G5EPC portable amateur radio station QRZ

G5EPC portable amateur radio station QRZ

Hi there, many thanks for the QSO and finding my online page. G5EPC portable amateur radio.

Thanks for the radio contact - amateur station G5EPC, UK Full licence call sign. New, full licensee call signs normally start M0 in the UK but you can apply for G5 call signs as well as they are re-allocated by our regulatory body OFCOM. I opted for this so I could have the call sign of interest to me.

I mainly operate portable sitting outside my stationary vehicle, exclusively on the HF bands and in SSB phone mode (I enjoy voice radio) in the countryside in the south of England, occasionally I visit the sea side. Congratulations that your signal beamed from the low horizon and hit my antenna (and vice versa). I am a fairly new ham operator and progressed from Foundation in September 2020 to Fully licenced in about 7 months.

I am always happy and amazed when I make contact with a station especially when those contacts are intercontinental so thanks for making the time for your station to be “ON AIR” and in the right place at the right time for our QSO.

I usually operate with with 100 Watts RF power from my ICOM 7300 (or a Yaesu FT-891) both with standard mics and a just a little compression. I use short runs of very low loss coax. 10m or 20m (Moonraker F-Zero and Messi) depending on the needs of the QTH and with a 8 coaxial turn ferrite choke for a couple of the antennas. The antenna is attached to a long fibre glass flag pole. Power supplied by dedicated 12V leisure batteries charged at home at the end of the DX day out. I use DIY 6.5 inch external speakers tailored for best RX tone.

I do not use tools to spot stations online, (I do not even use the scope on the 7300) I spin the VFO and use my ears, I prefer to put my listening skill to use and seek the DX stations this way (or of course call "CQ DX") In my humble opinion this is how you become a better radio operator. 100 Watts is the ham radio portable sweet spot, same power as most 100W amateur transcievers. Yet this still requires a good antenna set up and maintains a challenge. I am not really into busting pile ups (though I do have my moments) - I call a few times and move on if no reply and maybe pop back later. I like to find the stations myself just by tuning about and listening.

I have no interest in traditional contesting and generally avoid the bands when they are in progress. For myself the challenges are to be a better radio listener through the noise and QRM and have "band agility" to seek the DX. Being outdoors is a big part of my radio operation and I like to be close to nature and see the horizon and sky, getting some fresh air and light. Wind is the enemy of the big portable antenna this is my least favourite WX for my portable station. As a general rule I don't band hop, on one hand this is a shame (mono band antennas take time to up/down) but on the other it brings focus to "push it" on the one band you work.

99pct of the time I put the effort in and put up large vertical antennas (despite having some mobile whips) I am using the following antennas and in vertical polarization :

My current favoured choices of antenna are mono band verticals for simplicity and efficiency (on 10m/20m and 40m - Coil loaded and thus less efficient for 80m/160m - but still much greater performance compared to mobile whips) and I appreciate the reasonably predictable radiation patterns. I prefer not to have to use the internal ATU on the 7300 and try to achieve a good match by getting the antenna dimensions and loading coil taps correct for the phone portion of the band.

I try to make the station work as well as possible, when portable your temporary time outdoors counts so I try and make the effort as I don't like to feel I could have made a contact only if I had tried a little harder.

As portable operation requires some effort I try and keep things fairly organized and simple but without too large compromises. I cannot compromise on sound though, I do need a good large external loudspeaker to listen to. When I am portable I still want big station RX sound. My antennas are simple yet seemingly effective.

Antennas :

10m - Sirio Gain Master 5/8 antenna mounted 7 meters (21 feet) above the ground.

15m - ½ wave end fed vertical with 48 thin wire radials/counterpoise (1.25m long) feed point usually 2-7m off the earth.

20m -  5/8th wave ground mounted vertical (13m long)- currently 32 x 90 degree radials (16 thick and 16 thin). ½ wave end fed vertical with 60 thin wire radials/counterpoise (2.5m long) feed point usually 2-5m off the earth. 

40m - ¼ wave - Ground Plane Antenna (10m driven element with 4 x 10m radials) - close to ground mounted or feed point 2m above earth. If I get into 40m more I will add more radials.

80m - ¼  GPA wave reduced (by DIY loading coil inspired by YC2YIZ) 11m driven element (4 x 11m ground planes usually close to ground mounted)

160m - ¼ wave reduced (by DIY loading coil inspired by YC2YIZ) 11m driven element (4 x 11m ground planes usually close to ground mounted)

I enjoy to work out what performs best for my own little station through usage, after researching and testing.

I occasionally use Ham Stick/Am Pro/ antennas  (coil loaded mobile whip 2.5 meters long) and I would probably have mentioned this if our contact was made using one of those. These are handy for wet and windy WX, sitting cosy and protected from the elements in the vehicle speaking with radio friends around the planet at a RF quiet location.

When it comes to antennas, we find out what a truly good DX antenna is in weak/marginal conditions. We know a small highly compromised antenna will work long haul DX when conditions are good.....wet bit of string anyone ? I don't think that is necessarily the mark of a good DX antenna. An antenna that is a real performer works the DX when the conditions are weak making that extra chance to get to and receive back from DX on the edge of possibility. I enjoy this most, especially with single pieces of wire. I try to get out and DX for 3-4 hours, at least once a week.

I often look at the horizon and the sky and wonder where my signal may end up on our planet, by luck it landed where you are so thanks for being there listening. Maybe you were on hop 1, hop 2, 3, 4…… I don’t ever want to stop being amazed by this hobby that we found, or did it find us ?

I hope the sky and sun allow us to communicate again soon, best wishes and 73 to you and your close ones and keep enjoying global friendship through the radio. G5EPC

Special thanks to PA5COR for the inspiration.

If you wish to get in contact with G5EPC for any reason you can do so here, there may be a short delay in my response but I will reply, the email is not checked daily.

Email contact : HFDX73@gmx.co.uk