We Did It! Portola Valley Field Day

By Stanley JungleibNo Comments

Revised: 20120711

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Chris Raanes W6CAR, Ray Rothrock WB5NVN, Steve Goldberg WQ6L & me.
Notable visitors ARRL SCV Section Manager Phil Steffora K6TT, and Brandon Bianchi NI6C—New SCV Section Manager (Starting July 1) pitched in; Councilman (ret) Steve Toben.

Notice that the perfect weather and abundant food forced us to work in obviously dire emergency conditions.

More seriously, this exercise exhibits intrinsic merit of a deep tradition for testing rapid deployment and evolving versatility. In fact, the ionosphere was not particularly kind this day, limiting the distance of confirmable HF (1.8-30 MHz) contacts and causing considerable re-strategizing. Ironically, this HF vulnerability to the “Maximum Usable Frequency” simultaneously highlighted the need and role of satellites; which have their own limitations, but do not depend on ionospheric bounce.

My previous field day may have been 40 years ago: and I had to ponder what my mentors might think of now portably tracking satellites while operating indefinitely from solar power. In the 60/70s we paid scant attention to the satellite fringe. Now, with cubesats reportedly available for $10K, the relevance and role of private satellites renders yet another dramatic communications breakthrough and opportunity.

Deep thanks to my buddy Bill van Erp for help with the substantial logisitics needed to actually move my system: It could not have happened otherwise. He also took most of the photos.

Radio Technology

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