Field Day - The Hard Way!

This weekend I decided to do my first Field Day/s. Just to make it more interesting I thought I would do it:
  • Single-handed
  • Using low power (QRP) SSB
  • Running off AA cells
  • Using simple home-made equipment.
What could possibly go wrong!
To be fair, the RSGB have recently changed the rules to encourage more modest stations to take part (

The main motivation for me taking part was to put my newly completed uBITX suitcase radio 'through its paces'.  Here is my picture diary:

Cows grazing on hill
Cows grazing on the hill - could be tricky!

Portable ham radio station
The portable station set up

The radio is powered from ten NiMH 2500mAh AA cells.

The antenna is a Par "End-Fedz" end fed half wave multiband dipole. Until recently this was my main station antenna, but I have replaced it with a home-made (improved) version of the same antenna. I plan to describe this in a future post.

View of Wiltshire countryside
Panoramic views of the Wiltshire countryside from the operating position

So how did I do in the contest? Well, I am not expecting a good score! However, I did manage contacts with many European stations including Romania, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Slovenia and Norway. The receiver performed better than expected considering the number of strong stations around, and the fact that there is no AGC or Rx attenuator.
Not bad for such a cheap radio.
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