while attending the ETS of NJ picnic. Before the idea; a bit on the picnic. It was gorgeous day for the event! It was sunny and the temperature was in the mid 70s (24C) with very low humidity. For the most part, the breeziness that we has yesterday had diminished. The food was good and the fellowship was great too. Not a huge amount of members showed up; but the ones that did had a great time. I think even Marianne and Joey and Cara had a decent time.
After everyone had something to eat, Victor KB2NBC used his WristRocket to launch some line into the trees and before you even realized, an off center fed dipole had been erected about 35 feet in the air. Someone had brought along a Kenwood TS-2000 and a power supply and a few of the members were working 20 Meter SSB. I witnessed one QSO with a station on the west coast of Wales. The band seemed to be in pretty good shape. Not exactly my idea of a portable station; but fun was had, nonetheless.
I went back to take a closer look at the WristRocket, where Victor had laid it down. It's definitely not an overly complicated device. A sling shot, some metal and a fishing reel. Victor bought it earlier this year at the Timonium, MD Hamfest. When he shot the line up into the tree, I was amazed at how far and how easily it traveled.
When we got home, I went to our local park here and had intended to set up the wire and Fuchs tuner with the PFR3A. However, the lowest branches of the trees were even higher than I remembered and I couldn't manage to successfully get a water bottle over one, ala' W1PID. Roger Clemens I am not - and that's a good thing considering all the trouble he's finding himself in lately - but I could have used his throwing arm.
This got me thinking about Vic's antenna launcher again; and how relatively easy it would be to homebrew one. I have a slingshot and I have an old fishing reel that had belonged to my father-in-law. All I need is a steady platform to mount the two of them on. And I think I have the answer for that, too - a 99 cent tent stake from Wal-Mart.
Rather than try to explain it verbally, I will post pictures and further details as it comes about. Hopefully, this thing will be able to get a 1 ounce fishing weight about 40 or 50 feet high, up and over some good branches. QRP Afield is in two weeks, on September 18th. This might be just what I need.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!