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Monday, January 19, 2009

Ham radio

I go radio contesting 4 times a year. In January, I drive around the Northeast with my good friend Sigurd. He's ingeniously put a complete 10-band station in and on a Honda Element.

For various technical reasons, that basically means he's put 10 radios, 10 amplifiers, a whole bunch of wires and cables and switches to control it all into the back of this Element!

This is one of our stops. We met a woman who lives on this road - she was very kind! She saw us down at the end of the road and drove down in the cold to say hello and ask what we were doing. You can imagine we get asked that a lot! The number one question we hear? 'Can you hear me now?'

That's yours truly raising the 6 metre antenna to its full height. We keep the antenna down low when we drive and raise it up when we reach a spot we want to operate from. '6 metre' refers to the frequency band, not the length or height of the antenna (thank goodness!) Temperature about 12F (-11C) and blessedly, very little wind.

This particular contest is a VHF and up contest, sponsored by the American Radio Relay League. Here is a link to comments made by last year's contestants. That basically means 'short distance' communications - less than 250 miles or so.


The spammers have struck. Due to this I will be moderating all comments. Sorry for the hassle, but it's the only choice because I refuse to turn on word verification.

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