Island Activation Preparation – Meet Mr Murphy

Needed to check out the gear for our first US Island activation Saturday, so I set up the Island Activation Gear yesterday (Thursday) before at Lunch.

Nothing really bad happened, but Mr Murphy’s Laws were hard at it nonetheless!

The battery packs for the FT-897 arrived, but they were not the right ones – the very small package tipped me off that something was amiss. The small package contained a battery Pack for a FT-817. Won’t be a problem to sort out, but it won’t happen before Saturday.

Set-up the antenna and re-tuned it with the Timewave AntennaSmith. Hamsticks use very short non-captive set-screws which I replaced with Small Cap Screws. Just enough change in metal to make retuning needed of course….

So setting up the mast in its stand, the antenna, tuning it, and getting the rig outdoors, I no more than twisted the last coax connector tight when our lawn care team showed up.

Their gear is amazing – one wonders if their big mower has a hemi in it!! They can do a lawn that takes me two hours in less than 15 minutes! Amazing gear!.

Of course the 318 Red Rocket V8 or whatever this monster mower has in it, is about a 20 over S-9 acoustically, making phone operations impossible.

Then the FT-897 needed reconfiguration as it had been used last for Background RF Noise Measurements.

In the end I made one sole contact before I had to tear down to rush back to work.

On the upside though:

  • Early this AM checking the Aircraft Gell-Cell battery I’ll use tomorrow, it was 100% charged and in good shape.
  • I also found the FT-897 manual so I can double check the configurations this evening.
  • The Mast System worked great!! My Hamstick Rotatable Dipole will only be up at a couple sections, but it does make all the difference. The base system uses the frame from a Black & Decker Workmate, which then becomes the operating shelf.
  • And additionally on the upside I’ve been offered the use of just the right sized boat for the later activations.
  • Hope to meet you on the air tomorrow from Step-In Island!

    73

    Steve
    K9ZW

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