Bicycles On The Air

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KN3A
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2022 11:42 am

Bicycles On The Air

Post by KN3A »

I like to incorporate hiking and POTA/SOTA activations as much as possible. Now that summer is finally here in Pennsylvania, I also enjoy bicycle riding. I've been working on different ways to incorporate both, and I recently saw a video of someone on YouTube doing a bike activation. That got the wheels spinning for me, and I tried it and had a blast. I have an old Cannondale bike and hooked a mirror mount antenna to the bike frame and for 20 meters attached my 17 ft. MFJ whip antenna and used four 16 ft. ground radials. I had a perfect 1:1 SWR on 20 meters in the CW portion and worked several stations using my Xiegu x6100. I then went to 40 meters and used my 40 meter Hustler antenna on a small pole and took the four ground radials and connected them together to make two 32 ft. ground radials. So on 40 meters CW I had an almost 1:1 SWR again and made a bunch of CW contacts as well.

Carrying the equipment in a backpack while riding is okay, however I decided to get a luggage rack for the back of the bike and a bike bag to store my portable equipment in. I hope to do my maiden voyage with that tonight. I might have to carry the antennas since they will be longer than the luggage rack on the back, which is no problem, because I won't be carrying much weight in the pack now. I permanently mounted the mirror mount to the back of the rack as well, so only need to put out the ground radials and set up the antenna and away I go. Below is a picture of when I was set up on 40 meters at K-4567 in PA along the Susquehanna River. I also have a very short video of my set up if you click on the link for my very small YouTube channel that I store things on. https://youtu.be/HsJyZbQmvrk

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k0klb
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2022 2:29 am

Re: Bicycles On The Air

Post by k0klb »

Hey Scott.. that looks like a great set up.. I like how you attached your antenna to the frame.. and Look at that QSO map, WOW.. I'd say you have successfully made your BOTA rig work very well.. Congratulations and thanks for sharing.. 73, Kevin ~ k0klb
N8TGQ
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2022 5:06 am

Re: Bicycles On The Air

Post by N8TGQ »

Great minds think alike, Scott!

I did about the same thing back when I started going out portable in the 90s. I was using hamsticks and MFJ QRP rigs with a 7ah gell cell. Good times!

I made a few mods to my mirror mount so I could adjust it and take it on and off the bike. I used 2 1/2" eye bolts with wing nuts. I could easily tighten or loosen them without any tools. That way I could lay the bike down or adjust the mount in unlevel places.

I made up a short piece of threaded rod with a connector that I could add to one of the eye bolts. Then I drilled a hole in the bottom of a 13' telescoping fishing pole. I can slide the pole down over the threaded rod and use the bike as a tripod to hold it up for dipoles or end fed antennas.

Last,I took the ferule from the top of the coil of a hamstick, and put a 19" piece of wire in place of the whip. I can screw that into the mirror mount and have a 2 meter ground plane. The handlebars work great as the ground plane.

I tie the hamsticks and fishing pole to the top bar of the bike when I'm traveling. They stick out the front a bit, but don't interfere with steering or pedalling.

I wanted to add a photo but just can't figure out how to make it small enough. Im limited to my phone as a camera and cant figure a way to resize it. I can email it if you want.

Have fun! de Rick N8TGQ
KN3A
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2022 11:42 am

Re: Bicycles On The Air

Post by KN3A »

Hey Rick,

Those are some great tips. I took my crappie pole when I was first looking to see if biking and POTA would really work, and I was able to wedge my fishing pole and it sort of fit snug in the caliper of my front hand brake and the bike was the "tripod". I did another bike activation tonight. I will post some pictures tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing some of your bike pictures!

73 Scott
KN3A
KN3A
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2022 11:42 am

Re: Bicycles On The Air

Post by KN3A »

k0klb wrote: Tue Jun 28, 2022 12:50 am Hey Scott.. that looks like a great set up.. I like how you attached your antenna to the frame.. and Look at that QSO map, WOW.. I'd say you have successfully made your BOTA rig work very well.. Congratulations and thanks for sharing.. 73, Kevin ~ k0klb
Thank you! I'm still improving on it and did another activation with the bike this evening. I will post some pics and a report on Tuesday.

73 Scott
KN3A
wg4z
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2022 1:00 am

Re: Bicycles On The Air

Post by wg4z »

I enjoyed the hike along the river to the point. Thanks for sharing.

Max - WG4Z
KN3A
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2022 11:42 am

Re: Bicycles On The Air

Post by KN3A »

I just upgraded my POTA bike and I've joined the world of eBikes. I've had the bike for just over a week and have over 100 miles on it. Took the bike to activate POTA on Sunday and it worked out great. This is a "starter" bike, to see if I really like eBikes, and decided if I do, then I'll eventually upgrade it. So far I'm really liking my new eBike a lot and it's been good for my knees and back. This activation is along the Susquehanna River at K-4567 (Capt. John Smith Trail in PA).

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N8TGQ
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2022 5:06 am

Re: Bicycles On The Air

Post by N8TGQ »

I finally figured out the picture resizing!
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Rick N8TGQ
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