The FT-897D is a very efficient transceiver for portable use, perhaps because it is designed for use with battery power in mind. As I recently purchased an Icom IC-7200 to replace it for HF use whilst portable, I thought I would do some tests on the efficiency of them both, and also my FTDX1200 for comparison. The IC-7200 is comparable to most other HF desktop transceivers, using up to 20A with a 100W carrier.
I went out for a little bit of /P operating this afternoon for just over an hour as the weather was OK. Had a nice chat on 40m with some UK stations using the end fed half wave set up as a kind of sloper. The end was up 8m on a fibreglass pole just resting against a tree, and the feed end came down to a low tree branch and then into the coupler. It seemed to perform really well on TX and RX. Below is a little clip recorded by Dave M0TAZ. Running 100w from the Icom IC-7200.
I went down to the river Thames a couple of mile from home today for some portable operation and some experimenting with an end fed half wave antenna. I recently built a Parallel tuned coupler for feeding end fed half waves from 7-30MHz and this was tested on a few bands. I wanted to try 15m, but the band was full of contest stations due to the Scandinavian contest, so I cut a piece of wire for a 17m vertical. Below is some video took by Dave M0TAZ of me working Chris SM0OWX on 18MHz.
I have used the coupler on a few different bands now in various configurations with good results. I shall add a post with more results after some more tests and fine tuning soon. Here is a photo of the inside of the unit. 73 John.
Today, I finally built a ½ λ dipole for 4m. I have previously been using a folded ½ λ dipole made out of 450Ω balanced feeder, suspended in the loft, which is not ideal. I still had the coax outside on the roof and the pole which were both used previously for my 2m/70cm co-linear, which has been relocated to the chimney, so once it was built, it was simple enough to put up.
I just got back from a couple of days on the South coast. I spent a day at Birling Gap and walked up the chalk cliffs at Beachy Head, then on Monday, I spent the afternoon at Dungeness. My plan was to do some photography during the day and some HF operating at night.
After a day of strolling around this strange landscape, I finally got round to setting up the HF station. I used an 85AH Leisure Battery, Yaesu FT-897D at 100W and the antenna was an inverted V for 80m up on a 9m fibreglass pole. I was facing a fantastic sunset (and the two nuclear power stations) as can be seen below.
I used a few different bands, 40m, 60m and 80m. Conditions on 60m and 80m were great for local contacts and I got good signal reports. It was an interesting spot to operate from.