Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Back on the mend, time running short

This is the second day with my bout of back pain. I don't know what I did yesterday, turned wrong, bent funny, or twisted just so, but it was like a hammer fall in the small of my back. I've had this before, of course, but it usually resulted from me doing something quite stupid like forgetting my age and lifting or carrying something more appropriately sized for two men. Not so this time. It came out of the blue and for no reason I can identify.
I don't want this to sound like 75m SSB. I share this bit of discomfort partially to make a point. With just a few days to go, I am nearly finished with all I needed to complete. If I had waited until the last minute to pack, I would be in deep trouble indeed! Even now, I owe the group my final checklist of equipment and it isn't clear if I can complete that today or tomorrow. Perhaps, despite my best efforts, it will be done at the last minute after all.
Dave Bushong (KZ1O) looked over the audio I had posted the other day. When I say looked over I mean he put some of it through a spectrum analyzer assessing its quality. He suspected that something was overdriven during recording. He was right. I had the gain turned up a bit high going to the recording gizmo attached to the iPod. I'll need to watch that little "clipping" light on the unit when I do my next recordings (on Montserrat!). Here are a couple of pictures from Saturday's experiment.

I'll try to get this set up on Monday night after our arrival and hang at least the G5RV so I can be on the air immediately. The other antenna I'd like to get deployed immediately is a 6m antenna so I can get on the magic band. The DXers and contesters have probably given out all of the QSOs and QSL cards you could imagine on the contest bands, but I wonder how many have 6m from this island in their log? Paul will be making a similar effort, working the data modes until his fingers are sore, in hopes of handing out a new one for those who don't have VP2M with PSK31 or RTTY.
Our motto is "Not rare, but well done!" We know Montserrat leads no most wanted lists. This isn't Aves Island or Peter I. I plan on having fun, of course, but also plan to use this trip, and the experiences I'll gain, to help prepare me for one of those rare ones.
Back to the heating pad. Just 5 days to go...


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