Saturday, November 04, 2006

Montserrat trip planning moving to next phase

This week brought about lots of activity within the Buddipole Users on Montserrat group. The web site was updated with a new logo and biographies for the two new operators, plane tickets were purchased for all but the last leg of the journey, and we've agreed on a hotel in Orlando for the staging both going to, and coming from, the island. Whew! Hopefully Chris (W6HFP) will get that charter flight booked early next week and we can declare the logistics part of this planning completed.
As I stated in one of the mail messages I sent to our group this week, I'd like to now start the discussion regarding equipment we will all be bringing. I look for that process to begin as soon as this weekend. All the things you can think of immediately (transceivers, power supplies, microphones, paddles, feed lines, antennas) will most certainly make the list, but there are other things less obvious that also need to be taken. For example, we should have at least one tool set with soldering iron, an antenna analyzer, and SLA battery charger. There are seven operators. We don't need seven antenna analyzers. Nor do we need seven tool sets. We should plan ahead so that everything we need is taken, duplication is minimized, and the weight of those items is distributed among the seven members. That way we can have what we need yet still live (collectively) within the 100 pound limit imposed upon us.
The other thing I mentioned in a message to our group was my desire to begin adding content to the web site. Here are some things I'm considering:
  • Descriptions of potential operating locations. We hope to work from beach, volcano observatory, etc. Describe our goals and current plans (Battery? Solar? 100W? QRP? Overnight? High bands? Low bands?)
  • I'd like to get some pictures and descriptions of the Gingerbread Hill villas on the site to show people where we'll be staying.
  • More information about Montserrat. I have raw materials for this section but have not yet had time to create it.
  • A whole section will be made available upon our arrival for the on-line log. I'm working out those details now.
  • A whole section should be made regarding our equipment. We might even have one page per operator describing what they brought, what it weighed, and why they made that decision.

Finally, I only tonight learned that the long anticipated Low Band Coil option for the Buddipole was made available the middle of last month. I knew that it was in the works (and had been for some time) but I had been so busy with other things that I'd completely missed the announcement. I ordered it immediately upon seeing it, of course. {grin} I'll try it out during the ARRL November Sweepstakes contest (November 18-20). I should be able to do some A/B comparisons between the 80m Buddipole vertical and my G5RV. Of course I'll report my results here!


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