Iceland day 8 : Back to home

29 July 2017 Comments (0) Adventure, Iceland, SOTA

Iceland expedition review by F4HVD

More as a lesson learnt for me I will make a small review of my side of the Iceland 2017 expedition. I will try to present the material I used and how it was performing.

First let’s start by the accommodation

To reduce the price of our expedition and to have more flexibility we decided to do camping. Iceland has a lot of campsites. To find them we were using the website Tjalda.is. Campsites were very affordable (around 12-15€)

  • Camping equipment:
    • Tent was a Vango Banshee 200: I was really pleased with the wind resistance and the stability of this tent. As we had strong wind on the high lands it was an important point. This tent is too small for two persons (we did it but it could have been more comfortable to have a Banshee 300 instead)
    • Sleeping bags: It’s a very compact and lightweight sleeping bag. But 10°C comfort zone was a bit low. Would have been better to get a 0°C comfort zone.
    • Nevertheless I missed some equipments to be comfortable
      • Mattress to isolate from the cold and rocky ground
      • Pillow just to be very comfortable!!
      • A bigger luggage. I liked the huge sport bag from Robert!

We slept 4 nights in camping. And 4 nights in hotel room (around 500€ in total). With a better camping equipment we could have spent more nights camping.

Second part of this review is the equipment used for the SOTA activations

  • Radio equipment
    • Transceiver FT-991 from Yaesu: I liked the 100W capabilities of the radio. The radio performed well but it’s too heavy to carry on top of a summit. I will probably change for a new radio for my future SOTA activations. Also the 991 consume a lot of power but the 8.4Ah battery was designed for this so it was not a problem.
    • Antenna Buddipole Deluxe with extra arms and TRSB: I used it only in vertical 20m configuration with 6 ground wires. It was performing very good and I had nice reports (55 to 59 in Europe) from the summits. Wind resistance was ok with guying wires. The bag delivered with the antenna is not good for transport. For next time we will try to put it in a backpack. Also it’s heavy I have to remove the unused elements. Also an antenna analyser is needed to tune it. So maybe I will also get a pre tuned dipole antenna.
    • Battery 2 times LiFePo4 Zippy Flightmax 4.2Ah (13.2V) in parallel for a total of 8.4 Ah. Perfect nothing to add. Lightweight, containing a lot of power and safer than a Lipo. Improvement will be a box to contain the two batteries. It will probably help to go through the security checks in the Airport (even if it’s lifepo4 and I had an email from the air company to confirm I was allowed to transport it)
    • In the end, logging via VK-port-a-log was successful but need a tablet with bigger buttons for the keyboard. The phone was not sufficient. Also most important, get used to the logging software before the expedition…

Don’t hesitate to comment or give me your advices.

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