AT. The Weakest Link!
- THe weakest link!
> Wow! The most successful attempt yet!...That's me! GD hill-8 in middle PA. Murphy followed us up the hill, and then even climbed the tower with us.
> So every link was proven, but no single packet
> traversed the entire path, in fact, until just
> before the end, nothing North of 8 was heard
> by anything South of 8 and vice-versa.
1) I missread EST/EDT on GPS and was an hour late in predicting arrival.
2) Car full of everything on the list, but I forgot the back pack to carry it up the mountain (.6 mile) and the final vertical ladder climb (70'). Rorie showed up to save the day with a spare pack.
3) Immediately on hooking up, noticed steady carrier on 144.34 that took 100% squelch to quiet and allow my Xmissions.
4) 1st heard was SPRINGER-1 from Georgia! Checked path (1st hop) and noted it was via MDMTNS. IMpossible. Incorrectly assumed there was a rogue TNC with the wrong call. Later realiszed that we are not using UITRACE so will not see anything but LAST DIGI. (my first time using the PATH display in the D710 on a network wihtout UITRACE (where I am used to seeing 1st and last digi to show))
5) Operated for 2 hours hearing everything to south, and nothing to north. Blamed it (falsely) on CAMELBACK.
6) Both adjacent nodes MDMTNS and CAMLBK were unmanned so NO ONE to talk to to confirm they could hear me, nor what they were hearing. SO no feedback if I was working or not.
5) Celled 2nd hop north (manned) and he said Cammelback was OK. SO I went looking for the problem.
6) Swapped APRS to band B instead of Band A, and BINGO, packets from North via CAMLBACK started arriving. Turns out my D710 band A is DEAF (will measure tomorrow).
7) Sent my son to check out 5PTS possible future site only 20 mi away. He was only hearing CAMELBACK. Not even me... DUH... at 1450 then is when I realized GDHILL-8 WAS NOT DIGIPEATING!
8) FIxed it (UIFLOOD HOP was off). But then got message from COMERS that they were securing at 1500 only 10 minutes later. I replied with message saying please stay 30 more minutes.
9) THen I missinterpreted their response. THey said "Now or never" which I think I wrongly interpreted that they needed to get down off the mountain now-or-never (maybe a big storm coming)... SO I sent out OK, THANKS meaning they could secure.
10) THen sent out a bulletin that everyone could secure since without COMERS, we would lose everything to south. Later realized they may have meant the opposite. THat they would stay "now-or-never" to make sure it worked. But too late, my messages were out.
11) Above, in swapping Band A and B, now UHF comms to my alt-site (5PTS) were now impossible. SO lots of frustration until we ended up with an HT outside the cage on the ledge to hear 5PTS on UHF, and then transmitting with the 50W side A so 5PTS could hear us. A kludge and hard to hear with also mom's and kids clambering all over the tower too. Wasted a lot of time.
12) But at 1530, still seeing all to south, so realized I missinterpreted COMERS. I Sent out BLN asking END stations to pse send a BLTN so we could try for the golden packet. But it was probably too late.
13) Saw CLINGMANS? (maybe) planning to sercure at 1545 due to coming storm. I sent out "ALL. Secure at 1545" and started packing up.
Looking forward to digiing into the logs to figure it all out. But it was great to see ACTIVITY on all 15 mountain tops! Can't wait till NEXT YEAR!
Great going guys! I will write a QST article. Send me your best shot of your station (preferably with you in it).