What is needed to work effectively using HF bicycle or pedestrian mobile?:
- Dedication … It takes a while to get it all working smoothly.
- A good location is paramount, a coastal location is nearly always better than a high location, specially when using a vertical antenna.
- Know your propagation! so you know when to go out to work a certain area, and also remember that the performance will always be better in the direction of the sea at a coastal location. (Check VOA prop for accurate propagation forecasts)
- Stay simple with the antenna, its essential that its easy to set up and easy to remove as the weather conditions can change very quickly!
- Chose a radio set up that is easy to use on the move, an analogue radio is far easier to use on the move as there are no complex menus to navigate.
- When operating in the winter months its essential to wear the right clothing, I usually wear several thin layers and also have an electrically heated jacket/gloves when it gets really cold plus a balaclava to put over the headphones in winter to reduce wind noise and keep your head warm is a must!
- Use a noise cancelling enclosed headset to eliminate extraneous noises and to hear weak stations.
- Lots of toroids on all the DC lines, microphone lines, headset lines to prevent RF pick-up.
- Keep all cables as short as possible, fasten all longer cables securely to the frame using tye wraps to avoid capacitive changes that can effect tuning and stability.
A useful piece of equipment to ensure everything is optimised is a field strength meter, that can be set a distance away from the transmitting antenna to monitor the radiated signal.