Station Snapshot – M6LDZ/Portable — Update

Back in November we profiled Trevor (M6LDZ) and his station. Within the Station Snapshot he offered to share more information about his portable station once it was fully assembled and tested. So, this time around Station Snapshot is returning to visit with Trevor and see what he has been up to.

Trevor writes; “I promised when I put together details of my home station that once I had tested out my portable kit I would put a mini review together. Well this is it.”

“I have put this together for hiking up hills and for taking on our boat on the Thames. It needed to be light, have good performance, work on multiple bands and allow me to log real time. I also wanted to be able to start using digital modes.”

“So the radio is an Elecraft KX3 which I put together from one of their kits. It has the 2m board and the internal tuner which is both brilliant and essential for me to use a variety of bands through the HyEndfed 20m wire.(which incidentally even, though not advertised to, works well on 17M).”

“If there is not too long a trek or I have Mrs LDZ to assist in the baggage department I also take a Buddipole setup which gives superior performance over the wire (because the wire is not run in its most efficient way) but only on a single band.”

“The KX3 is connected to the iPad by a Pigtail wireless network node. With a bit of fiddling with the setup this allows the iPad to connect to the KX3 but also still receive 3/4G data for spotting and logging. I have been a big fan of MacLoggerDX and use it all the time at base; however, in addition to logging I needed something with the ability to control the KX3, perform realtime logging and use digital modes. So far, my search has lead me to RUMlog2Go. “

RUMlog2Go is written to work with the Pigtail and was a breeze to setup. It has macros for regularly used text in CW, PSK and FSK. All of the needed control inputs are there on the iPad and I think you can also write macros for it as well. There are a few things that I would like to improve on. RumLog2Go has a terminal window where the decoded digital data is displayed. That does not keep pace with the radio and you need to read the incoming from the KX3 and cannot rely on the iPad display. I think this is possibly something to do with the high baud rate that I have to set the pigtail to in order for it to work with the Elecraft Panadapter. I am going to have a chat with the RumLog2Gochaps and see if we can iron this one out.”

“All this is powered by a Lithium Polymer battery by Deben. These are super light, small and the 14Ah one I have is not touched by a two hour session with the KX3. I think it would go on for at least double that. I also need to try some other headphones which are essential for outdoor work with the KX3. I thought my Bose noise canceling ones would be great, but the electronics pick up all the transmissions, so I need to find some simpler ones. Other than that, from the UK to Maryland on a Buddipole and 10W KX3 can’t be bad.”

“Finally the stand. I made this from some wood lying about in the workshop. It makes using the radio with the panadapter a pleasure but doesn’t get taken on super minimalist hikes.”

Thank you, Trevor, for following up with this Snapshot of your /P station. It is nice to see how you have everything working together in a manner not far removed from being in the ham shack at home — but with fresh air and beautiful scenery to go with amateur radio!

If you are reading this and are interested in having your station profiled in a Station Snapshot, send a brief description of your station, hardware and software in use, along with any interesting tidbits of information to machamradio@gmail.com.  We will be happy to profile your station and you will be able to share your hobby with other MacHamRadio users around the world.