Monday, January 15, 2007

Spare radio and fuses

There was no mail delivery today due to the national holiday. I still waiting on the band-pass filters to be delivered. If they are not in tomorrow's mail, I'll call and inquire about their status. In the mean time, I need to continue to refine the inventory so I've got space and weight budget enough to handle it.
I also needed to make room for a spare radio. Having a backup, even a small backup, is better than nothing when you travel. Consider the possibility of going someplace really interesting and then having your only radio conk out. This is something I preach to anyone traveling alone (or as the only ham), and it probably isn't as crucial for this trip given there are six other guys and five other radios, but I'd still like to have that capability. Perhaps it is just habit at this point. My backup radio will be a Yaesu FT-817. I can also use that if I go off hiking. At 5 watts, I'll not be knocking anybody over with my signal, but it beats not having a working radio at all.
To add stuff, I needed to remove stuff. I removed the tripod for the Buddipole and a couple of other loose parts totaling about five pounds. The FT-817 and all its accessories were nine pounds. I'm now skirting close to 50 in the big REI bag. I'll either need to swap more stuff out or be overweight on this bag, too. I'm seriously overweight on the Pelican case, a fact I'm not happy about at all!
I sat up late last night and started making a list of all the small items I'd not included in the kit. An example of such an item is spare fuses for the radio and PowerPole distribution box. Sure, it is obvious when list it here, but did you think of them? {grin} How about all the other things that are missing from that list I published last night? It is a great exercise to go over such a list and then try to determine what you would add or delete from it. I'll be doing exactly that with the list from my fellow travelers this week.
In order to catch more stuff like this I'm going to haul all the bags into work and set up everything on the big conference room table just as I hope to set it up on the island. I'll check everything against my spreadsheets at that time and scrutinize each item to see if there isn't something else that needs to be done (fixed, included, or removed). I'll also likely run in the North American QSO Party this weekend using the Montserrat gear. It was always my intention to use that contest for a final shake-out of the equipment.
The last piece of public relations material to be packed for the trip was also completed today. I have a 3 foot by 3 foot poster with our DXpedition logo and slogan printed in vivid color. I've just slipped that into the tube along with a similarly sized 100 Pound DXpedition poster. They will make great backgrounds for still pictures and videos around the villa and will no doubt be used for the big group shot for the QSL card.
Just 13 days to go...


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