Polar Bear Midnight Madness Event Mar 2010

A fitting end to this season of PBMME … Saturday the weather was finally decent here in Orlando and with 80F temperature and lots of sun, I certainly earned my red neck for the season! I set up my portable station near the tall pine trees in our neighborhood park on Lake Fredrica. A few curious neighbors came by to find out what the crazy guy with the wires in the tree was doing!

I am really liking the latest antenna launching combo shown in the photo below. I have been using a slingshot taped to a shelf bracket and equipped with a spincast reel, but have been considering other alternatives. The monofilament fishing line is prone to wind knots and tangles and does not always slip through the branches as well as I’d like. I found an old post by Russ Carpenter, AA7QU, a co-founder of Adventure Radio Society, which described using an archery reel and super slick braided line. Sure is nice to learn from those that have gone before! The bright yellow line is very easy to see though very thin, 3x stronger than monofilament and flies through both air and branches with ease! KEEPER!  Think I will do away with the spincast reel and save it for the grandkids!

Tools of the trade

Antenna Launching options

Mar 2010 PBMME site

Here's my site for the event

another view

Great trees for antenna wire hanging!

If you look closely, you can see the 30m half wave going up to the tree on the left. Nearly vertical for 46 feet and is spooled on a Coleman Camping clothes line and used with a 3 ft counterpoise.

To the right is my 20ft Jackite pole and a W3EDP 84 ft antenna with a 17 ft parallel feed with 3/16 inch PET pipe spacers about every 2.5 ft. it tunes 80-15m with my BLT+ tuner.

The Polar Bear QRP Group is a great bunch of guys… (no yl’s or xyl’s that I’ve heard yet) and our monthly outings are something I look forward to each month. The Yahoo Group is a good source of information and laughs as we swap stories and share our adventures. If you like QRP and portable operation, this is the group to join.

Kelly McClelland, K4UPG, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Florida, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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