Getting Island Ready – Equipment for the Step-In Island Activation

Getting my gear together for Activation of Step-In Island next weekend.

A 20m Hamstick Dipole is tuned & ready.  Using the Timewave AntennaSmith made this a very process.  After tuning & cutting 8 inches of whip off (from the base end of course) to reach best SWR, I marked the whips for reference.

The double non-captive setscrews to hold the whip in a Hamstick and the loose nut of the version of Hamstick Dipole plate I’m using don’t impress.  Each case the hardware would be very easy to loose in the field, and is not hardware you’re likely to have for other purposes.  Hoping to replace the setscrews with small thumbscrews and the attach nut with a wingnut.

 The portable mast is a quandry.  My usual Army-Surplus mast is overkill.  It was designed for a serious antenna in rough field conditions.  I’ll have to look at options or just put this small antenna on the heavy mast.

The FT-897 is good to go.  Wouldn’t really even need to the LDG Tuner with the results of tuning by AntennaSmith, but it will come along too.

I’d forgotten that the batteries were still with the Amateur I bought the rig from, and they will first be here Monday.  As a backup an Aircraft battery is ready to go.


Between things this weekend all the gear will go through a test-run in the yard.  I may take the gear portable just for grins tomorrow as well. 

Logsheets have been roughed-up on the MacBook.  My custom on a small event like this is to primarily log manually, and later enter them electronically.  Seems odd that in the shack I log electronically, with brief backup working sheets I don’t retain once the electronic logs are backup up off-site, yet on Island activations I’ve mostly paper-logged.

Next Saturday Carl KA9WYK our local radio club president will be joining me for the activation.  The club has a fund raiser (a Bratwurst Stand) that day, so we’ll be hoping to get the qualifying QSOs and those ready & waiting right away.  That was we can go help the club’s efforts at the Brat Fry.




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