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NJQRP Club Meeting Recap:  June 22, 2013

This month's meeting date coincided with the annual ARRL Field Day activity and our theme was appropriately "going to the field"! 

We had three distinct parts of the meeting this time:

1) The Inside Meeting ... While FD actually started at 2pm, earlier in the morning we had the usual show n' tell gab session, and discussed preparation, equipment, antennas and setup for portable operating. 

2) The Outside "Wire Fest" ... We brought a large table outside and filled it profusely with all sorts of wire donated by a friend of the QRP community.  There was some great(!) wire there: thin, multi-conductor, shield "mic" cable, twisted pair, RG-174 coax, flat cable, high-voltage cable, thin hookup wire ... you name it!  And these were BIG spools of each type, such that we were all stumbling over each other pulling off long lengths for personal use.  We also had some nifty "junk box"-category stuff, just right for homebrewers looking to scrounge some good parts: 5-way binding posts, switches, 100-turn pots, cabinets, die-cast enclosures, connectors, and more.  Once again, "thank you" to our benevolent homebrewer in the QRP community!

3) The Field Day Station -- N2CX, N2APB, N3PUU and K3KW set up the main station out in the Community Center parking lot: Elecraft K2, SDR Cube and FT-817ND, an Elecraft T1 ATU, with a G5RV multi-band dipole on a 28-ft Jackite pole.  The antenna checked out pretty good for resonance on the usual bands, using the Micro908 Antenna Analyzer.  This is an amazing antenna (G5RV), and an even after all the years same too for the Micro908! The ends of the antenna were supported by a couple of short crappie (fishing) poles. We had some instruction for a few who stayed after the meeting and it was fun sitting at the station and tuning around during the pre-Field Day times on the air.  Then after a wonderful lunch break graciously supplied by Kathy, the lovely XYL of Frank N3PUU (and mother of his very cool little harmonic John!) we began using the setup. Joe, Frank, Howie and George started working the FD event from there for the rest of the afternoon out in the gorgeous weather!

Commentary from Joe, N2CX ...

Glad to see the all the smiling faces that made the meeting. One reason for the smiles was the giant wire give-away thanks to our generous anonymous benefactor. What a gratifying feeling for our club to be able to do this - and to allow him to feel that he was doing good for his fellow ham and reducing the pile of stuff that he might never have a chance to use - I mean, after all, who would use 60 lbs of wire?

It was instructive to set up the portable station. George's photoessay tells the story but it's entirely different to actually be involved. Suffice to say that a full size G5RV challenges telescoping pennant poles! However we made it all work out and indeed the antenna worked quite well.

George provided most of the antenna and cable needs plus his K2 to check everything out. Unfortunately he had to leave before he could fully enjoy the fruits of his labors.

Now I always preach being ready for portabling by checking everything out beforehand, including one's skill and ability in using the equipment at hand. I must confess my shortcomings on this account. Not only was I rusty on navigating the pesky menus on my FT-817, but I fell into the same trap with my KX-1. Repeat after me - practice using the equipment before you take it to the field and be sure you are quite familiar with any menus and settings you will need to use. Gotta admit that I was rusty with iambic paddles in use with both - plus I forgot my single lever paddles that were safely left at home in the shack. Grasshopper be sure to make a checklist and follow it to be sure you have all you will need.

In spite of the shortfalls we were successful in making FD QSO's!

Frank K3PUU was most ready - the canopies he brought were invaluable in preventing heat stroke.

Howie was a great help in providing helping hands to set everything up.

Good going guys, maybe we can do it again some time.

Joe E., N2CX

Hope you enjoy the photos taken during all three portions of the meeting!  And it was great seeing you guys this month!

73, George N2APB  & Joe N2CX

Attending:  Ray K2ULR, Bryan AA3WM, Denis AD2DA, Frank N3PUU, Jack WB3OWB, Ted W2TAG, Howie K3KW, Joe "JJ" KC2VGL, Joe N2CX and George N2APB

Part 1:  The Inside Meeting ...


Part 2:  The Outside "Wire Fest" ...


Part 3:  The Field Day Station ...



Last updated: June 23, 2013