Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Field Day Satellite Antenna System Up And Running

And had more than enough daylight to put the tools away, and clean up!

This iteration of my portable setup is WAY easier to put together, align to North, and calibrate.

I was able to tip it over and rest it on a "saw horse", and get the cross-boom with antenna through the Elevation rotor, get the clamps on, and get it tightened down, all by myself.

Doing this with the 9' tower took two people, and they had to know what they were doing.

And with the short cross-boom, both the preamps (red and blue boxes) and the diplexer (little thing between the preamps) get mounted on the far side of the Elevation rotator, allowing a nice cable path from the antenna.

So, after I got the top end assembled, I tipped the tower/antenna up, and walked if over to where it clears all the overhead power/fiber/phone/cableTV wires.

And then I ran the rotators full CW/CCW in Azimuth, and from 0* through 90* to 180* in Elevation.

No cable bind anywhere in the range of travel, which is always a good thing!

For now it's sitting at "North, 0*", and when I get home from work tomorrow I'll connect the coax and DC power up to the two preamps, drag out the radio, power supply, and rotator/laptop interface, and see how it all plays together.

This is a shot I took of the preamp end of the cross-boom. You can see the wood dowel in the grey fiberglass tube, and my somewhat sloppy job of "securing" the diplexer between the two preamps.

So another hour or two of connecting stuff up, and I'll be on the air.



  1. One of these days I'll do a post on the evolution of my satellite station.

    I've always used the same radio, a Yeasu FT-847, but since the antennas are the link to the Ether, I've concentrated on them. If you can't get a signal into or out of the radio, you're hosed, so most of the activity was first concerned with getting a decent antenna system, and then a mount that's portable.

    I don't know why I've ignored that roof mount, which has been sitting alongside the garage for four years now, but it sure looks like it's the best portable solution I've come up with yet.

    It's rugged, very easy to transport, and holds the antennas in a rigid way so once you align the base to North, it stays there.

  2. Looks great!!

    BTW - TBH and I won't be in Cali for FD since I'm still getting treatments for my health problem. :(


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