Sunday, September 8, 2013

SKCC Weekend Sprintathon From Our Deck

BBQ Back Deck Portable
With the retrieval of my portable antenna and other equipment, I was bound and determined to hear a bit of CW this weekend. Saturday, I assembled my portable station on the rear deck of our house. I was also playing grill master as I had promised my wife burgers on the grill. I assembled my Buddipole antenna and then pulled my Icom and Yaesu out of mothballs. I opted to use the Yaesu so I could have a bit more power. I tuned 20 meters and heard a few CW signals along with a few familiar callsigns working the SKCC Weekend Sprintathon. My addiction for getting on the air with my key is stronger than my addiction for dark chocolate. And, I LOVE chocolate. Hearing the CQ's, I could not resist and I threw my callsign out. It was not long before I managed four QSO's with the longest distance being with Bert, F6HKA. I've worked Bert many a time from my QTH in Alaska, so it was a pleasure to work Bert from my new QTH.

Dialing In
One of the things I wanted to do was to pin point my latitude and longitude. I also wanted to double check my grid square. I fired up my Garmin GPS III and once it settled out, I had the information I was looking for. I went from being the most active station in my grid square in Alaska to a very active grid square here in MA. 

After working my four stations, I shut down for the evening. As we are still unpacking and getting organized, my ham radio adventures will be spotty at best for a bit. I don't expect to have any type of good antenna up anytime soon. I left the Buddipole assembled in the backyard for Sunday. When I finally got the chance to set up my back deck portable station on Sunday, I found very little favorable propagation. I heard a few weak stations and that was it. No future contacts logged but there will be another day. At least I was able to hear the sweet sound of CW once again and log a few QSO's. 

As you can see, I changed the name of my blog. I will continue to write about my operation, which will continue to be more portable and low profile for awhile. I would love to get my Hex Beam in the air before the snow arrives but we shall see. I would also like to get my vertical back in operation. We are starting to see the leaves beginning to change here, so I'm looking forward to fall. It will be nice having a fall that's longer than a few weeks. This winter will be very different for us. I miss many things about Alaska but the aurora overheard will be one I miss greatly this winter.