As we suspected, the weather is not cooperating with us for Saturday. It has been decided to postpone the museum/antenna trailer portion of the day so at this point we will only be meeting for breakfast at Hardee's 9am !!
As previously mentioned, the Saturday meeting will begin at Hardee's at 9am for breakfast and coffee! Come anytime, eat some great biscuits and gravy and drink some coffee! Then at 10am we will move out to the Crawford County Museum area. (MAP LINK BELOW)
Weather permitting, Jason Vanbecelaere the Crawford County Emergency Manager will be bringing the counties 100ft mobile tower trailer. Jason would like to try the set up at the Crawford county road and bridge building just south of the museum. There is a flatter spot. If it is raining then we will cancel for a later date. We would still be able to park and operate at the museum as the site for his setup is directly South. Just a walk across the grass. Hopefully the rain will NOT change things but I will send out a notice as soon as a decision is made.
I found this nice presentation..... Solar Power For Ham Radio !! Check it out and post your comments and/or tips you may have to offer !! It is a couple of years old so there may be some better battery technology on the market now! But still good information.
#1 I noticed that some of the new join requests had not been updated or I had the wrong email address so I THINK they are all caught up now. We welcome a couple of new members so check out the member list on the website and check to make sure if you want to be listed on the roster that you are but if you would like to be removed let us know!!
#2 Wednesday is coffee/net day.... at 9am every Wednesday we meet at Root Coffeehouse for coffee and chat. Then at 8pm is the FM net on the .94 repeater and at 8:30 is the Slow Speed CW or PSK on 40 meters ( check the website for modes/details )
#3 On April 29th we will be having the Crawford County Emergency Manager Jason Vanbecelaere bringing the "emergency tower on a trailer" rig for us to check out and hopefully deploy if the weather permits!! 9am breakfast at Hardees then 10am to the Crawford County Museum on the bypass... bring your portable rigs and get on the air!!
Loren and I recently vacationed on Sanibel Island in Florida! It's always nice to see Loren's Dad Frank, and wife Carol. Yep it's Frank of Xuron fame! If you have never been to Sanibel it's a barrier island in Southwest Florida off of Ft. Myers. Beautiful place to visit! Especially when you get to also spend time with family!
On Saturday March 25th I loaded up my new beach cart with radio gear and headed to the beach to make some contacts! The cart had my Yaesu FT-857, LDG Y-100 Tuner, Fishing Pole Antenna, Chair, two 12v batteries (one SLA and one lawn tractor battery), WolphiLink Digital interface, Samsung Tablet, a tub that doubled as two tables (one was the lid on top of the cart, other was the tub upside down). UTC clock, coax and cables, and small cooler with drinks and snacks!
Pulling through the sand went pretty well !
I setup away from the water as it was a Saturday on Sanibel, I did not want to get in the way of the folks collecting shells.... and there are a LOT of them on these beaches! I set the antenna up among the inkberry and sea oats growing on the beach.
Thin antenna blended right in with the tall grass
It was a perfect day... good breeze, mostly sunny and the temperature was in the mid 80's. The homebrew antenna and umbrella stand needed to be guyed a little... the antenna took one stake as the wind was strong but only from one direction. The umbrella held up great. I used the large bungies used to secure the load on the cart and hooked the umbrella to the cart for support! I did find that the cheap PVC I used MAY have been a little too flexible. Next time I set up on the beach I will go with the local beach umbrella solution. They have much more experience and the cost is reasonable! One of the many mental notes made during my first time playing radio on the beach!
I had originally planned to setup on a Thursday, but afternoon thunderstorms had other plans for me! On Friday we had plans to bike to the lighthouse area of the island. Oh and, ask Loren about the "low hanging driftwood!".
Being a Saturday and a contest weekend, of course the bands were loaded wall to wall with contesters. So I found a somewhat quiet frequency on 20 meters sideband, fired up the radio and with in two minutes made my first contact with Joe WØMQY back here in Pittsburg and was clear as a bell. I heard him calling me so we had a nice short qso and then Leon N3LRH came in with a great signal. Next from Kansas was Frank NØIGZ and finally Jack WDØCFH. It was great to reach them and the gear seemed to be doing the job!
I later switched to PSK and and worked Joe and Leon there as well! I did not make a lot of contacts but it was still fun. Below is the contact map. Yep even got Russia and Portugal !!
It was a lot of fun. I learned a few things about beach umbrella management. I also learned that I do need to downsize a BIT more... next time I will probably not bring the tuner, or maybe have it if needed but the FT-857 and my portable antenna are usually pretty good on 20 meters without the tuner.
No matter what, I was lucky to get the chance to setup there.... not many do.