Talk at SCARC

On Thursday 23rd October, 2014 I ventured down to the Seaford Meadows clubrooms of the South Coast Amateur Radio Club (SCARC) and delivered a presentation on the VK5 Parks National and Conservation Parks Award, the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program, and equipment used for portable operation.

A very keen group of about 20 amateurs attended.

I spoke about the basics of the VK5 Parks award and WWFF program.  And I also spoke briefly about various transceivers that can be used for portable operation, portable power sources, and antennas for portable use.  I brought along some of my portable gear including the Yaesu FT-817nd, my 44 amp hour power pack, various antennas, bothy bag, etc.

Thanks to Peter VK5PET for asking me to come down to SCARC.


3 thoughts on “Talk at SCARC

  1. Thanks for coming down. I tried to be there and couldn’t. Had I been there I would have asked you to talk about battery options for the 450D. Is your 45Ah porta pack still your best option?

  2. Hi Marc,

    I am currently in the market for a smaller portable radio. Maybe a Yaesu FT-857. I find the FT450 to be a little big, but currently it is the only radio I have to take portable that can run more than 5 watts. I do have the Yaesu FT-817nd, but I am mostly using that now, solely for my SOTA activations.

    My wife bought the Matson 44 amp hour power pack for me last Christmas. It wasn’t cheap, but it is a great unit…..

    There are other options, for powering your radio, if you want to run higher power. The LiFePo batteries are now very popular with SOTA & park activators. At a local level, John VK5BJE is a very good source for info on using those. I am about to sit down with John and work out what I need. Up until now I have been using a 4ah 12V SLAB for my SOTA activations. Again, they are more expensive than the Sealed Lead Acid (SLAB) batteries, but are lighter in weight, last longer, and are smaller than SLABs.

    I know you are down on the list for the Welcome to amateur radio day. There are some ‘portable gurus’ attending that day, and I am sure they would be more than happy to have a chat to you and hopefully pass on some knowledge from their experiences. John VK5BJE will be there.

    Best 73,


  3. Thanks, Paul. My only HF rig is also the 450D, which is not only heavy but also volt hungry. The specs say that it needs 13.8V – 10%, whereas the 857 can use 13.8V – 15%. I wonder how big a difference that makes in operating time. I think they both use 22A at full power. I wonder how many amps the 450D uses at less than 100W. I don’t see that in the manual. I know that Diana Eng (the fashion designer who is also on the ARRL PR comittee) on her vid 5 yrs ago said she uses a 13.2V, 10 Ah NiMH battery pack with her 857D. ( Cheers, Marc VK5FMAW

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