My favorite radio operating activity is to operate outdoors. Once a month I try to gather a group of hams together here in the Duncanville, Texas area. I really have two objectives. One is to encourage other amateurs to get out and use their gear and the other is to show off our hobby to complete strangers. We were able to accomplish both objectives in February.
In the picture you see Dave Lear (NE5DL) Justin Long (K5JTL) and Steve (not pictured is Steve Edmonds (KZ5MSE) as he is taking the pictures). Steve is visiting Justin and his family and thought it might be fun to see what we consider to be fun.
The forecast was not optimal for radio operation. Lots of rain! BUT. . . it looked like we would have a short window for operating. Justin and I arrived first and set up my buddistick. I was looking to have a quick put up and take down antenna as the rain was an unknown!
When Dave arrived he opted for a much fuller sized vertical. Dave uses a custom mount plate with a Wolf River Coil and a 17′ MFJ Whip. He sets this all on top of an inexpensive tripod mount. He has 4 radials that are precut to the band and hangs them off of plastic electric fence posts.
About 1/2 way through Dave’s set up the skies opened up. I took down all my gear and ran for the car! 3 minutes later the rain stopped and life was normal again. Dave never stopped setting up.
Dave was testing a slight variation on his antenna and we had a little trouble getting everything dialed in correctly. Fortunately between everyone on hand we had enough tools to make it happen. In the middle of all this a man starts shouting at us. I turned around to see a pick up truck parked in the middle of a very narrow road. Outside the truck and approaching us is a very large man in a cowboy hat shouting, “OK. . . You got my attention. What are y’all doing? ? ? Are you talking to aliens?”
Fortunately Justin Long (K5JTL) came to the rescue on PR duty. While that was ongoing Dave and I were able to get the antenna finished up and on the air. We were able to operate for about an hour. Dave made a couple of contacts while I logged. The last contact we made was myself (KF5RY) and Don (VE4ESE).
Overall it was a great day. If you find yourself in Dallas County and are interested in joining us let me know and I’ll get you the date, time, and location information.
I’m a relatively new ham. Got my license, joined a club and I’m having fun! I enjoy CW, pedestrian mobile, backpacking, and I dream of building radios at some point. At present I have a wife and daughters so my building time is limited.