Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Can Summer be far behind?

I got this e-mail from Neal W3CUV today:

Hello Larry,

I will be solo backpacking in the back country of the Hickory Creek Wilderness Area in the Allegheny National Forest, near Warren, Pennsylvania (northwestern Pennsylvania) this Memorial Day weekend, May 24, 25, 2008 .

I'm taking my newly-built SW-40 on its maiden outing. Also, I'm trying out an EFHW antenna,
new homebrew QRP antenna tuner, and using AA NiMH batteries for the first time.

I'll be operating off and on throughout the day, but mostly between 2 and 5 PM EST. Frequency can be 7.030 to 7.060, but will try to stay around 7.050 and the FISTS calling freq. - 7.058.

I'd appreciate it if you would put this info on your blog as a "Wilderness Alert".

Hope to work you from the great outdoors.

73, Neal, W3CUV

Consider it done, Neal!

For many folks, the Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of Summer. Hopefully for those of us who live in the universe of Ham Radio, that will mean a lot of us will be taking to the field like Neal. Maybe not overnight; or for full blown hiking trips; but perhaps just out to the backyard patio table, or perhaps to the local park to sit under a shade tree, to get some air and some Ham Radio time in.

If you've never tried it, I highly recommend it! There's just nothing quite like operating out in the sunshine and fresh air. It definitely beats sitting in a closed in shack (unless it's over 100 Degrees outside and that shack is air conditioned. Hi!) .

The setup doesn't need to be elaborate. A small QRP radio, a key, a gel cell battery and a hunk of wire like a EFHW (end fed half wave) antenna or perhaps a NorCal doublet. Those are the ingredients for a fun filled, enjoyable afternoon - I promise!

73 de Larry W2LJ

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