Monday, June 05, 2023

Where's Summer?

In the USA,  Memorial Day Weekend is considered to be the "unofficial" start of the Summer season. Boy, I'll say it was certainly "unofficial" this year!

I had intended to set up the KX3 on the patio table, along with the magloop in the backyard and spend the day hunting museum ships. It only got into the higher 60's (19 C) and the sun and clouds were competing all day with the clouds winning most of the time. Because there was also a bit of a chilly breeze, I decided to do my hunting from the main shack downstairs, instead of setting up outside.

I ended up working three POTA stations, one of which was Alan W2AEW who was operating from Cheesequake State Park K-1612, which is in Old Bridge, NJ all of about 20 or so miles away from me. I caught him on 15 Meter groundwave. He was about a 539 for me and I was a 529 for him, but we got the exchange made.

Scanning through the bands, and zeroing in on museum ship spots on the DX Cluster yielded nothing. I heard nary a museum ship in the entire time that I hunted. The good thing is that the Butternut is still proving to be a reliable antenna along with the W3EDP, some 20 years after I originally installed it. It has weathered many a harsh winter and a few not so nice hurricanes like a trooper.  This is a good thing because that I doubt I could replace it if anything ever happened to it. I looked up the current retail price and it's now close to double what I paid for it so many years ago.

Getting back to my Summer rant ........ when I woke up this morning it was 47 F (8 C) which is virtually unheard of for New Jersey on June 5th. For years and years, I've always known it to be that in this area of the US, that May 14th is considered to be the last chance for a hard overnight freeze as per Dept. of Agriculture planting guides. We had a few frost warnings after that date this year! We had to bring in some sensitive plants in the house for the overnight on a couple of evenings.

I know what's going to happen. Undoubtedly, we're going to go from early Spring-like weather to scorching Summer heat with a bang seemingly overnight over the next few weeks! While I much prefer the Summer, I do like to ease into it gradually. As I get older, these sudden changes take a harder toll on my system.

The other thing that I got accomplished yesterday was to order a new Field Day banner for the South Plainfield Amateur Radio Club. For the past 9 years we've displayed our original club banner. I thought that having something a bit different and just for Field day was justified. It's nothing fancy, but it does two things. It very briefly explains what the purpose of Field Day is and it also tells folks that they are welcome to come visit, see what's going on and ask questions.

Field Day banner

Original banner

When I designed and purchased our original banner, we were such a new entity that we didn't even have our club logo yet.  We formed in April and as Field Day is in June, I was hurried to have something ready for Field Day deployment and didn't really consider something important. It was a rather spectacular blunder on my part to not include our club call sign on the original.  Even so, it still serves a purpose and is still in great shape despite being displayed in some less than ideal weather over the years.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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