Polar Bear Goes Deer Hunting
Today I participated in another Polar Bear Moonlight Madness Event, but this time while deer hunting. Instead of the Yaesu FT-817 and the SGC "I've-fallen-and-can't-get-tuned-up" tuner, I packed the K1 and the venerable BLT tuner. Instead of the heavily modified Whiterook paddle I usually use afield, I was equipped with a homebrew straight key. I forgot how nice of a CW rig the K1 really is and how fun a straight key is. Surprisingly this was the first time I've used a straight key while operating on a hike or hunt. Even with cold, numb fingers I was able to send decent CW unlike when using an iambic paddle. Straight keying is quite a bit more forgiving of timing errors and the irregularity of straight keying is somewhat charming and gives the code more personality.Anthony Good, K3NG, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Pennsylvania, USA. Contact him at [email protected].
The operating position
Close-up of the homebrew straightkey
View from the operating position before the snow came
GRRRRRRR and BRRRRRRRR
I made three polar bear contacts on 40 meters, logging W1PID, VA2SG/PM, and WA2FBN. I also heard N0EVH calling CQ but unfortunately he couldn't hear me. 20 meters was dead and I couldn't get anyone on 30. All in all, another good day in the field. Later in the day it started snowing and we got three inches of snow. Yeaaahhh!
Update: Here's a Youtube video from Jean-Pierre VA2SG having a QSO with me... Good stuff!