The day started off with a visit to the Doctor's office. Nothing serious, just some blood work as my cholesterol was just a tad on the high side when I saw him last autumn, He wanted a follow up visit in six months, and today was the day. Before I left however, my lawn mower repair guy called and said my mower was fixed and ready to pick up. That was good news; but I really wasn't expecting it until Monday.
After getting my arm stuck at the Dr's office, I came home for a quick lunch. Then I packed up the car with my radio gear and went to pick up the mower. On the way home, I headed off to Thomas Edison Memorial Park for a few hours of QRPTTFing. I was surprised when I got there. This what the memorial tower usually looks like:
My surprise was that I knew the tower was being refurbished. But for some reason, I thought all the work had been completed. It turns out that so far, only the accompanying museum has been refurbished. This is what the tower currently looks like. It should be finished sometime later this year or perhaps early 2014.
And in accordance with the QRPTTF theme for 2013, I was only a block away from NJ Route 27, which is officially part of the Lincoln Highway, America's first intercontinental highway - definitely an historic trail.
So I set off to one side of a side street in order to set up shop. I supported the PAR using my Jackite pole and my drive on stand. It was configured as a sloper. I could have used a tree, I suppose, but I didn't want to take too many chances. As it was, the lady who was volunteering to staff the museum today drove past me very slowly a few times to see what I was doing. I explained in advance, but I guess she just wanted to be sure I wasn't tearing up the place.
The drive on stand worked perfectly, by the way! Thank you all for your many suggestions. What I did was to buy an 8" corner brace, which in plain English is an "L" bracket. Instead of bolting it to both the vertical and horizontal boards, though, I only bolted it to the vertical board. I secured the "L" bracket in place to the horizontal board by driving onto it! And it worked great. It was a bit breezy, and throughout my operating time, only the very top section swayed and at that, just a tiny bit. Set up and tear down literally took only a few minutes. (Perspective with the camera phone is lousy as I tilted it up a bit to get this photo. The Jackite was actually vertical and was not leaning towards the Jeep as the photo might have you believe. Guess I would have needed a view camera with swings and tilts to get it right.)
Another surprise was that after I drove off this mast support, and disassembled it to put it away, I was expecting to see the "L" bracket imprinted into the wood. After all, there was basically 1/4 of a Jeep resting on it. But oak is hard wood, indeed. Not even a mark.
I worked the following stations - thank you all!
AB9CA - Dave in AL
KIØG - Bob in CO- SOTA
WSØTA - NM - SOTA
AD4S - John in GA
WAØITP - Terry in IA
K4AHO - Jim in FL
WØEA - TJ in IA
K4UPG - Kelly in FL
AA4GA - Lee in GA
KX9X - Sean in CT (QST Contest Editor)
NØKIS - Bruce in NE
N4EO - Jerry in AL
WD4EXI - Val in GA
K4BX - Bill in AL
W9WKP - Steve in NE (WØOOW)
W2JEK - Don in NJ
W3KC - Chas in MD
Only 17 stations, but I had to end this effort and come home and mow the lawn. Not being able to do it until now because of the malfunctioning mower, it was beginning to look like a jungle! After I got that done, I made dinner for the kids and then went grocery shopping. Can you say, "Whew"?
I wanted to see if I could work some DX on 20 and 30 Meters tonight to keep my totals up in the Club 72 QRP Marathon, which only has a few days left. Right now, I'm in 8th place and I've been bopping around in the 7th to 10th place neighborhood. I'd like to finish strong, if I could, but I was just too tired to even try tonight. Maybe tomorrow.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!