Beach Boys ARC | On The Edge Of A Continent

Satellite perspective of our operating latitude and longitude on rocky outcropping.
The city sign amplified our ham radio experience in the great outdoors. 
Buddipole antenna system configured for 15m CW pointing north to south.
Yaesu FT100 with power supply connected to Bencher Paddles almost ready to launch signal.
Fred, KI6QDH spinning the dial on 15m SSB with Bob, K2YAZ waiting for  Ryan, K6RQT to log a QRP contact.
Ryan, K6RQT getting ready to fire up his homebrew 1 watt, crystal controlled transceiver using matched long wire.
Beach Boys ARC participants (L) to (R) Fred, KI6QDH, Scot KA3DRR, Radio Dawg, Ryan, K6RQT, and Bob, K2YAZ.

We could not wish for a better day while experiencing ham radio in the great outdoors. The temperature did not rise above 60 degrees with sunny skies giving way to partly cloudy and no wind from any direction.

I packed earlier that morning wondering if the park would be full of visitors and locals? Everyone likes taking their dogs for a walk around 10 o’clock in the morning. I wasn’t disappointed. However, not only were we going to experience ham radio in the great outdoors, this was an opportunity at acquainting our general public with wireless communication as well.

Our operating location was chosen for its rugged terrain and proximity to the ocean. I would like to credit PT0S St. Peter and St. Paul Rocks DXpedition for their inspiration. We attempted to a limited degree to approximate operating conditions. I learned that ambient noise level increased substantially at high tide. The noise of breaking waves against rocks is loud making CW copy difficult without cans.

Next time, will wear cans and need to make a box for a speaker and head set jack, when operating near the ocean. It is good practice to share the experience with our general public as well.

I can only praise the performance of the Buddipole antenna system and ease of assembly in the field. Also, for transparency, I’m not sponsored by Buddipole to promote its product line on my blog. The same can be said of DX Engineering as well, however; I’m passionate about both of these companies and want them to continue succeeding into the future.

On the other hand, I’m beginning to understand why DXpeditions spend a great deal of time preparing for their operation and the impact of not being prepared. For example, I could have tweaked the FT100 side band menu settings instead of doing this in the field, lesson learned. Also, I forgot to open the vent valve on the Honda EU2000i gas tank and it stalled about an hour into operation.

Beach Boys ARC participants successfully logged two CW contacts at 100 watts into the Buddipole. We contacted Oklahoma and Florida receiving respectable signal reports from by station operators. Ryan, K6RQT and Bob, K2YAZ called CQ on several occasions without success. However, RQT’s homebrew 40m crystal controlled, one watt transceiver with matched long wire antenna will be back in the field in the near future.

In the meantime, I learned about being prepared prior to actually operating in the great outdoors and, anytime, is a good time, to take ham radio outside of the shack. Overall, Beach Boys ARC participants enjoyed a few hours under the ionosphere operating ham radio from a rocky outcropping while sharing the best hobby on the planet with the general public.

73 from the shackadelic near the beach.  

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