Monday, January 08, 2007

I'm a Nervous Nilly(tm)

Last night's conference call covered a lot of ground. Still, with less than three weeks to go, I'm nervous about pulling all the things together that I think should be done. I've tried to be honest in this blog about things that have gone well and things that have not. My belief is that I should have pushed harder, and sooner, on some of this stuff. I think I'll spend at least some of the trip, especially those long plane rides, making long lists of things I'll do better next time.
We still don't have equipment selection anywhere close to finalized. Only two of us have even put draft spreadsheets up on the group's file area so we could compare notes. With a more traditional DXpedition, where weight doesn't really matter so long as you don't forget anything important, you can probably wait on this activity and then just throw in everything, including the kitchen sink, to be sure you'll have what you need when you arrive. If, like us, you're trying to optimize on weight and total equipment carried, I believe you need to work--as a group--to really get things right. This takes time, of course, and time is running out. Again, I'm sure we'll pull things together, but in my view we should be much farther along in this exercise than we are today. More grist for my mill, I guess.
We did agree to drop a note on our private list about our specific antenna plans in an effort to mitigate our lack of progress on the global equipment planning front. I sent this note out this morning:
These plans are preliminary. This is my thinking so far:

1. Buddipole Deluxe Package, 8-foot mast, tripod,
RAK, no low band coils
This is the Buddipole that I will use from my station at the
villa for the high bands
(7 pounds)

2. Buddistick Deluxe Package
If I want to try something extemporaneous, I'll bring
this and a small rig
(4 pounds)

3. Big dipole. Probably a Cobra UltraLite 160-10.
I want to work 160 & 80m. Perhaps the Buddipole will work,
perhaps not. This will.
(5 pounds)

4. The Wire Man model#534 "Invisible 26 AWG wire" 1000-foot roll.
'Invisible' Toughcoat 'Silky' 26 AWG, 19 strand 40% copper-clad
steel (OD 0.020") with the same jacket as 531 (Nominal OD, 0.050"
including 0.015" jacket, but super small for that 'low profile'
antenna or pocket 'weekender' long wire. Weighs less than
one pound per 1000 feet! Not recommended for 160 meters.
This wire is great for radials, loops, anything.
(2 pounds)

5. Three or four 20-foot collapsible fishing poles.
Used with the 534 wire above, you can make some amazing
wire antennas.
(1 pound ea.)

I'm also bringing center insulators and a couple of baluns
for making feed points.

As I said, these plans are preliminary. I might reduce the number of fishing poles I bring, or even leave the Buddistick at home. I'm unlikely to bring more, though, as I'm already skirting close to my weight limit.
We talked about group outings, QSL cards, and food. We currently have three group activities planned: a trip to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, a boat trip around the island to see Plymouth from the sea (one of the only ways you can see it at all), and a boat trip to Redonda Island where we'll be able to snorkel, scuba dive, and operate. That last place looks like a great place for a group picture for our QSL card!
I know this trip is going to be incredibly fun. I do. I'm just a little nervous about all the stuff that needs to get done between now and the time fun begins. {grin}


Blogger W4TMN said...

Scott, you're nervous about this stuff and not concerned about that volcano now erupting???

I hope that all goes well for you guys and that nothing gets in the way of your plans. I will be looking forward to hearing about the adventure when you return.

Good luck and I will be listening for you guys!


January 08, 2007 8:02 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home