Posts Tagged ‘PFR3A’

Pleasant surprise

Today was a strange day.  It was my last day at my current job at Goldman Sachs. I’ve been there just over six years, managing all the Technology Department inventory (servers and networking and storage equipment) for the offices of the NY/NJ Campus.  I was the manager of the department responsible for receiving, inventorying, warehousing, and prepping for install a multi-billion dollar cache of equipment. I was also responsible for shipping re-purposed equipment both domestically and internationally. Believe me, you haven’t lived until you’ve been tasked with shipping millions of dollars of used equipment to places like Seoul, Sao Paolo, and Kuala Lumpur, and you were told it had to arrived undamaged (even though the original shipping containers had since long been discarded) and it had to arrive “yesterday”. I can proudly attest that in the six years that I was there, my department oversaw that inventory with a shrinkage percentage (loss due to theft, damage or mis-shipping) of less than 0.001%.

Last summer, Goldman felt that they had too many vendors, so they decided to downsize the number that they have on board. Our contract was farmed out to another vendor, and while my team was RIF’ed (reduction in force) I stayed on for six months to basically teach my replacements how to do the job.  My actual employer is Pitney Bowes Management Services, and through them, I will be starting at a new, non-management (actually glad for that, for a change) position with IBM next week.

My co-workers, the other outside vendors (IPC, Scholes, EMC, CBRE) who also serve Goldman Sachs are the best.  Totally unexpected, I walked into work this morning to find this waiting for me on my desk.

The head of the Security department phoned in for a bunch of pizzas and we had a bit of a going away party at lunch.  I am going to miss these guys like crazy.  Things could get pretty hairy from time to time and I slugged it out in the trenches with some of the best technical talent out there.  I am honored that they felt this way about little ol’ me.
Anyway, when I got home, I took the opportunity to get on the air and relax and unwind a bit.  I worked some DX and another FOC station, W9FOC – Gene in Illinois.  But by far the best QSO of the night was when NG9D answered my CQ near the 20 Meter QRP watering hole.  When I heard NG9D, my mind immediately said “Lynn ……..YouTube!”  Lynn has produced a bunch of YouTube videos that I have thoroughly enjoyed and it was so cool to be able to work him.  He was using his IC-703 at 10 Watts and he was a good 589 into New Jersey.  Conditions were good, so I received a 579 in reply
Lynn told me that he was trying to decide what radio he’s going to take with him when he goes camping this summer. I naturally suggested that he take his PFR3A and he agreed that it might be a good choice as it has the internal battery holders and internal antenna tuner.  Being such a small package is nice when you’re trying to keep down the amount of “stuff” that you take with you on vacation.  I asked him what antennas does he use when he goes camping and he told me about his Lambda antenna.  So happens that there’s a video that he’s done on it:
I thoroughly enjoyed my QSO with Lynn and I hope I get the opportunity to have another, soon.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to say the very least!

FYBO fun

FYBO was fun today.  No big effort as there were way too many other things going on that vied for my attention.  In between chores and duties, I was able to get out to the driveway, where I had the PFR3A on a battery in the back of my Jeep.  The antenna was the Buddistick on the magmount on the top of the roof.  Kudos to Bob W3BBO for suggesting this setup – it worked great!  The car body acts as a much better counterpoise/ground plane than the single wire and using the magmount eliminates the need for mast and guying.  So if you’re not hiking – this is a great way to use a Buddistick.

It ends up being much taller than a standard Hamstick (definitely not drivable), but the SWR was very nice and I was able to use the PFR3As internal tuner to even get that ironed out flat.

Ham at work – excuse the mess!

First QSO of the day was with Hank N8XX operating as “Amigo” with the WQ8RP callsign.  In all, I made 11 contacts in between grocery shopping, baking some bread for my daughter’s choir bake sale, etc, etc, etc.

Here’s a better look at the antenna.

On 40 Meters, I undid the tap and extended the whip all the way.  That gave me about a 1.4:1 SWR.  I only made one contact on 40 Meters and that was with Mark NK8Q in Pennsylvania.  He was using only 1 Watt and almost blew the ear buds out of my ears.  I don’t think I have ever heard 1 Watt as a 599 Plus before today.

The temperature was 45F when I started, so for simplicity sake, I used that throughout, even though I think it started dropping for my last couple of QSOs.  I think the lowest temperature that was reported to me was 32F and the highest was 76F.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!


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