Polar Bear Summer Picnic Event Jun 2010
June 19th, 2010 by kmack

My favorite QRP group is the Polar Bear QRP gang! We have a good time and enjoy outdoors activities and trying to connect with one another at least once a month with some kind of activity. To escape some of the heat, I got an early start on the day. I wanted to try out a new mini-bac antenna configuration and knew it would take some time to get it up into the trees. BOY WAS THAT AN UNDERSTATEMENT! It was 110 ft doublet with a 40 ft feedline that was setup as a ladder line. Not an easy one to get up single-handed. Thanks to some tall trees, was able to get it up about 40-45 feet in the pine trees. It loaded great on 40m, but was disappointing on 20m so I ended up setting up my W3EDP in an L from my 20 ft Jackite pole to a nearby cedar tree at about 35 feet.  The sun chased me into the treeline where I settled in to chase bears.

Abandoned mini-back doublet feedline hangs in foreground

My xyl Connie took a picture that shows the mini-back feedline hanging in the breeze after I shifted positions and setup the W3EDP in the shade. Grrrrr!

Osprey perched right above my head...cell phone picture

Was able to work a couple of the Polar Bears, Mike W3MC in MD and Guy N7UN up in the mountains on a trail(?) in NJ. I heard VA2SG but he was at ESP level briefly then faded away. I did hear a few others working him though. WA8REI was working Guy but I could not hear him at all and ended up tail ending their QSO to connect with N7UN.

Got to work a few others through the QSB and poor signal strength on 20m including Pastor Les, K4NK in SC, KE5SBZ, Ed in TX, N1FJ in MA, and Phil W3HZZ in Atlanta so it was a nice way to spend a few hours outdoors in the heat.

Connie brought me a picnic lunch and we enjoyed the osprey and bald eagle show as they fished Lake Fredrica.

Had to drink extra coffee to copy speedy W3MC's signal

This is the life... outdoors and ham radio...making QSO's...PTL!

5 Responses  
  • John AE5X writes:
    June 20th, 20106:02 pmat

    Kelly, Good to work you despite the poor conditions at the time.

  • kmack writes:
    June 20th, 20108:00 pmat

    Yes, sorry it was so brief. Jim said your sig was gud on 20m but 30m was sure a bust most of the day.

    Enjoy your blog… keep up the great work. I get lots of good ideas from you!

    Kelly K4UPG

  • Alex writes:
    June 20th, 20109:31 pmat

    I am so Happy that you are enjoying the PB events. Its great fun to be outside and “Hammin’”it up with a bunch of good ole Bears !!! I got to my “normal” melted down ice shelf around 10am. I lasted less than an hour, the bands were Terrible, and the 100 degree heat with 80% humidity was a killer. You know its hot when you’re just sitting still with a radio under a tree and sweat is dripping off the ole nose and running in the eyes etc. AND today I have a few Chiggers where they shouldn’t be!!
    July and August will be worse!!!It’ll be a Home den operation those 2 months.
    Keep having fun, the PB’s are a great bunch.
    73 Alex K5UNY PB 105

  • kmack writes:
    June 21st, 20108:55 amat

    Sorry ’bout the chiggers… I try to remember to spray my shoes, socks and legs to slow them down a bit. Oey!

    You would have been amazed at how high I got the 110 ft mini bac doublet. The feedline was 40 ft and had to sag the doublet a bit to reach the tuner. I love those tall pines. When it did not load well on 20m I lost interest though. Not sure what the issue was, but didn’t want to stand around in the heat to figure it out. Went to plan B and the W3EDP which normally gets the job done.

    Good to connect with you again Alex! We need to do an eyeball QSO one of these days.

    Kelly K4UPG

  • Alex writes:
    June 21st, 20109:43 amat

    That is very strange about your antenna not wanting to load on 20M.Did you use ARM power getting that wire up so high???? If it were me and I wanted an “all band” doublet” I’d go with the 88ft’er as you get gain on 20M (theoretically)and a nice broadside pattern on other bands.
    If I don’t use an EFHW with my Home made Switched INductor tuner, I go with the IDITAROD dipole.I made 2 of them, one for 40,30,20 and one for 10,15,17,20!!and use my 31ft jackite pole for a center support, NO tuner needed. Google Iditarod and check it out, I think that’s what Guy uses at times when he refers to his Jumper Dipole.
    Next trip to Fla I’ll give you a heads up.
    73 Alex K5UNY

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