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  1. #1
    JaxHiker's Avatar
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    Hangin' On The Air

    I'm an amateur radio operator and this past weekend the Amateur Radio Relay League held its annual Field Day. It's an opportunity for people around the country to try out their equipment, test their antennas, etc. Typically we operate off-grid using generators, solar, battery, or a combination. Since I'm in Florida this is an opportunity to find problems before the heart of hurricane season is upon us.

    My church has 24 acres of beautifully wooded land on the marsh that they let us use so I took the opportunity to hang the hammock and left the tent at home. Someone stole my spot and the trees I ended up with were at the extreme limit of my suspension (even with whoopie extensions) so it wasn't optimal but based on the reports of my snoring (which I don't believe) I slept very well.



    I prefer to use the newer digital radio modes since they require less power and there are some very excellent weak signal modes. In some cases the software can pull out a signal that you can't even hear is present. This is the view from my hammock. I'm using an Icom IC-7000 transceiver, a LDG AT-7000 autotuner, and a Signalink USB soundcard interface with my Acer netbook.



    In addition to everything else that was going on, a surprise party was thrown for me. My boss almost blew it when he forwarded the invite to me and scared the hell out of me on Fri. I was blocked by a co-worker from going to my desk and then he called my boss who proceeded to get on my PC and into my email. Then he said it was nothing to worry about. Of course I did until I realized what had happened when everyone appeared. My friend (pictured) help facilitate my latest goody. Now I have a new gas/charcoal dual grill for the 4th!



    The forecast was 20-30% chance of thunderstorms and while we did take our antennas down for a couple of hours we only got some light rain and the lightning stayed in the distance. I simply enjoyed sitting in my hammock listening to the rain on the tarp. We've had literally hundreds of wildfires and the smoke has been horrible but even that stayed away. A light sea breeze made things pretty nice for the most part.

    With the heat we face in Florida this time of year there aren't many opportunities to hang so I was glad to take advantage of this one.
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
    Trail Issues? Please let me know.
    Blazing Trails with Kudzu @ www.idratherbehiking.com
    Follow me @idratherbhiking

  2. #2
    New Member
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    Apr 2010
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    Been a looooong time sine I participated in a field day. I do remember those good old days of launching wire through the trees tied to arrows and all sorts of other crazy stunts to get a signal out.

    How bad were the bugs?

  3. #3
    JaxHiker's Avatar
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    They really weren't bad at all. Usually we fog a few days before but mine quit working and my co-fogger is on a sailboat heading towards Gibraltar. Back in the woods along the trail I heard of some issues with black flies but they weren't out in our area. I only think I saw a handful of skeeters and just a few other flying insects. I did sleep with the netting which made it hotter but I don't like the bugs crawling on me when they land. They weren't biting insects, just annoying. I think the extreme dry conditions kept them away for the most part.
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
    Trail Issues? Please let me know.
    Blazing Trails with Kudzu @ www.idratherbehiking.com
    Follow me @idratherbhiking

  4. #4
    Senior Member TFC Rick's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    and you run radios?!?!?!?! I'm am soo jealous right now.
    Look up before you hook up!!
    Originally Posted by body942
    Me big. Me like hammockgear burrow. Long. Problems no. People good.

  5. #5
    grouch's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    Cool. One of the ideas that got me into hanging was sitting around in the backwoods with my FT817 and drumming up contacts on 6M. I never made a contact and got frustrated with the "mini" HF stuff so I sold it and never ended up getting my general. Maybe one day I will look into it again but for now I have too many other expensive hobbies. Looks like you had a good time.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Indy's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    That looks like a great set up you got there ...looks like allot of fun.

  7. #7
    Moderator raiffnuke's Avatar
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    sooo much fun!

  8. #8
    JaxHiker's Avatar
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    grouch, I'd be happy to lend any help if you get the bug to upgrade. I'm an instructor and examiner (got an email today asking me to lead the exam team). I enjoy helping people get licensed/upgraded.

    I've been tempted to try and buy my friend's 817. For now I'm finishing up a Rockmite on 20M in the hopes of doing some CW from the trail. On the last hike it really would've helped pass some time and I'd love to take advantage of the altitude I don't have in FL.

    I've never operated out of the hammock before but I might have to make this my standard. It was awesome. It was so much more comfortable than even my "cushy" folding chairs. Once again the hammock is king!
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
    Trail Issues? Please let me know.
    Blazing Trails with Kudzu @ www.idratherbehiking.com
    Follow me @idratherbhiking

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I will be taking my technician license test on August 7. I'm ready, both for the test and to get on the air. My local amateur radio club will help me select starter equipment, and I hope to be calling "CQ" really soon.

    73,

    - Navigator

  10. #10
    lizzie's Avatar
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    Awesome. Nice BBQ!! The radio looks nice too, though I know nothing about them! I recently met two women who are part of a local radio club and they were showing me their set-ups. They were having a mini-field day at a local park. It was interesting, and I may look into it amateur radio myself.

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