Friday, June 5, 2009

What the Hell Was I Thinking?

The race isn't always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. But as my father used to say, "That's how the smart money bets". For over a year now I've tried to console myself with lots of stories about how the turtle beat the hare, and all that jazz. But with 2 Meter grid square count at 42, 222 at 7, 432 at 11, and 1.2ghz at 3, it's hard to remain optimistic.

So, in the spirit of "Bringing the Mountain to the Man"....I decided to try "rover" operation in the upcoming summer contest. At first my plans were modest, 4 band "Limited Rover" out to do it. Nothing too crazy. A push up painters pole on an umbrella stand. Simple, right?

Then I thought about adding a few more bands....just a pipe dream really.

But then I made my fatal error. I mentioned this pipe dream to Jimmy Long, W4ZRZ and Bill Capps, AF4OD. Bill is Alabama's best known rover, and has given me several grids through his efforts in the past. Jimmy is the "Big Gun" in EM63, winner of several VHF/UHF contests, and a mentor to my meager efforts.

Before I could blink, this duo started offering to loan me equipment and "walk me through the process". A visit to Jimmy's home left my new Dodge Ram 1500 pickup loaded to the gills with transverters, dishes, tripods, marine batteries, and more.

A couple of weeks go by and then my old friend, Marcus Thomas, KF4YHP decides to lend me a hand too. He brings over a wonderful US Army Surplus push up mast, and improvises a way to attach it to my trailer hitch. Suddenly, I have an 18 foot tilt up mast...and a lot of antennas in the air. Marcus also chips in making up the cables. Everything is 1/2" superflex hardline and Belden 9914.

Now the backseat is filled with radios, brick amps, and transverter...and my simple rove is attracting scores of neighbors curious about the idiot in their midst. Maybe indoor antennas was the way to go after all....

In any event, I'm getting ready for the "smoke test" with Jimmy Long, W4ZRZ tonight some 35 miles away. Hopefully it's all cabled correctly and it all works.

See you in the contest...hoping it pays off with a lot of new grids worked!

Thanks to Bill, Jimmy, and Marcus...I THINK!!!!!


Anonymous said...

I've been following your efforts for a while and I have greatly enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to hear how you did in the contest. P.S. if you need EM-46, drop me a note and we can try a sked sometime, 73 de Mark, KØXXX

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