WD9BSA Bert C Johnson Memorial Amateur Station

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DOUBLE HEADER

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This month’s station open hours was one of the most productive yet.  We hosted Tiger Cub dens from two packs for their Achievement 4G: Go See It!  In addition to the Tigers were also a couple Bears and some random tag-a-longs thrown in for good measure.  It was a lot of fun talking to all of them on the air with the HT’s.  I’m pleased to report that several boys expressed some real interest in the hobby.  Several parents also asked good questions about amateur radio.  Hopefully we’ll get some return guests to the station in coming months, and for our other special activities.

We were also able to pull in two runs of new LMR-400 coax through the conduit and out into the woods.  This allowed us to hook up the multi-band fan dipole and also a new 160m OCF dipole.  The fan dipole Randy built has been pretty productive in the past, and with the new coax should be even better!  The new 160m antenna was also built by Randy, and when stretched out is really long!  We haven’t been able to tune it up yet, but it’s hung in the trees and will be ready for next month.  The two new coax runs ate up the 500 feet roll we had but will surely be worth it.  Hopefully we can say goodbye to setting off the fire alarm now.

Of course, pulling the coax didn’t go without incident.  As with all antenna endeavors there was adversity to overcome.  The old coax came apart and much of it was pieced together and water logged.  This made it hard work to get the new in and the old out.  We also had to dig up some of the conduit as it had come apart underground, ugh!  It seemed to take a hundred tries to get the ropes shot up in the trees using Tom’s launcher.  What a long day, but happily we were successful on all accounts.  The weather really cooperated and there was very little weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Now that we have the new station gear and the antennas and feedline all should be well.  I’m looking forward to getting the station back on the HF bands again and trying out some of the new radios.  We should really have a super station now and will also have a portable go-box station for any excursions we might take.  It’s nearly the end of the month now, so I better get this post published before the next big activity comes along.  Next month will be exciting, too, as we host another VE testing session at the Golden-Burke Scout Center and station open hours.  73 until then.

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