Dodgy tracer battery... & ct3/mi-004

Apologies to anyone I missed on ct3/mi-004 yesterday. I had issues with my tracer 8ah battery that randomly kept
’turning off’ meaning that the amplifier would randomly turn off an the 817nd would default to 2.5w on the internal batteries. I put it down to temperature, or damp… I had a similar issue with it in the cold last year. Once I’d put it inside the backpack it seemed to work better, but towards the activation it started ‘throwing wobblers’ again. Apologies to anyone I missed, and thanks to everyone who called in and spotted.

After apparently destroying my android tablet :frowning: I’ll have to wait until I get back next week before I can put a report of the 2 activations on here… a 3.5" phone screen isn’t conducive to such things!



Hello Don,
Thanks for the summits so far. I thought it was QSB :wink:

Don, I remember you mentioning this when you were on WB-004. There are 2 similarities with this activation on Pico do Areiero and Titerstone Clee Hill. One is both hills are numbered 004 and the other is they both have very high power ATC radar transmitters on them. I don’t think the 004 number is significant! But the high power radar may well be.

The design is for the radar energy to go up in the air and not be pointing at the ground. But with the ERP being GW, there’s probably enough scattered RF energy about that it is upsetting the control electronics in the battery pack. You could try some ferrite chokes on the power cables close to the battery pack and then try another activation on WB-004.

Interesting observation!

In the 1970s we used to play VHF NFD from the neighbouring WB-002. The radar buzz was noticeable on 23cm when beaming that way. I know that it has all been replaced since then, but I’m guessing that it still works somewhere between 1 and 2 GHz.

That’s a long winded way of getting to my point which is that as well as chokes (ferrite or otherwise) it might be worth screening the battery with foil, or a metal box. The internal bits are probably a significant part of a wavelength at F radar, and will pick it up directly.


…alternatively Mikey YYY sells SLABs that have no electronics to go wrong and are cheap as chips.

Hi Don

I agree with Andy…

I’m 99% certain that RF from the powerful comms gear on Pico do Areiro is getting into your transceiver. This happened to me twice - last year in Germany and last month on Broomy Law in Scotland when I operated next to the masts and equipment cabinets on the summit. I’m pretty sure when you do your next activation you won’t have a problem. In both cases I was using an FT-857, similar to your radio in its build.

Tablets let alone mobile phones are not conducive to putting reports on this reflector, so you do well if you can do that. Sorry to hear your tablet is kaput though now…

Enjoy Madeira!

73 Phil

Ah yes! Andy may have it… 004 it must be!

TBH I didn’t think about the radar (I couldn’t even see it most of the time from the bottom of the steps, some 20 - 25 m away!)
I had no problem on çt3/mi-006 the previous day, although that was mostly dry and nearly 15c warmer

I’ll see if I can get up wb-004 next week and investigate further! Complete with tin foil hat ^H^H^H battery shield :slight_smile:

Bad enough getting the tracer battery through BHX, I would imagine a slab would still be in a tray with security there!

And, I may have ‘fixed’ the tablet , obviously left it powered on with locus running, and it needed the samsung ‘open it up with sharp implements, and temorarily disconnect the battery fix’ fix to bring it back to life

My phone and tablet are the same, only soft power buttons. A hard reset requires the case off and battery disconnect. Touch wood, they have not yet locked themselves so I’ve had to do that. The cheap Win8.1 tablet has a reset switch behind a pin hole, insert a bent paper clip to press it. Funny that only the Windows powered thing has a reset button ?

As it looks more and more like too much RF in the wrong place you shouldn’t have a big bill for new toys when you get back, so it must be time to really enjoy Maderia. Mine’s a Scabbard Fish with banana and a large Corel please!