Sunday, October 8, 2017

Field Day 2017

Naturally, FD propagation conditions were not very good, but that didn't stop an intrepid dozen from setting up and giving it ago under the KL2R banner. (KL7CDA was the GOTA station.) We picked a new venue at the Pleasant Valley Community Center, which is just about 7 miles east of the club station. Many thanks to John AL7ID for arranging to have the building during the weekend. Although a tri-bander was erected, only 20m proved workable. Dale KL7R rocked satellites handing out AK for a lucky few. The 6m setup really didn't prove helpful, but it wasn't for lack of trying.  Many locals are on 6m FM now.

KL7R supervises tri-bander assembly.

WL7CW tweaks and cinches.

Oh, the joy!

KL7CDA GOTA: KL4HT, two visitors from MD (ham calls missing) , KL7B, and KL1JP.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Busy Bobcat

The tower is approximately 100 feet from the shack, and for years the cabling was only half-buried and subject to breakage. We also host the local wireless ISP equipment on the tower.  A snowplow snagged the internet cable and a coax in January. Laying new cable in thigh-deep snow at 30 below is not a great thing to be doing. A plan was thus hatched with the ISP owner to properly trench between the tower and shack just after Field Day. He has some dandy toys, not the least of which is a Bobcat skidsteer with proper attachments.  It was a 14-hour day, but conduit and spare underground cables were the result.

Time Flies Like a Banana Peel

Seriously, the time has slipped past way too easily since the last blog post in March. Here we are in early October, and one might think there has been almost no radio action since then.  Well,, nearly, but not quite.  Here's part one of the re-cap:

Visalia DX Convention

This was a riot, although a smaller gathering than in 2016, which was some kind of record. Without checking official numbers, I heard roughly 750 people attended this year. Last year it was closer to 900-1000. In spite of having a bout of flu, I attended more technical and contesting-oriented sessions. IMHO the DXpedition sessions become incredibly redundant: "It was hard. We made lots of contacts. Send money."  But I digress. See what you missed: IDXC 2017 Program. The dinner was well-attended, and many laughs were had, both intentional and unintentional. Our table mates were from Canada (VE3CFK and XYL), Colorado (N7VZ and W7UM), and Colombia (HK3W). Fun!