Tag Archives: US Islands

Rocky Ridge Farm on Washington Island, WI – Third Radio Activation

This weekend is my third working the CrankIR and the Flex-6300 from Rocky Ridge Farm on Washington Island.

Getting past the  learning curve.

Was too chilly to comfortably operate outside, so set up the radio inside one the kitchen table.

K9ZW at Rocky Ridge

K9ZW at Rocky Ridge

 

Easy DX this time and I’ve figured out the band change process pretty well.  Worked on 10m, 12m, 15m, 17m, 20m, and 40m.

Great fun!

 

73

Steve
K9ZW

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Rocky Ridge Farm on Washington Island, WI – First Radio Activation

Even though we have leased the farm for months, I first got around to setting up a portable station this weekend.  Usually when I am on Washington Island I have the luxury of guest operating from George W9EVT’s mega-shack, and even in this attempt George W9EVT saved the day helping me get on the air.

Equipment used was:

  • SteppIR CrankIR antenna with radial and 80m kits
  • FlexRadio System Flex-6300 transceiver
  • A Toshiba Laptop running Win7-Pro I borrowed from work
  • Power supply from my spares shelf
  • Cisco gigabit router
  • cables and power cords/distribution from my spares

This was our first use of the CrankIR and the Flex-6300, so we had a bit of a learning curve.  It was also a fresh install of SmartSDR, SmartCAT, DAX, and fldigi on the Toshiba which all had to be configured.

 

The SteppIR CrankIR Antenna

The SteppIR CrankIR Antenna


The working end

The working end


The Wires side of things

The Wires side of things


Logging on Cardboard

Logging on Cardboard


CrankIR Main Unit up close

CrankIR Main Unit up close


Rocky Ridge Farm Activated

Rocky Ridge Farm Activated

 

 

W9EVT saved the day...

W9EVT saved the day…

Pictures cannot convey the experience of doing a first time setup of the CrankIR – an easy task once you’ve done it, but a dickens the first time.  Winston KC9FVR helped the first setup and I don’t think I could have done it first time without my son’s participation.

I quickly discovered I had no audio out – I forgot to bring a headset or speakers, and ten Flex-6300 does not have an internal speaker, so my initial efforts were digital mode.

No joy there as my signal apparently wasn’t readable on PSK31 and without audio out the portable stup wasn’t going anywhere.

So the next day, hat in hand, I borrowed a headset from George W9EVT and switched to SSB.

Fairly quickly I was able to work a good number of stations on 20m and 15m phone, including several DX stations.

Found that the software juggling on the laptop was a pain, and ended up doing all the logging on the cardboard tabletop cover I used to have a mouse-ready surface.  Later I entered the QSOs into eQSL and I’ll import the adi log file into my main log later.

Mother Nature ended my activation early as it started to rain and the winds started whipping.  Knocking everything down went smoothly and with Labor Day still windy & rainy, further Rocky Ridge Farm activation will wait for another day.

Of course I have updated my gear checklist to include headphones and speakers for the next activation.

73

Steve

K9ZW

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Flex-6700 US Island Activation Hits Stormy Weather

Weather has interrupted  the testing with George W9EVT is hosting  on WI-001L Washington Island, and the internet we use.

Pictures and updates will have to wait until my return.

For now here is a video of from the German Ham Show:

As posted at the SmartSDR Yahoo Group list:

Hello to all,

Look http://youtu.be/Dg28LJvEzDA

73 to all
Michel F5OZF

Thank you Michel F5OZF

73

Steve
K9ZW

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K9ZW Flex-6700 US Island Activation at WI-001L

As mentioned, George W9EVT is hosting us for a few days on WI-001L Washington Island to let me try the Flex-6700 in an exceptionally RF quiet location with his world class antenna farm.

Everything set up very quick and we’ve been working DX right from start.

I also ran a clean sweep of the 13 Colonies event, including the bonus WM3PEN station. I did do one QSO in the sweep on the IC-7800 as K2H was PSK and RTTY only, and I didn’t bring everything to put the Flex-6700 on digital.

I have filled in some band/mode holes and a couple DX QTHs I hadn’t worked at all.

Did a lot more listening, basically comparing against the IC-7800, with the Flex-6700 showing itself very well!

Will be on periodically for the next several days, depending on what days I need to be home and which I can be up there.

Catch you on the air!

73

Steve
K9ZW

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With Flex-6700 Heading Off for US Island Activation

George W9EVT is hosting us for a few days on WI-001L Washington Island to let me try the Flex-6700 in an exceptionally RF quiet location with his world class antenna farm.

Software on a thumb drive and radio in its shipping box we’re off for the couple hour drive, then 30 minutes ferry ride to Washington Island.

Will be on periodically for the next several days, depending on what days I need to be home and which I can be up there.

Catch you on the air!

73

Steve
K9ZW

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A Day Out to WI-001L with WI9DX/W9DK Clubs

Yesterday June 19th 2010 seven Mancorad W9DK Club members traveled to Washington Island, Wisconsin – US Island WI-001L – to visit and operate from George W9EVT’s Mega-Hamshack as part of the WI9DX Washington Island DX Club.

A 5:45am departure took us to a 8am Northport departure (first of the day this time of year) on the Washington Island Ferry Line’s ferry boat the “Washington” to the Island. Thirty minutes later we were on-island and quickly having to remember to wave to every passing car, a wonderful Washington Island tradition!

After dropping most of the team at the Red Cup Coffee & Cafe ( reviews ) young Victor KC9NWB was dropped off at an Island based buddy’s home where he is spending much of the week. The Red Cup was outstanding as usual, and it was a real pleasure to drink carefully crafted coffee outside in such a pleasant place!

Not wanting to arrive at the W9EVT Hamshack too early, we made the next stop the “Stavkirke” wooden chapel. Click on the link for pictures, but this is one my favorite churches, and over the years we’ve attended services and performances several times in the building. Photo session and donations done, it was off to Schoolhouse Beach.

Unlike the photos on the tourist website linked, I was the only one who waded into the still very cold water.

Next stop was the W9EVT hamshack at Greengate Farm.

I will cover the Hamshack in another post, once we’ve pictures uploaded. Doesn’t seem smart to write “wow” several hundred times over & over to allow for a single “wow” for each radio in the shack!!!

Alison KC9MPL and Miki KC9NVZ made a ladies side trip to Siever’s School of Fiber Arts while the Hamshack tour continued.

Lunch was had a Nelsen’s Hall, a bar & hall that even the prohibition couldn’t legally close!

We were joined by Susan & George’s daughter Amy, who is home on vacation from a teaching assignment in The Federated States of Micronesia in the Pacific (yes V63-land for us DX fans!), and the Board of Directors of the Thorstein Veblen Historic Cottage preservation project, part of the Island Heritage Conservancy. John Moore and Jerry Maiers both made time in their busy day to meet to discuss my firm’s contribution of roofing materials to the project. The Green Bay Press Gazette did a nice Veblen Cabin Article covering much of the project.

Before we finished lunch, several of us joined the Nelsen’s Hall Bitters Club, by drinking a shot of Angostura Bitters. Most of the group didn’t, and it is a level argument who was smarter!

While I had made a number of 6 meter QSOs during the morning tour using my own call, the remaining chunk of time in the afternoon was spent working under the WI9DX Club call sign, and mostly on 20m at 14.180

I “primed the well” checking for clear frequency and getting the QSO’s started before turning over affairs to Rich KC9LOA and Tim N7TAL – who did a great job learning what it is like to be at the receiving side of a mini-pile up.

Winston KC9FVR did diagnostics and worked with George W9EVT to sort out network & internet issues, and fixed a configuration issue on George’s MacBook Pro that had started interfering with email & connectivity.

Alas it was time to leave to catch the last ferry for the day off the island, and after thank you & good byes, we made way to the 5 pm ferry, pausing only to pick up a Blue Berry pie.

Once back on the mainland, we made our way part way down the Door Peninsula for our featured diner stop – Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant. The roof top goats were out and we had an excellent waiter of Transylvanian extraction who took a moment to tell us of the Siebenburgen (seven forts or castles) of the region. Al Johnson passed on this month at 84, and there were very touching memorial leaflets and posters up as a tribute. I’m going to admit to evening my day with breakfast, as Swedish Pancakes with Lingonberry Preserves & Swedish Meatballs are enough of a treat to have breakfast in the evening!

We had a great ride back to Manitowoc, listening to podcasts & big band music from a band I play in, and even though I cruised past an exit (wrong lane – duh) we were back & home by 9:30 pm.

Pictures to follow later this week and if you were one of our QSOs WI9DX QSLs for the day can go to the W9DK address (good on QRZ) and my K9ZW are fine direct.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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