My work with the portable kit continues. Now it was time for testing the power supply solution and figure out if the operation time was about that expected.
So, I hooked everything up the way its supposed to be on top of the living room table and started it up.
As I still haven’t build the antenna for the portable kit, I connected the GPM-1500 vertical which is tuned in on the 20m band. This makes it perfect for the FT-817ND for testing as it do need a matching antenna without a tuner.
I started with working PSK31 and made a few contacts with my 5W output. Well sligthly less than 5W actually. All to avoid ALC problems as the transceiver otherwise needs the input signal to be readjusted depending on the LF frequency being used. I operated PSK for about 30 minutes before changing over to JT65 and JT9.
When working the JT modes on 20m, I quickly realised the limitations in the computers resources. The amount of stations QRV, which in normal cases is alot, actually made the decoding so slow that working stations was impossible. I therefore moved up to the JT-9 segment which was less crowded and made some QSO:s, mainly with European stations.
After I had been working for about 50 minutes, It was time to make dinner for the family why the setup was left in standby. When I returned some 30min later the computer was turned of because the battery voltage had dropped to about 10,5 volts and the DC/DC converter was not able to withhold the correct output voltage. The transceiver was still operational as it can work down to about 9V. Just to try, I made some CQ:s on the SSB section on the band but there was no respons.
I concluded that I may expect about 1 to 1,25h of operation as it is with this setup. This is sligthly out of the specifications I wanted from the begining but it will do for a portable kit. There is also the option of working with the kit using the car battery as a power source which makes the operation time much longer. The downside to that is that you are dependent of the car… 😉
Regarding the computer, it may not be enough computing power on crowded bands with a lot of decoding to be done. I do however would like to try the development release of WSJT-X as it might optimize the software to work better.
Now, I do feel that I have the power supply part done in this project why I plan to move on to the antenna next.
Time to do some designing! 🙂
73 de SM7VRZ