Portable Operations #4 – Pre Field Weekend Preparation

OK! Since the last field weekend I’ve managed to achieve the square root of nothing with regards to overcoming the few encountered hiccups and with the Bank Holiday Weekend and next Field Weekend fast approaching, the weather starting to score a cool 100% on the naff weather-o-meter; it was time to do something about it all.

The biggest problem was to be waterproof. As fun as it would be to get a “you can’t bend it 2 man tent” to use as my base of operations, it would be considered far more sociable to join the party in the club marquee so I invested a whole £4-50 in 10 meters of RG58U and set about building myself a feeder extension cable. With that easily squared away the next issue was to make that all so vulnerable metal of the plug to plug mating weatherproof.

Now this little trick, I can claim no credit for whatsoever. That goes to Mike Parkin G0JMI of Alton Antenna Arrays. Costing a whole £2-40 from Screwfix and providing enough hardware to waterproof countless future cables, you’ve got to admire the simplicity of this.

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By creating a rubber bung using self-amalgamating tape above one PL259 plug a 25mm plastic conduit coupler is secured to the antenna feeder. A section of 25mm conduit is then cut and slid over the feeder extension. Plug your two PL259’s together using a back to back connector and slide the conduit into the coupler et voila, one weatherproof union! Just to stop any build up of water that drips down the antenna cable from working its way into the rubber bung I sealed the top end with a coating of epoxy resin. You’ve got to agree, simple is always best!

 

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