Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wild Ride & Fired Up

I have a minimal APRS Digipeater to Fairbanks, Alaska that I hope to upgrade a bit this summer. My path has degraded some so my effort will be to put up a small beam or higher vertical to make the haul across the mountain range to the N1TX Digi at Two Rivers. KL1SF had a digipeater (KL1SF-3) north of Healy, and we removed his digi when he relocated permanently to Arizona.

Now that summer has arrived (or at least, I think it has) I try to monitor the local APRS traffic. It's not uncommon to see other hams visiting Denali running APRS. Yesterday I noticed a callsign pop up on my Kenwood TM-D700, that being KE1THR-4. In researching the callsign, I found some very interesting information about him. Keith, KE1THR is riding from Alaska to Texas. You can find a bit more information about his adventure at THIS website. I will make it a point to follow Keith along on his adventures via APRS. Best of luck to Keith on his wild ride and safe travels as he pedals his way to Texas!

Wildland Fire 05/21/2011
Fire season has begun and we saw our first close Wildland Fire easily visible from our QTH (location). It has been breezy and dry and let's hope that this is not an indicator of what the fire season is going to be like. I read the local paper out of Fairbanks yesterday and the front page seemed to be nothing other than fire here and fire there. Alaska burns every summer with some being much worse than others. I'm extremely thankful for our many firefighters!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Sweet Smell of Summer!

We have finally left winter behind as we have had no snow for the last week. The days are getting longer and the temperatures are getting warmer. The snow is melted away except for those areas on the north side of the house and garage. The Robin's have arrived and the lake is changing from ice to water. With the change of season comes the change in bands. The high bands are open longer as 10 & 6 meters begin to wake up. 

I have our travel trailer all prepared for our summer adventures and I'm looking forward to some portable operating. It won't be long before I put my Hexbeam up and I begin to enjoy 17 and 12 meters with a beam! I'm hoping to start that project by next weekend, hopefully!
My operating has been hit and miss with a few hours here and a few hours there. I worked over 100 stations this weekend in the VOLTA RTTY Contest when I had time. I would take a break from my outdoor activities, drop by the shack and work a few stations then return outdoors. The path to Europe was pretty darn good and I heard European stations day and night.

As the midnight sun returns and the days get longer, my operating time gets shorter. I have to enjoy the sun while I can. Summers are short enough and  having the window open to the shack while listening to the sweet sound of CW is just refreshing! It will be even more refreshing from some remote location operating portable. I'm looking forward to posting a few new YouTube video's and of course, more blogging of our summer fun which radio will always be a part of the plan.