SKCC 5123T----- FISTS 14979----- Flying Pigs 2331----- NAQCC 3610-----QRP ARCI 14176-----Polar Bear 257

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October 25th Wiregrass ARC Headland Alabama Tailgate

I always look forward to the Headland Alabama Tailgates. They are sponsored by the Wiregrass ARC. They are on the last Saturday of April and October. The site is the town square of Headland which is a small town about twelve miles North of Dothan, AL The dates are a good choice as April and October are awesome weather months in this part of the USA.

There  are sometimes a portable operating setup at the tailgate. Tom WD0HBR and I have done that in the past with QRP.  This year I brought my portable 100 watt setup. It consists of my Icom 7100 transceiver and a 30 AH LifePO4 battery. I like to call it my Field Day/Special Event station. I also brought a 100 watt solar panel. Field Day is just about the only time it would be needed. During Field day the panel replenishes the battery as I use it in the day time.  Solar panels always spark some good conversation.

A new addition to my cadre of antennas is the Bravo 7K vertical dipole from N6BT. It is self supporting which is a good fit for operations in a park. I added some Styrofoam balls at the ends of the radials. The radials end up at eye level. Tom timed me at 15 minutes for set assembly of the antenna. Later I changed bands from 15 to 10 meters. That took 5 minutes.

 Of course, any gathering of hams includes some good conversation about equipment and operating. I am beginning to get to know the regulars at the tailgate including James, Don, Robert, Glen, Stan and others. I did have a pleasant surprise as schoolmate of mine from Dothan High School recognized me and said hello. He is Danny Corley WB4PBT. He is living in Dothan and owns the Mattress USA store. Hey high school was only forty something years ago.

I did get in a few QSOs the CQ WW DX contest was under-way. On 15 meters SSB I worked  contest stations NW2K and P40L. I answered a CQ from WA0DQR John in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was not interested in the contest. So we had a good rag chew.  John loves the vintage gear. On 10 meters SSB I worked SP8R and OK7K.

I also brought an antique radio I inherited. It is a Philco Model 50 cathedral style AM radio. It was the first time for Tom WD0HDR to see it. Tom gave me a guided tour of its features and some ideas about bringing it back to life. It is a 1930s era radio.

Don K1DC had a look at the Philco Model 50.