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W4MQC

ALAN R PIKE

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W4MQC

Now at the old family place in NH.  Warm days, cool nights....big difference from Florida.  Staying at the farm cottage on the edge of the village of Goshen, NH (pop. 876).  The house is called a "plank house" because the exterior walls are made from thick wood planks mounted vertically. Here is what the house looked like around 1910.

Not a lot has changed since then.  The floor plan has moved around a little. Now, indoor plumbing and all the other conveniences of a modern house but since it was built (1813) it is pretty much unchanged.  Here it is today.

Here is a shot of the place in Fall.  Pop a log in the fireplace, turn on 20 meters and get cozy.

This is probably my favorite time of year to be in New England.  Crisp days, cool nights and the smell of wood burning. Fall is hard to beat here with the splashes of color from the hardwoods against the pines.  This is a shot of May Pond, which is a few miles from my place in Goshen.

The water reflects the foliage color in interesting ways, almost like an abstract painting.

If our QSO involves my KX3, you probably talked with me from this small cabin that sits behind the house?  I moved the QRP setup out there and it is a very peaceful setting for a shack.  It has 2 beds, a desk and electricity.  Perfect.

Here is an interior shot of the cabin showing the KX3 and my iPhone that I use with a O-scope app called b-spectrum (free) that allows me to tune in a recieved frequency right at 600 Hz.  Nice to be copying CW with a babbling brook in the background.

August 20, 2014.....now in Almont, Colorado.  Just hung the windom from a couple of pine trees by the cabin.  Seems to be hearing pretty well and now have 4 QSOs under my belt. Here is a shot of the cabin I am staying in for the next 10 days.

I have the KX3 set up on a built in dresser and it makes a nice operating position.  Glad I did not bring anything any larger than a KX3!!!! I have been running the KX3 at 10 watts into a windom.  The iPhone app allows me to tune in the station dead on frequency.

This cabin sits abt 75 feet from the Taylor River which is loaded with trout.  Big trout. I had to turn up the volume on the sidetone on the KX3 because the roaring river was so loud.  What a great way to drift off to sleep though.

If you are a fly fisherman, chasing trout on the Taylor is about as good as it gets.  All I have to do is stagger out of the cabin,  walk 50 feet down a slope and I am there.  You can wade or rock hop. The fish feed on mysis shrimp which is like steroids and the result is big, fat, colorful rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout.  Biggest catch so far is a spectacular 6 pound rainbow.

This is a shot from the top of Cottonwood Pass...the Continental Divide...elevation 12, 126 feet ASL.  My cabin is at about 10,000 feet ASL so I have been doing my share of huffing and puffing. The cabin is about 20 miles from this point.  Elevation here is a bit different than my Florida QTH at 7 feet ASL!

While in Colorado, we made a side trip over to Moab, Utah, and visited the Arches National Park.  Incredible rock formations. You might recognized the scenery as a back drop to a number of movies that were shot there...like "Thelma and Louise"  and the newest version of "The Lone Ranger."

While in Moab, we came across some ancient Indian writing from about 500 A.D.  Take a close look at the figures. Look at the one in the middle.  It looks like someone wearing one of those EVA space suits for doing space walks, or am I dreaming? Perhaps they had visitors in 500 A.D. or the brand of peyote they used was powerful stuff?

I just purchased one of the best keys I have ever used in 55 years of trying to master CW. Tom Withers, G3HGE, a craftsman-scientist-inventor, who lives in Bury St. Edmunds, England, developed something called the eZKe. It is a single lever paddle that is entirely magnetic. It is the smoothest, easiest to use paddle I have ever laid my mitts on. Impeccable engineering and stunning craftsmanship are the hallmarks of what Tom does. The unfortunate news is that at age 84, Tom has decided to finally put the padlock on the shop door and quit making keys and spend more time on the bands. 

This is my latest acquisition.  American Morse makes some interesting keys.  I have put together 2 of their cheaper paddles and finally decided I would try this "vertical" model.  It is called the SVP paddle.  It takes its roots from the WBL paddle but is priced much lower. It has a very smooth feel to it and I really enjoy using it.

 

 

 

This is the antenna I use with the KX3.  You might see the lead in I used in the cabin photo, but I had to resort to some larger 300 ohm line on that version.  The cheapie 300 ohm TV lead works great but sometimes it is difficult to find since everybody is on cable these days.   I have put together a few of these and they all seem to do pretty well on 40 through 6. This is a pretty simple end fed with no balun. You do need a tuner though. This is a great "emergency" or portable antenna. If you are into camping or backpacking with a QRP setup, this might be just the wire for you?  It does require a tuner.  Disclaimer:  Results may vary. Use at your own risk and calibrate expectations accordingly.  I had an email from a guy who said that this wire was not resonant on any ham band.  Maybe that is why it works so well? 

For contacts in NH or CO, QSL to P.O. Box 133, Goshen, NH 03752...FL QSO's can get a card to me here at the Bokeelia address above.

Please note: Bokeelia is on Pine Island which is IOTA NA-069.

Pine Island is in Lee Country in Florida.

Goshen is in Sullivan County in NH.

The Cayo Costa (a.k.a. Lacosta) Island QTH and the East Part Island QTH are also IOTA NA-069.

Member of A-1 Operator Club.

A few numbers for those interested: 10-10: 8274, QRP ARCI: 3788, FISTS: 6198, NE QRP: 41, FPQRP: 1042, NA-QRP: 481, SKCC: 1234, CW Ops: 182, FOC: 1734.

Rev: W4MQC - Saturday, May 17, 2010



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