N1AV (x-N1RWY) on the air

Ham radio, hiking, coffee, and other tech talk.

Field Day 2017 Prep

It has been a busy weekend, I have been catching up on a bunch of projects to make Field Day 2017 and future contesting in general from the motor home better.

Project 1: Extra coax lines into the RV

Adding a second coax line into the RV- the Yaesu FTDX1200 has two antenna ports- best to take advantage of both!  I had been draping a second line through a window and stuffing the crack with a t-shirt, however if it rains, or it is cold I can feel the weather getting in- not to mention bugs if they are hot and heavy where we are.

So, peel back the trim, cut out the carpet and drill some holes in the floor of the motorhome.  Add a few washers and lock it down tight.

The pass through from under the motorhome – I used 6″ barrel connectors, I could have gotten away with 4″ if I could have found some.  But the extra length under the motorhome makes it easy for me to get my big hands under there to screw on the antenna feed cables.

Sealed with coax seal and right angle connectors added for easy access.  Just had enough room between the cage for the generator and the edge of the black water tank… I certainly didn’t want to hit or drill into that!

Finished the final access port next to the powerpole connectors for rig power coming out of the bench- now just need to label them.

Been waiting a while for that project to get completed- I am glad it is finished before the 100’s are the mainstay out here for the next several months.

Project 2: Fixing the foot switch dance

My Heil FS-2 foot switch always slides around on the RV carpeting when I am contesting and I spend a fair amount of time “foot searching” to try to find the foot switch.   I added a bunch of industrial velcro to the bottom and boom!  Sticks to the carpet like glue!

Project 3: Three radios on one antenna!

My triplexer came in- super excited to use this at Field Day 2017.  Three rigs on three bands all on one antenna with gain (CC A3S 3el tribander).  Nice!  Now I just have to throw some propagation sacrifice into the camp fire Friday before Field Day so we can get some action on 10 meters!

Project 4:  Extra cooling for large Power supply

Not related to RV, but contesting and general hamming none the less.  I leave my JT65 rig on all the time to report out which stations I am hearing. Not to mention that I am on the radio quite a bit. As it starts getting warmer here in Arizona the ambient temp is also starting to climb, combined with the supply trying to regulate heat, means I have noticed that the 70 amp power supply heat sink gets VERY HOT – as in burn my hands hot if I kept them there long..  So I needed a quick and dirty solution.

Fans!  Complete with manual switch and bright LED staring me in the face to keep my fingers out of it.  A warning label adds a nice touch.

Project 5:  Green power!

The Yuma hamfest purchase of the used 12V 400w windmill is wired and ready for testing- I should have a larger blog post on this after Field Day- as this should be giving us power all night long up on the rim.

So far a great project weekend!

See ya on the bands!

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  1. Vance - N3VEM May 29, 2017

    Nice clean work! With some luck maybe I’ll work you on Field Day!

    • n1rwy May 29, 2017 — Post Author

      Look for N7Q – I will be manning the SSB station or maybe the psk31 in the weeeee hours of the am.

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