Sunday, July 16, 2006

Verizon letdown + Power to the People

I never made it to Wachusett yesterday. Verizon repair never appeared, the static on the line is worse than ever, and I wasted a day sitting at home instead of working the contest. But I'm not bitter. [grin]
I did try to make the best use of my time (other than the nap I took, of course) including assembling the MFJ 6m yagi just to be sure all the parts were there and everything fit. It was a good thing I did this! The holes drilled into the boom for the U-bolt weren't quite right so I had to re-drill one of them. That would have been problematic on top of Mount Wachusett! Again, always familiarize yourself with your equipment (radios, antennas, power supplies, tuners, etc.) long before you need it for something important. I was going to try the new MFJ beam but I had a backup plan in case something wasn't right. If you take some new piece of equipment on a 100 pound DXpedition and it isn't right, you'll be hosed!
As I said earlier this week, we're in crunch mode at work. I'm here now, in fact, jotting down a few notes for today's blog and then at it full-tilt. I'm slated to travel Wednesday to Florida to The Open Group meeting. We'll see if that's still on after a status meeting we'll no doubt have early this week. While I'm down there I'm going to try to talk to people about boat charters to Cay Sal Bank. We'll see if I can find anybody interested in helping.
Finally, I received two magazines in the mail yesterday: QST and World Radio. QST had an article about a foot-powered charging system that captured my attention. Given that I've not heard back from the Rangers, I'm not counting on being able to tap into their power for the IOTA contest held at the end of this month. Therefore, I still have the problem of powering my rig all day. The solar panel helps, but it can't keep up with the drain. The Freeplay FreeCharge Weza look like it solves this problem nicely. The unit contains a 7 Amp-hour seal lead acid (SLA) battery and a foot-activated generator. Power to the people, baby! Here is a picture:
Freeplay FreeCharge Weza
I should be able to run all day with the combination of solar power and this gizmo. I can't wait to try! I ordered it last night (kind of big for an impulse buy, but what the heck). I'll let everybody know how it works out.
Finally, I just noticed my to do list on my desk. I've fallen behind on lots of things. I've signed up to do some stuff for the New England QRP club and I have to put an update out for Cab-converter to support the recently held ARRL VHF contest. I should try to do those things before leaving for Florida. My how time flies!


Post a Comment

<< Home