And sometimes “the next time” is the next day! That was the case for me and A45XR in Oman. Where I was unsuccessful last night, I scored tonight. Chris in Oman was VERY loud into New Jersey at the very end of 20 Meters – 14.005 MHz. He was 599+ loud. The kind of loud that you know in your gut that if you stick with him (and he doesn’t QRT), you’ll get him in the log. As I was listening to him pick off the stations, I heard him come back to Chris KQ2RP (author of Signal to Noise – KQ2RP), who lives all of 28 miles from me as the crow flies. When I heard Chris A45XR work Chris KQ2RP (hey, that was a 2X Chris QSO!), I really started to feel confident. And I was in the log about 5 -7 minutes later. First time to work Oman and via QRP. Life is good!
BTW, here’s a picture of the insulator I fashioned last night from the pen barrel. Sorry about the photo quality – I tried adjusting the exposure and contrast; but you’ll get the idea.
I received an e-mail from Joel N3GSE over the weekend, informing me that it’s not legal to own a slingshot in New Jersey. Who knew? I had so many as a kid! I could argue (if ever questioned about it) that since it’s attached to an “L” bracket and the projectile is attached via fishing line that it’s technically an “antenna line launcher” and not a sling shot, per se. I’ll have to ask my police officer brother-in-law about it. Another stupid New Jersey law, if you ask me.
But as I was reading the statute (and I re-read it about 3 times to be certain), I saw that there was no mention whatsoever about pneumatic antenna launchers. So I sent away for the following kit from the Joplin Amateur Radio Club:
When I lived in NJ I had to have a slingshot “smuggled” in by a redneck friend of mine. Nobody would ship me one since it is a deadly weapon according to NJ law. (wot a joke) I bought one here in FL @ a wallyworld to sling my antennas to my hearts content. Hell, I think you can buy machine guns here too! LOLOLOLOL
If you like that, then you should make one with a sprinkler valve. I made a ball valve one similar to that, but it was hard to keep it aimed and open the valve fast enough. You can remove the solenoid from a sprinkler valve and put in a NC air pushbutton instead (mcmaster.com) and gain a lot of accuracy. Plus it makes a much cooler noise.
Another trick is to shoot “small pet” tennis balls that fit into 2″ pipe. Those hard plastic projectiles will smash if they hit something hard, or go through a car windshield (that has happened) — the small pet mini tennis balls with a bit of beach sand in them for weight are not quite as deadly.
Have fun regardless.
Guilty as charged. I went to work him on 17m too, but as I think he was coming back to me, without warning a bolt of lightning struck extremely close to my QTH and nearly knocked me out of my chair. I yanked the power cord, disconnected the antenna and chucked the coax across the room. Too close for comfort with a new KX3!