being a WSPR rig. It has the option of an internal battery. It has no internal tuner but doesn’t need one if used with resonant antennas like an end fed half wave vertical. Newer rigs on the market are very tempting and might stimulate an upgrade in the future but not yet.

Autumn afternoons in Colorado are a great time to get outside and enjoy the gorgeous weather and leaves in the mountains. Avoiding crowds is necessary these days so it’s a perfect opportunity to do a little hamming in the field. Keeping a rig as self contained as possible is a good idea in this scenario.

Fall River Road dreaming… A great location for a field operation would be around some trees that are not crowded with a lot of people in a place that tolerates a wire antenna. Experience has shown the PAR-20 to be a good antenna to throw up in a tree and make contacts and it does not require radials. Ideally a tree could be found that the PAR-20 could be invisible and remain in the tree for the next visit. It needs to be closer than Rocky Mountain National Park.

A battery was ordered this afternoon. The final choice was a 9800maH Li Ion polymer from eBay. Windcamp makes a great replacement for the Yeasu original which is twice the capacity of Yeasu’s. It’s expensive and shipping takes at least a month from China. A geniune Yaesu replacement is even more expensive at $119 especially when one considers the capacity is only 1500mAH. The Windcamp is 3000mAH. This external battery from eBay is almost 10,000mAH and it’s only $26. The plan is to strap this battery to the FT-817 with Velcro tape and fit the bundle in a backpack along with the PAR-20. A Palm mini paddle will fill out the equipment needed. Is there a good logging app for an iPhone?

Current status: Battery has arrived and looks like it will do the job. Connectors need to be installed and the project will be ready.