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

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Perfect Day for RaDAR Field Ops

Suzy and I were truly blessed with a beautiful day on Saturday November 28 in Port Saint Joe Florida. The temps were in the seventies and there was an almost cloudless blue sky. I had the day to spend operating as Linda had to work at the CVS Pharmacy in town. I chose Jetty Park which in on the bay at the Marina in Port St Joe. I decided to be a RaDAR field station instead of a moving station this time. I also offered to meet up with hams on a schedule. I had several takers. There was plenty of competing activities this time of year.

I had researched the Jetty Park site via Google maps. I wanted to take advantage of the saltwater by setting up an vertical. It almost always works out that you adjust your plan when you get on the site. I found a parking place that worked out well for Suzy, the gear and the antennas. The spot near the saltwater was seventy-five feet away over a rocky bank. I used the Chameleon Micro Hybrid with the MIL whip mounted on an umbrella stand. It was right on the sea wall. That extra coax came in handy. My first schedule was on 30 meters so I wanted an antenna to cover the low bands. I chose the Chameleon Tactical Dipole Lite. I put twenty feet of camo poles to make a mast which employed the hitch mount on the back of the truck. The two sixty foot wires stretched out nicely from there without getting in anyone's way.

The Chameleon Hybrid Micro base and the MILwhip/extension on the seawall.

The Chameleon Tactical Dipole Lite
Here are a few operating highlights:

  • I did not find Kelly K4UPG near Orlando. I think we were too close for 30 meters at the time.
  • I had scheduled to work a friend Bobby AK4JA in Newnan Georgia on several bands. I worked him barely on 30 meters CW early. I missed him on 17 meters. Later in the day we worked each other on 40 meters CW and 60 meters SSB with good signals. 
  • I worked Mike KM4ELJ on 12 meters CW which was a surprise. He lives in Youngstown Florida. That is quite a distance for ground wave so not sure of the mode of propagation.
  • One motivation for the vertical by the saltwater was to enhance the chance to work Eddie ZS6BNE in South Africa on 12 meters. Eddie could not be reached but his friend John ZS5J was there and we had a solid contact on the vertical. John had a yagi on his end.
  • I had two contacts with John W8JER in Michigan. John and Micky will be coming South to Panama City in January.
I used the Icom 7100 100 watt rig.

The sports-brella came in handy for shade

Craft at the Marina
At the end of the day I had nineteen contacts. 1 on 60 meters, 3 on 40 meters, 4 on 30 meters, 6 on 17 meters, 4 on 12 meters and 1 on 10 meters. I was avoiding the CW DX contest. Suzy really settled in and was sunning among the rocks and greeting the visitors. She happened to find a rib bone at the picnic area. I think it was fresh from the group that just had lunch so I let her have it. It was the first real bone she ever had. She made quite a treat of it. Linda and I had supper at the Sunset Restaurant so she got something out of the trip besides work. I'll be lucky to get out to operate on such a nice day this season. It was a real treat for me.

Sunset over St Joseph Bay

Suzy again!