Antenna box

First step in getting the shack back on the air has arrived.

Ordered an antenna entry box for the house from KF7P Metalworks that arrived the other day.

Antenna entry box
Antenna entry box
Antenna entry box
Antenna entry box

It’s a pretty spiffy box with a locking hatch and enough space and grommet holes for future antenna expansion. Feels pretty solid, and the lid already has weather stripping installed to keep the elements out.

Next step will be to mount it to the house and run some coax into the box.

Charleston Hamfest 2017 haul

Managed to get to the hamfest for a little bit today, but because of a pinched sciatic nerve, I was only able to stay for less than an hour before giving in to the pain.

Early morning hamfest crowd
Early morning hamfest crowd
Early morning hamfest crowd
Early morning hamfest crowd

There was a decent crowd when I got there around 8ish. A few empty tables, but the ones that were there had lots to offer. Didn’t get to make it out back to see if there were any tailgaters though.

I did manage to find a couple of books to add to the library. If I was able to stay longer, I probably would have left with a lot more stuff.

One person at the hamfest had a bunch of books he was selling including this ARRL Antenna Modeling Course book.

ARRL Antenna Modeling Course
ARRL Antenna Modeling Course

He also had an old copy of Single Sideband for the Radio Amateur that I picked up.

Single Sideband for the Radio Amateur
Single Sideband for the Radio Amateur

The SSB book was one I heard mentioned on an episode of the Soldersmoke podcast. It seemed like a good one to look for to add to the bookshelf. Nice coincidence to find one at the hamfest.

Disappointed that I couldn’t stay longer, but glad I made it even if it was just for a little bit.

Charleston Hamfest 2017

The 2017 edition of the Charleston Hamfest is coming up in a little over 3 weeks!

The hamfest is happening February 4 this year. Same location as the past couple of years, Armory Park Community Center, 5000 Lackawanna Blvd., N. Charleston, SC. Doors open at 8AM and I’ll be there all day helping out with announcements throughout the hamfest and the VE testing in the afternoon.

Looking forward to this one. I’ve been saving up my spending money and hope to pick up a few items this year for the shack and the workbench.

I’m in QST again!

I made it into another issue of QST! In the Dec 2016 issue among the 2016 Field Day results there’s a picture of me taken by Tom/AJ4UQ of me operating at the WA4USN digital station.

WA4USN 2016 Field Day
Me operating as WA4USN for 2016 Field Day

It’s small and pretty indistinct, but yep, that’s me.

Field Day 2016

Had another good time with Field Day with CARS on the Yorktown this past weekend.

Only had a little bit of rain for Field Day this year, but fortunately nothing severe enough to stop us from operating. New tarps this year worked great for keeping the stations and operators dry. About the only real snafu we had was one of the generators wasn’t working. Fortunately the other generator was able to power both rigs and computers without any complaints.

We had two stations set up, one for phone and one for digital/CW operations. This year I operated on the digital/CW station, doing PSK31 and RTTY on 15 and 20m. Doing digital contesting is a lot less tiring than phone contesting. Hearing that constant noise on phone can really wear you out.

Bands seemed to be a bit up and down while I was operating. There were many times where I’d see the middle of a QSO on PSK or RTTY, wait until it was finished for my chance, but then the signals would disappear. Made for some slow going at times. Sunday seemed a lot better. Not a whole lot of RTTY activity, but there was a lot of PSK going on. Had a nice little run going for the last 30 minutes of Field Day until we called it quits at 2PM.

I was even able to make a contact from home, with just the dipole on my PVC mast propped up against the ladder. Hardly an optimal setup with 3/4 of the ladder line laying on the ground, center up about 4m or so and the ends of the antenna staked into the ground. Didn’t really expect to be able to get out well at all, or for the radio to even tune the antenna, but it did and a station in NH heard me well enough to make the QSO.

Field Day photos.