Pretty hard to freeze anything when your low temperature is 65F. I was
sort of grateful for it though.
Started off with a couple of DayQuil capsules and a McMuffin and headed
for the scene of my first (I think) FYBO, back in 2000, when I went to
Short Mountain near Paris Arkansas. My site is the location of an old
farmhouse with just some cellar stones, a cistern and a portion of a log
barn remaining. The trees were old and tortured looking, like in a
Gothic horror story. They actually groaned in the wind while the
remaining tin on the barn roof emitted high pitched bird calls straining
against rusty nails. ("The haunted, frightened trees ..." -- name that
Remembering my frustration in trying to get a dipole for the Red Hot 20
into the trees nine years ago, I came equipped. First I took out the
homebrew wrist supported slingshot & fishing reel and fired off a lead
sinker. The first attempt was a little wimpy, so reeled in and really
stretched the rubbers and -- pow! one of them broke in two. Good thing
I had dual, redundant diverse launching systems. I got out my bow and
arrow plus the bowfishing drum with woven fishing line. Fired the arrow
way up and over, but somehow it separated from the string and I never
found it back. I'd only brought the one arrow. I guess I'm the Barney
Fife of antenna launching. So I was reduced to the rock and arm method,
not exactly my strong suit. I got the EFHW maybe 20 feet up at the apex.
The EFHW has become the secret weapon of the antenna support
challenged. And the ATS-3 takes care of the hardware end. I set up on
the tailgate of my truck and tried out 40 meters. It sounded decent but
as in previous years, it couldn't compete with 20 for me. I just did 4
Qs on 40. I don't do big numbers on FYBO because I'm always taking time
out to walk around, admire the scenery and take a few photos. The
creepy gray overcast of morning eventually gave way to a partly sunny
day and I did some nice touring. My brother saw a bear on this mountain
about ten years ago, but in my mind it might have been this morning. I
didn't see any bears though, just one armadillo. Pesky Texans we didn't
used to see in Arkansas.
Switched to 20 with ease, since the 40 meter EFHW tunes 20 just fine.
Eventually though, the tie off at the far end came loose and the
antenna, while still over the tree, was flopping in the breeze,
occasionally positioning itself against the side of my head. I finally
got enough of that and put the screwdriver antenna on the truck. (I
went redundant on everything.) A few more QSOs and I headed down into
Paris for a Philly cheese sandwich and onion rings. When I got home, I
did a couple more QSOs in the driveway. My total was about 14, I
think. Enough to make me feel that it was a successful FYBO. Never
heard a thing on 15.
Thanks as always to the sponsors.
Next year I'll try to log at least one degree cooler and charge my battery from a solar panel so I can put up some big numbers! ;^)