Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Setting up

This is our official Day 1 of the DXpedition. We arrived just in time to view a magnificent sunset here from the villa. Those of you who have spent any time in the Caribbean know that it becomes dark very quickly here on the islands. So, what little antenna work that could be done last night was by flashlight and feel.
Budd erected a 40m vertical with the large coil on the top floor. He ran his FT-857 until the first set of batteries were exhausted. Changed battery packs, and did it again. He's paper logging so it will take a little effort to get those into the computer. We'll try to get all logs up on the web site this evening.
There has been a flurry of activity this morning. An incorrectly polarized set of PowerPole connectors nearly destroyed a radio (Icom 703) last night. A cautionary note should go here: some early PowerPole adopters had selected a configuration backwards from the ARES (and now defacto) standard. It only takes one such mismatched connector to cause a mishap. Luckily, we had brought enough tools, and Bob was clever enough, to find the dead diode in the unit that had shorted. Once the diode was removed, the unit came back to life.
While lots of guys are using Buddipoles (and I brought one, too), I'm also going to use some other antennas. I completed construction of an 80m vertical and 40/15m vertical this morning. They are wire verticals hung by a 33 foot mast and 20 foot fishing pole respectively.
This is only the morning of the first day, so I hope you'll be patient with us. It will take a bit more work to get all stations on the air. In the mean time, Budd continues to crank out CW contacts (on 17m right now) and Paul is handing out PSK-31 contacts on 20m. Snag those guys (and modes) now while the rest of the equipment is set up.
We're going to take a break from all this work in a few minutes. We have a couple of group activities including an island tour and tour of the Montserrat Volcano Observatory. It doesn't put QSOs in the log, but it does help make good DXpedition video footage.
I'll try to get some pictures on up the web site this afternoon or evening.


Post a Comment

<< Home