FD 94 in Seattle de N7WIM

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From: Kevin Purcell (xenolith@halcyon.com)
Date: Mon Jun 27 1994 - 12:36:23 EDT


CALL : N7WIM

ENTRY CLASS : 1B - battery

SECTION / LOCATION : WWA
                     At the top of the Water tower in Volunteer Park
                     on Capitol Hill in Seattle, WA.

RIG : Realistic HTX-202 2m FM handheld (2 watts out)

ANTENNA : Rubber helical attached to rig (should have used dummy load!).

POWER SOURCE : 8V Ni-Cad battery pack

TOTAL ON-AIR OPERATION TIME : About 1 hour

FINAL SCORE:
       8 QSOs on 2m FM
     -----
      8 QSOs (x1) FM (x5) < 5 watts = 40 points
      100% emergency power = 100 points
      Operation from a public place = 100 points

                 TOTAL SCORE = 240 points

COMMENTS :

You can do FD with just a 2m FM handheld.

The good front end on the HTX-202 saved me from most of the ravages of
intermod. This site is on the top of a Captitol Hill which is more a ridge
or escarpment than a hill and shares a good all round view of Seattle.
Consequently it has a whole host of TV, FM, and PMR etc etc transmitters on
the top of various buildings and towers. Fortunatly none are in the park
itself.

My first problem was not working the people I called until I realised I had
the "low(er) power" button on. Unintentional milliwatting! Moving to QRO
(2 watts) meant I could work almost all heard (except one).

The tower is an brick enclosure around the water tower proper. The windows
at the top have heavy iron fences and wire lattice work. Careful
positioning of the antenna gave both full power with the antenna a little
outside the grating. Those grating really do detune the antenna.

Best "DX" was W7KM who was 1B about 10 miles NW of Mt Rainer, about 50 to
60 miles south of Seattle and probably line of sight from my QTH. He had a
fully quieting signal.

I also worked the Mike and Key club at Fort Flagler, K7LED. They're about
50 miles to the north on the Olympic peninsula. I was their novice/tech
station last year.

Wore my "QRP is not for cissies" T-shirt and carried a copy of QST and
tried to explain why I was shouting gibberish into this black box!

After an hour I packed it in and walked home to watch the World Cup (hey,
I'm English, what do you expect!)

LESSONS LEARNED:

I really need an external antenna I can poke through a 1" dia hole -- a
dipole will suffice. Carrying an external antenna with the HT is probably
not a bad idea.

The HTX-202 real does have a good front end.

Packet would be fun from this location (heard quite a bit of packet
activity). I have a cheap T1000 just need the modem or TNC.

I need to bring a table and chair to sit at. I would look more respectable!

You can make more points for location and power than making contacts. This
would be particularly true if one picked up all the bonus points! Could be
an amusing goal.

You don't have to work HF to have fun, even 1 hour of 2m FM can be amusing,
and its probably closer to what would happen when the big one hits.

The capture effect on FM can make sharing a channel difficult, but I was
amazed how the several folks on the same channel shared time although we
could all hear each other (we all worked each other). Directional antennas
would help here.

The ARRL should designate particular simplex channels for people to camp
on. Most of the contacts were on 146.52 (which is probably verboten by the
rules). Even in a big urban area at a reasonable location I didn't hear
many people but I had a great view to the horizon all the way around.
Perhaps many of the new techs don't know why they should try FD or think
that its a HF only event or think that VHF contesting is SSB/CW only. I
think I feel an "New Ham" article coming on!

Kevin Purcell, N7WIM / G8UDP Are you a Mac developer? Live close to Seattle?
xenolith@halcyon.com We need you in the dBug Mac Dev SIG. Mail me!
(206) 649-6489 "Organising programmers is like herding cats"


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