Randy, AG8A, and I activated W8T for the National Trails Day at just
after 1600Z. today (June 7). We operated next to the Fred Meijer White
Pine Trail in downtown Rockford, Michigan, near Peppler Park and the dam
site on the Rogue River. There was lots of foot and bicycle traffic,
and we answered quite a few questions about Ham Radio, CW, and voice
communications via radio.
We were running about 5 watts to a random wire antenna, up about 15'. A
"weight eating tree" ate my golf ball weights, so we threw a string over
a convenient branch about 20' from the operating position, and use it to
hoist the antenna. The match was excellent on 40 metres, but we
couldn't get a match on 20. A similar antenna had done well for QRPTTF,
so we were optimistic. Our optimism waned because we didn't raise
anyone after over an hour of CQ's. Don't know if it was conditions,
antenna configuration, or operator error. We heard only a few fairly
strong stations in the lower parts of the band, and somewhat of a "pile
up" on WW2LST, a museum ship so it appeared that the receiver was
working. Even on the strongest stations slow QSB was evident. We
tuned to 7250, where we said we'd be operating voice, but there were no
strong stations, and only a few weak stations, so we didn't try SSB.
The day wasn't a total bust, because 2 meter FM was useful. We
contacted several stations on the wide area linked repeaters in Michigan
using that mode.
I'm glad to hear that conditions were better for others.
72/73 de n8xx Hg
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