Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Radio Vacation

Hello my faithful fans and friends. LOL. I just thought I would get on here and let everyone know how the vacation has been going. For those that do not know, we are in Panama City for the week and then we are heading to New Orleans for a couple of days before heading back home. We've been here at the beach for a couple days now and have had a really enjoyable and relaxing time so far. The beach hasn't been to good due to rough surf, jelly fish, seaweed, and garbage but other than that we can't complain.
As for the radio, we've been doing some radio during the trip. On the way down we talked with KJ4CGG until he made it back to Chattanooga to conclude his week. After that we carried on a QSO with a HAM from Cleveland, N4AOW, on simplex all the way down to Altoona, GA. He was rather impressed with Dad's (KU4ME) setup we were operating on (A Yaesu FT-90 on a 1/4 wave trunk mount). We didn't talk much after that as I was behind the wheel the rest of the trip down. We did pick up a repeater in Dothan, Alabama and a repeater in Chipley, Florida. Today, on our way to get lunch, I made contact with a HAM, KD5RBR, here in Panama City on their club repeater, 146.210. I was under the impression there wasn't much activity in the area, however, I've mainly listened on the HT and I don't think I was picking up anything. Anyway, the week is still young and they have an echolink repeater I may give a try at some point and see if I can make contact with home. I'll let you know how that goes soon.
Until then, be safe, have fun, and most of all, behave. LOL

73 de AJ4JD.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New Call

I thought I would just leave a quick note for those who may not know. I upgraded to Extra over the weekend at the Knoxville Hamfest. I also received a new call along with the upgrade. The new call is AJ4JD. I'm open to any neat phonetics for the call. So please leave comments on it. I'd be interested to see what everyone can come up with.

Well I guess I'm back to my QSO and getting all my links updated for the new blog address. By the way the new address, well you should know it if you are reading this. If not, it is http://aj4jd.blogspot.com

Well 73 de AJ4JD.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Our Early Field Day

I know, I promised to post sooner than this but I have a very good excuse for waiting this long. I have been studying/cramming all week for my Extra exam. The great news is that all the cramming paid off. I went to the Knoxville Hamfest yesterday with the HAM family and took my Extra exam and passes. That's right I'm now an Extra Class. No more testing for me. Woo Hoo.

Anyway, to the good stuff. As you may or may not know, we decided to do field day early due to the fact we were going to be on vacation during field day. Our Aunt Betty has a huge hayfield up on a ridge behind her house. She lets us use the field to do our astronomy stuff and now our radio stuff too. At the very top of the field the elevation is right around 1400ft. There's nothing up there but hay and trees. There's no electrical or cable lines or anything like that to get in the way.

The view from atop the hayfield

So, on June 14th we got all of our gear packed in the jeep and on our way we went. I was quite surprised that we made it out of here on time, we were actually a few minutes early on our departure (I think that's a record or something). We were up in the field in no time and setting up.

The Field Shack

KJ4DLD in a tangled mess

Field Day Power

KU4ME takes aim.

KJ4EGJ ready for the Antenna to go skyward

We finally got everything setup thanks to the hard work of all of us. If it hadn't been for Robin staying up in the field when I went down to get the rest of the gang, we might have taken longer in getting set up. By the time we got back up there she had the shack set up and the alot of other things. The only thing we had left was to get the antenna up run the power to the generator, get everything squared away, and tune up the radio.

The Ugly Choke

The Antenna at the Feedpoint

KU4ME and KJ4DLD Tune up the radio and Antenna

Tune Up Complete

With the tuning having been completed, it was time to get on the radio and start making contacts. It appeared that the only success we were going to have was on 20 meters. We were actually quite surprised as to how long 20 meters held up. We checked around the other bands that we could tune to but nothing else was really happening so 20 meters it was. We had a blast, we contacted stations in Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, Texas, Hawaii, right here in Tennessee, and Robin even made contact with a station in Australia. One of the stations in Hawaii was the USS Missouri Amateur Radio club station on board the USS Missouri. That was a real neat contact. Anyway we talked well up to 12:30 to 1:00 in the morning before the band finally died out. Mom and Ashby made some contacts on 2 meters with their handy talkies and dad sat around helping us operate the HF rig. All in all we had a wonderful and most enjoyable time. We didn't get home until well after 3:00 in the morning and were beat.

Now for the rest of the pictures.

KJ4EGJ on the HT

KF4SSI Sittin' Pretty

AJ4IJ and KU4ME operational

AJ4IJ Working 20 Meters

Clover aka b3ene

Well that was our field day.

73 de KJ4DLD

Friday, June 6, 2008

Early Field Day Update

Well everyone, sorry I haven't updated in a few days. However, I promise to have something good this weekend. Right now we are just having our normal night owl QSO on the 145.470 repeater. It's about a nightly ritual now that lasts well until 2:30 am or more. If your ever in the area tune in a drop in.
Tomorrow we are going up to the field to have our early field day. We had to postpone last weekend due to weather and the fact that the field hadn't been cut. However, tomorrow we are going to take our home brewed ZS6BKV multi-band HF antenna. We will definitely be taking plenty of pictures so be sure to check back soon. We will be operating on Dad's (KU4ME) ICom 756 Pro HF Rig.
Well I don't have much more to say at the moment. I will let this rest for the moment and I will update after our adventures tomorrow.

73 de KJ4DLD