Always Amazing – A Washington Island Report – Part 1 – The W9EVT Mega-Shack, Lessons Learned and Friends

A highlight of any visit to Washington Island visit is time spent with George W9EVT in his “Ham Museum” Mega-Shack on Greengate Farm. As always George has something new in Vintage Radios put on-line and something leading edge in amateur radio technology to show.

In a very quick few minutes I logged a 160m QSO, a handful of 20m DX QSOs and some uncommon 17m DX activity. Reports of 40-over S-9 are always encouraging, and the station “hears” perhaps even better than it gets out, especially with the addition of a 1000 ft beverage as an option.

This trip we’re staying down the shoreline from Greengate, as they were booked full over the long July 4th weekend, in a lovely place that is a local lady’s work-in-progress being transformed into her retirement dream. Alas it has naught a single transceiver or antenna….

We’re doing some looking into how we could spent much more time on WI-001L, including a place to have a small station. As every trip here we learn a lot, about the the world, about specific topics (such as the presentation by the Master Falconer we attended), and more importantly about ourselves. This trip we’ve learned that it would be very easy to end up entangled with a vacation place much too large, maintenance heavy, or simply “involved & complex” to actually achieve our needs and meet the most important of our wants. Sitting around a small bonfire talking until latte, we decided this will have been a very valuable trip if we’ve learned this simple thing.

Has a lovely visit with another Island ham, Mac W9EVI and his XYL Joan. As recounted before Mac W9EVI took his FCC test the same day as George W9EVT in Chicago back in 1948. Though their lives occasionally crossed with involvement in the various Chicago Area amateur radio clubs, they became neighbors 6 hours north on Washington Island years later! Mac mentioned how he’s been on 160m (his usual band) much less than typical for various reasons, and Joan filled us in on her latest musical endeavors. Always charming to visit them.

While sitting outside at Karly’s Bar & Restaurant awaiting our order for the Tuesday Burger Special evening, I spotted Dean K3GGN walking to his car. In quick conversation standing in the street, I learned that Dean reports all well. Dean’s contributions to medical radio telemetry are very important to those with RF monitorable/controllable implants. We briefly chatted about some of the emerging concerns for securing these signals. Always great to talk with Dean.

I’ll touch base on the BPL situation and some other neat Island adventures in Part 2 in a day or so.



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