After taking a few laps of the tailgate vendor area at the Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club Hamfest in New Port Richey, my wife, Connie and I drove down to Honeymoon Island State Park and Beach on the Gulf coast north of Clearwater/St. Petersburg. This was my first time out with the new setup for pedestrian mobile. I learned a lot and had a blast despite semi-poor band conditions and a very windy day.
I was using a MFJ 9420 on 20 meter SSB to my Buddistick mounted on my backpack frame. I connected with several HF-Pack members on the 14, 342.5 MHz hangout or there abouts… heard lots of others too. Budd Drummond, W3FF was spotting and helping the portable and mobile stations make connections. Budd was pounding in at 20 over S9 from California and had the best signal I heard all day. Lower on the band I heard good signals from Spain, Azores, and a few G3’s but my 10 watts didn’t compete with the contest crowd today at least.
Here’s some photos of the setup I used. Will refine it to prevent some of the wind related problems I experienced today and post more detailed photos in case someone is considering a similar rig. The wind load on the Buddistick and bicycle flag combination was a real surprise and caused a number of issues for me.
Honeymoon Island initial testing.
First contact brings a smile to my face!
Tweaking to compensate for sun caused vfo drift
Working the HF Pack 20m frequency
Wind forced me to the pier