Thursday, April 6, 2017

From Sanibel Island Beach de KAØEGE/4

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.

Not a bad view...

Maybe a bigger and darker umbrella nest time ?

All done.... until next time !!

Sunset from the location.... beautiful

Our shell collection from the trip
QSL Card for Sanibel


  1. Sounds like you and Loren had a great time on your vacation/DXpadition. Like you said, something only a few get to enjoy. Glad you got to experience it.

  2. Great job Jeff. Glad you and Loren got to have the experience of a lifetime. Really enjoyed your post and pictures. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Joe W0MQY


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