Bike Mobile to New Zealand
Click to hear a small mp3 audio recording of my ZL1AIX contact.

On the 10th of June, 2005, I set out on my bicycle to test a new setup. It was 7:30 local time (0130Z). The bands had been poor lately so I decided to break my unwritten rule of running only 5 watts if at all possible. I mounted my Icom 706, running 20 watts, and a 17Ah battery on the rear bike rack just in front of the 13-foot shortened vertical halfwave antenna.Because I could not write in a paper logbook, I tucked a small, six-hour digital voice recorder under the helmet straps.

I made six contacts on 20 meters and was satisfied the setup worked. Then Bruce, KD8APB, answered my call. Within minutes John, N6JW, broke in to say I was 5x9 in California. A minute later Bob, K0TPK, heard us in Washington.  He was soon followed by KG6QGY, W6ET, N6GEM and VE7BKP in British Colombia. Now, not everyone in this impromptu round table heard everyone else, but  we managed to keep the group going for over 40 minutes!

It suddenly occurred to me that I had told my wife almost two hours ago, " I'll be right back. Just need to test this out and maybe make a contact or two."  I  relayed this revelation to the group and said goodbye to all as I turned around and headed home. As I pedaled the last few miles from home I heard Fernando, XE2FL call me. He said he had been 'reading the mail' and was curious about my antenna. Somewhere about four minutes in the conversation Fernando said someone else was trying to call me. It was Warren, ZL1AIX. I stopped to make sure the voice recorder was still running. He apologized for "interrupting", but wanted to tell me my bicycle mobile was, "five and three in New Zealand"! Eventually I said 73 to both and coasted the last block to home.


Click the link at the top to hear ZL1AIX as heard from my bicycle setup.


This photo was taken the next morning at a local hamfest. Note the bag in the rack. It houses the 706 body and a 17Ah, sealed-lead-acid battery.

On top of the bag rests a high-power, L/C tuner I had made for this setup. It is a variable cap in parallel with a home brew coil and is pictured below.