Date   

N3MK/0 back from APE expedition (long overview of trip)

Don Snider
 

Hi all,
I just returned from an incredible APE expedition to the Boundary Waters
Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota. Technical difficulties limited my
contacts to about 30 PSK-31 contacts plus another 27 CW contacts. Here
are some highlights with much more detail and pictures to follow. Logs
will follow when I figure out how to retrieve them from my dead
computer. I'll have pictures available in a day or two.

Day 1: August 23rd - I wish I could take that one back
We canoed out to our first camp site on Ensign Lake without a
hitch. After setting up camp, I started to go through some preliminary
gear testing. I carefully hooked up my ft-817 to a gel cell taking
extreme care to make sure the DC polarity was correct. (Hooking the
power on the 817 backwards fries the rig instantly). Next I hooked up
the solar panel to the notebook computer to verify proper operation.
Nothing happened. No charging. Dang! I couldn't believe it but I had
hooked the DC input to the notebook computer up backwards instantly
frying the charging circuit! That left me with a maximum of 10 hrs of
operating time on PSK-31. The notebook had a 10 hr battery installed.
Still in a state of shock, I put up a Zepp antenna fed with my ZM-2
tuner into 300 ohm ladder line.
During the setup of our camp, we discovered that our water
filter was broken. Most people in the BWCA drink right out of the lake,
but we prefer not to take any risks. That left us with boiling water for
7 people. Not only that, but a fire restriction was in effect that only
allowed camp fires between 7 pm and midnight. We calculated that we
would need a lot more fuel for the Coleman stove.
In the early evening I started calling CQ. It seemed like I was
using a dummy load for an antenna because no one was answering back. I
finally made a couple contacts. One was with Karen, W4GTM who was kind
enough to call our outfitter and ask them to deliver a water filter and
another gallon of fuel. A fishing guide was scheduled to camp with us
for a couple days starting on the 26th so we thought that would be a
great opportunity for a delivery. Thanks a million for the help Karen! I
made a couple more contacts and shutdown for the night to conserve
laptop power.

Day 2: August 24th - So close yet so far
After a morning of fishing I decided to string up a new antenna.
Using my trusty golf ball on a fishing pole, I was able to put up a
delta loop at least 35 ft high. The delta loop is my all time favorite
antenna and it didn't disappoint. The signals were booming in. The
delta loop was made of about 77' of wire fed at the bottom with ladder
line. Ropes were strung from the sides to form a triangle with the apex
at the top. It was pointing East/West and was about 5 feet from Ensign
Lake. Not the best heading but good enough to get things started.
In the late morning I fired up the rig and made many more
contacts including many 070 club members. Karen got back to me reporting
that they had no water filters but would send more fuel. (As it turns
out, they did manage to get their hands on a water filter for us).
Batteries were dying and I thought that this would be my last night on
PSK-31. I had about 15 contacts and the batteries gave out! I couldn't
believe it! I was so close and yet so far. I only needed a few more
contacts but there would be no such luck that night...

Day 3: August 25th - A day of fishing and more...
We all fished all day. My cousin Ed managed to hook a lure barb
deep into his finger right to the bone. Ouch! He returned to camp and we
tried to figure out how to get the hook out. Finally he decided he had
to bite the bullet and rip the barb out. We rigged a tourniquet on his
finger and he ripped the hook out with a pair of pliers. No doubt it was
quite painful judging from the sounds he made while pulling the hook
out. After the deed was done we wrapped his finger in bandages and all
went back to fishing. In the late afternoon rangers inspected our camp.
The inspection went well. In the evening I managed to squeeze a couple
more contacts out of the notebook computer then it died for good. Total
17 contacts... So close...

Day 4: August 26th - The day it rained flies
Steve arrived from our outfitter with fuel and a water filter.
We had burned a lot of fuel and were very happy to have replenished
supplies. Steve also delivered a next day air package that I was hoping
to get my hands on. It was a custom modified green laser pointer. (More
on that toy later)
By mid morning I couldn't stand it, I just had to find a way to
get the computer working. I took a good look at the computer, made a few
lucky guesses and got it working off one of my 5 Ah gel cells. The
computer did not think it had any power, but somehow it booted up
anyway. By late evening I had made lots more contacts! What a relief.
A strange phenomenon occurred in the late afternoon that we had
never seen in 8 years of canoe trips. Flies began falling out of the sky
by the thousands. And they couldn't get back up off the ground.
Everything was covered with flies! Up to this point, we hadn't seen a
single fly in camp so it truly baffled us. Eventually they were able to
get up and fly away and they never returned. Our only possible
explanation was that one of the many weather fronts had quickly come
through and the change in pressure somehow confused them for a while. We
may never know...
The evening was beautiful with bright stars dimmed only by the
full moon rising. For additional entertainment I unveiled a
state-of-the-art night vision scope and my new custom laser. The laser
was a green 30 mw laser that was so bright, that the beam could be seen
for miles. It made a great pointer for constellations and satellites
flying overhead. And I wonder why they call me gadget man :)

Day 5: August 27th - Half the crew returned home and we journey on
Half our camping crew returned home on this day while the
remaining three members, my brother Greg, my cousin Ed and myself
journeyed on to Birch Lake. There were three tough 100 rod (1 rod = 16
feet) portages to traverse to get to Birch Lake. The first 2 portages
required climbing steep rock inclines with canoes and heavy packs. The
third portage was a mud bog. I was the first in line through the portage
and midway through, the logs that helped keep us out of the mud ended.
It didn't look too bad so I took one more fatal step and instantly fell
waist deep in the mud with a 100 lb pack fishing rods and the Coleman
stove. Everyone behind immediately went into uncontrolled laughter. The
mud was just like tar, and it sucked on my boots when I tried to get
out. I finally got the pack off and crawled out of the mud, finished the
portage and swam off as much mud as possible. It turned out that I had
missed a small side trail that would have led us through only ankle deep
mud. We eventually made it to a fine camp on Birch with a view across
the lake to Canada, set up camp and collapsed for a while. Steve our
fishing guide did his best to get the muck out of the stove.
Later I tried to get the computer working but it had given me
its last gasp. It just could not be convinced to turn on. The rest of
the trip would be an exercise to brush up on my very rusty CW.
Late in the night on the 27th we heard a loud banging on one of
our canoes. An Otter was eating a fish on our stringer. We put up a good
fight, but the Otter won. He came up on shore and started hissing at us
in a way that convinced us that he should get the fish.

Day 6 - Day 10
There was lots of fishing. I hooked a monster Northern that
eventually broke my line and spit my lure back at me. I made CW contacts
in the evenings. Weather was perfect for fishing during the last 5 days
but bad for recharging batteries. It was very overcast. We constantly
heard thunderstorms to the north in Canada. There were Walleye dinners.
The WX was 70's in the day and 50's at night. All in all, it was another
incredible canoeing adventure.

NOTE: I haven't been able to get the QSO logs off my computer yet
because it is completely dead, I'll probably have to pull the hard
drive. When I retrieve the logs I'll submit them ASAP.

Expedition Members: Don Snider Jr. (N3MK), Don Snider Sr., Greg Snider,
Mary Snider, Ed Snider, Bob Bulley, Michelle Bully


Re: Hey Bernie

Bernie <kf4fhs@...>
 

sure

----- Original Message -----
From: <AA8QQJMauch@aol.com>
To: <070@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, September 02, 2002 7:17 PM
Subject: [070] Hey Bernie


Hey Bernie,
Can you meet me on 30 so I can really try both sides of the new loop?


Check out the 070 Club website at
< http://www.podxs.com/html/070_club.html > for the latest information on
070 Club activities.
To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
070-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com or N3DQU@aol.com.



Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


Re: DE-xpedition

spdomingue@...
 

Maybe we should just buy him a good 10m antenna???


Re: DE-xpedition

Ernest Mills <emills@...>
 

Hi Steve,
Sounds all ok to me and you get my support fer the contest. Hey! please
work hard on fixing that 10m antenna capability fer me eh! Ernie

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephen J. Melachrinos" <w3hf@arrl.net>
To: <070@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, September 02, 2002 11:46 AM
Subject: [070] DE-xpedition


Well it looks like the idea of a DE-xpedition is a popular one. (My
thanks to Brian N7XB for the name.) So planning will commence.
Here's the plan so far.

1. I'll probably start heading down towards DE around 1630z on
Sunday, 8 Sept. It should only be a one-hour drive to hit the border.

2. I have located a few parks within a couple miles of where US Rte
202 enters the state. I hope to find one with an acceptable
operating location pretty quickly after arriving in the state.

3. This, I hope, will put me on the air around 1800z.

4. Equipment will be the same as my APE to NC: Yaesu FT-817
(five watts), Toshiba laptop running DigiPan, homebrew vertical.
Note that I wasn't able to find a good SWR match to the antenna
on 80m or 10m before, so unless I can fix that, I will likely only be
on the bands that worked well on the APE (15, 20, 30, 40).

5. The time from 2000z to 2400z is the QRP ARCI PSK contest,
which runs only on 20m, so I will be exclusively on 20m for those
four hours. I hope to find many of you during that time, even if
you've already worked DE before (or even worked me earlier in the
day!) I intend to make a serious entry in the contest, and I hope
that my rare location (and all my 070 friends) will help me out a bit.

6. Prior to the contest, I'll rotate through the other bands available
to me. Unless someone has a different suggestion, I would suggest
the following schedule:

0-15 minutes after the hour: 20 meters
15-30 minutes after the hour: 30 meters
30-45 minutes after the hour 40 meters
45-60 minutes after the hour 15 meters.

Note that this means the first 20 meter session might not start on
time if I don't get set up quickly. But I'll have four hours on 20m
later that I hope will make up for it.

I'll try to stick around for a while after 2400z to work the low bands
(30 and 40), but I don't know how long I'll be able to stay. Some
parks have a closing time at sunset, so this time is at risk.

7. I'll be using the callsign W3HF/3. Unless there's some really hot
DX I hear, I'll probably just call CQ. Please look for me, and feel
free to spot me on the 070 reflector and/or the clusters.

8. If the bands are open, it shouldn't be hard to find my signal on
15, 30, or 40--there just isn't that much activity. On 20m, I'll try to
stay on the high end of the band (14.072 or so) most of the time,
so you will know where to look. Of course, I may jump around a bit
during the contest ("search and pounce" approach) if the response
to my CQs drops off.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or whatever, please let me
know.

Steve
W3HF


Check out the 070 Club website at
< http://www.podxs.com/html/070_club.html > for the latest information on
070 Club activities.
To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
070-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com or N3DQU@aol.com.



Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/



Re: N3MK/0 back from APE expedition (long overview of trip)

N3DQU@...
 

Man, what a great story! You guys sure know how to spend a vacation hi! 73
de Jay N3DQU


Re: 30 meter noise

Steve W3HF
 

Oops, typed too fast.

similar to mine, it's some multiple of either the line rate. So it's a
Delete the "either." I changed thoughts in mid-sentence and didn't
correct it.


Re: 30 meter noise

Steve W3HF
 

Steve,
I tried a lower res mode, but it only reduced the noise slightly.
Think a higher res might help? What's the Sys Tray thing you
mentioned?

Jay - AA8QQ
Any change in mode should help. Assuming the noise you see is
similar to mine, it's some multiple of either the line rate. So it's a
combination of your (vertical) resolution and your refresh rate.

Let's see, if you have a refresh rate of 72 Hz (that's 72 video frames
per second) and a video mode that has 1024 lines, that's 72x1024
lines per second, or 73.728 kHz. Depending on the design of your
video card, there are probably harmonics out the wazoo.

But if you were to switch to an 800 line mode, the line rate is 57.6
kHz. And if you went to a 1280 line mode, it would be 92.160 kHz.
The trick is to find one that's clean at the frequency you want to use.

The system tray utility is something that may or may not be needed
depending on your version of Windows. Earlier versions (some
Win95, for example) required you to reboot whenever you switched
modes. There was a utility that came with the Windows Power Toys
set called QuickRes that let you pop up a utility that did the switch on
the fly. Once that came out, many video board manufacturers added
it to their own utilities, so it may not be needed for you.

Steve


Hey Bernie

AA8QQJMauch@...
 

Hey Bernie,
Can you meet me on 30 so I can really try both sides of the new loop?


Re: 30 meter noise

Steve W3HF
 

Hi All,
I put another fw loop in the attic today. This time made from coax.
Still getting what I thot was power line noise. Turns out the noise
is from the video card in the station PC. If I let the Green Machine
timer shut down the video to the monitor, the noise disappears. If I
disconnect the VGA cable at the PC, the noise goes away. Only problem
is, once the video is gone, I can't work PSK. This seems to happen on
30 meters, and on 6 if I turn the quad toward the shack.

Speaking of a fw coax loop, has anybody ever tried making a full wave
shielded loop (like they make for RX) that you can TX on?

Any ideas? Any one?

73,
Jay - AA8QQ
Jay -

Try running a different video mode, i.e., a different resolution.

On my machine here, I use 1280x1024 most of the time, but have to
switch to something else when I work 15m, as the hash is in the
PSK band.

You can use a System Tray utility to switch the mode on the fly,
without a reboot. Takes me about 20 seconds. (I do it while I switch
the antenna and tuner.)

Steve
W3HF


12m

Ernest Mills <emills@...>
 

I'm on 12m now and just worked a GW station. I need one more fer my 070 award. :) Ernie


Re: DE-xpedition

Steve W3HF
 

Steve,
If you're gonna be on 20 for 4 hrs, why not stick to 15, 30, & 40 the
other times? Just a thought.

Jay - AA8QQ
Jay -

Interesting suggestion. I guess my thought was that I wanted to give
all bands a try whenever I could (i.e., when not driven by the
contest) just in case propagation changed during the day.

But maybe things wouldn't change that much between 2:00 and 4:00
local to make it worth the effort.

What do you other folks think?

Steve

BTW, I just happened to tune in 20m, and there's KB4GYT calling
"CQ Delaware." I think I'll give him a call and let him know what to
expect next week. :-)

Steve


Re: 30 meter noise

AA8QQJMauch@...
 

Steve,
I tried a lower res mode, but it only reduced the noise slightly. Think a
higher res might help? What's the Sys Tray thing you mentioned?

Jay - AA8QQ


30 meter noise

AA8QQJMauch@...
 

Hi All,
I put another fw loop in the attic today. This time made from coax. Still
getting what I thot was power line noise. Turns out the noise is from the
video card in the station PC. If I let the Green Machine timer shut down the
video to the monitor, the noise disappears. If I disconnect the VGA cable at
the PC, the noise goes away. Only problem is, once the video is gone, I
can't work PSK. This seems to happen on 30 meters, and on 6 if I turn the
quad toward the shack.

Speaking of a fw coax loop, has anybody ever tried making a full wave
shielded loop (like they make for RX) that you can TX on?

Any ideas? Any one?

73,
Jay - AA8QQ


Re: 12M

spdomingue@...
 

Idaho here I am on 24920.5 and see or almost see someont on 24921.5 just a little


Re: 12m anyone?

spdomingue@...
 

I see ?? KF4HIF?? on 24920.5 or close there about 5% copy now getting better in Idhao

N6YIH/7


Re: 12m anyone?

spdomingue@...
 

I can see a little signal about 2492.5 no copy yet but maybe soon


DE-xpedition

Steve W3HF
 

Well it looks like the idea of a DE-xpedition is a popular one. (My
thanks to Brian N7XB for the name.) So planning will commence.
Here's the plan so far.

1. I'll probably start heading down towards DE around 1630z on
Sunday, 8 Sept. It should only be a one-hour drive to hit the border.

2. I have located a few parks within a couple miles of where US Rte
202 enters the state. I hope to find one with an acceptable
operating location pretty quickly after arriving in the state.

3. This, I hope, will put me on the air around 1800z.

4. Equipment will be the same as my APE to NC: Yaesu FT-817
(five watts), Toshiba laptop running DigiPan, homebrew vertical.
Note that I wasn't able to find a good SWR match to the antenna
on 80m or 10m before, so unless I can fix that, I will likely only be
on the bands that worked well on the APE (15, 20, 30, 40).

5. The time from 2000z to 2400z is the QRP ARCI PSK contest,
which runs only on 20m, so I will be exclusively on 20m for those
four hours. I hope to find many of you during that time, even if
you've already worked DE before (or even worked me earlier in the
day!) I intend to make a serious entry in the contest, and I hope
that my rare location (and all my 070 friends) will help me out a bit.

6. Prior to the contest, I'll rotate through the other bands available
to me. Unless someone has a different suggestion, I would suggest
the following schedule:

0-15 minutes after the hour: 20 meters
15-30 minutes after the hour: 30 meters
30-45 minutes after the hour 40 meters
45-60 minutes after the hour 15 meters.

Note that this means the first 20 meter session might not start on
time if I don't get set up quickly. But I'll have four hours on 20m
later that I hope will make up for it.

I'll try to stick around for a while after 2400z to work the low bands
(30 and 40), but I don't know how long I'll be able to stay. Some
parks have a closing time at sunset, so this time is at risk.

7. I'll be using the callsign W3HF/3. Unless there's some really hot
DX I hear, I'll probably just call CQ. Please look for me, and feel
free to spot me on the 070 reflector and/or the clusters.

8. If the bands are open, it shouldn't be hard to find my signal on
15, 30, or 40--there just isn't that much activity. On 20m, I'll try to
stay on the high end of the band (14.072 or so) most of the time,
so you will know where to look. Of course, I may jump around a bit
during the contest ("search and pounce" approach) if the response
to my CQs drops off.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or whatever, please let me
know.

Steve
W3HF


Re: 12M

John Durbin <durbinsjz@...>
 

I am in a qso with K6DRK look west Joe

Chris KC8LJN

----- Original Message -----
From: <w1sql@arrl.net>
To: <070@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, September 02, 2002 11:40 AM
Subject: RE: [070] 12M


I don't see anything at all. I called CQ several times and apparently no
one
else can see anything either.

Joe
W1SQL

-----Original Message-----
From: Ernest Mills [mailto:emills@NYCAP.rr.com]
Sent: Monday, September 02, 2002 11:33 AM
To: 070@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [070] 12M


Uhmm see a thing. Maybe we try in a few hours eh! Ernie

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Durbin" <durbinsjz@suite224.net>
To: <070@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, September 02, 2002 11:31 AM
Subject: [070] 12M


I am calling CQ on 12 meter now.

Chris KC8LJN






Check out the 070 Club website at
< http://www.podxs.com/html/070_club.html > for the latest information
on
070 Club activities.
To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
070-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com or N3DQU@aol.com.



Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/





Check out the 070 Club website at
< http://www.podxs.com/html/070_club.html > for the latest information on
070 Club activities.
To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
070-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com or N3DQU@aol.com.



Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/








Check out the 070 Club website at
< http://www.podxs.com/html/070_club.html > for the latest information on
070 Club activities.
To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
070-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com or N3DQU@aol.com.



Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


Re: 12m anyone?

spdomingue@...
 

OK I be looking and calling from Idaho

SteveD
N6YIH/7


Re: 12M

w1sql@...
 

I don't see anything at all. I called CQ several times and apparently no one
else can see anything either.

Joe
W1SQL

-----Original Message-----
From: Ernest Mills [mailto:emills@NYCAP.rr.com]
Sent: Monday, September 02, 2002 11:33 AM
To: 070@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [070] 12M


Uhmm see a thing. Maybe we try in a few hours eh! Ernie

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Durbin" <durbinsjz@suite224.net>
To: <070@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, September 02, 2002 11:31 AM
Subject: [070] 12M


I am calling CQ on 12 meter now.

Chris KC8LJN






Check out the 070 Club website at
< http://www.podxs.com/html/070_club.html > for the latest information on
070 Club activities.
To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
070-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com or N3DQU@aol.com.



Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/





Check out the 070 Club website at
< http://www.podxs.com/html/070_club.html > for the latest information on
070 Club activities.
To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
070-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com or N3DQU@aol.com.



Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/