ALAN R PIKE
Now back in Florida for the season. New pictures will show up soon!
Here is the QTH in Bokeelia. I am so lucky to be here. Have to pinch myself periodically to make sure I am not dreaming. The house was designed by my son. Cedar shakes. Not many of these in Florida, but surprisingly, termites do not like cedar so it turns out to be a pretty smart idea?
Bokeelia is a very "old Florida" type place. No beach, so not many day tourists. Mostly fishermen and boaters and folks (like me) enjoying life in the slow lane.
My S9 (43 foot) vertical mounted on a mooring post out on my dock. Works great over salt water.
The S9 is a pretty flexible antenna. It is essentially a fiberglass tube with a single wire up the center. Very simple. I used to have a Hustler vertical but the salt air kept eating the traps so the S9 was a good solution. Here is a shot of the S9 in the wind.
Sunsets in Bokeelia are amazing. Always different. It really lights up the sky over Gasparilla Island. I usually walk up to the pier on the very Northern tip of the island to catch the setting sun. Great way to finish off the day.
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.
I am always searching for the best antenna. What I am finding is that there are a lot of variables involved in this pursuit. Height above ground. Surrounding objects. Soil conditions. I mean you could go nuts second guessing yourself on which antenna is the optimum one? This "New Carolina Windom" seems to be a pretty safe bet if you are looking for a wire that covers several bands (40 thru 6 no problem....little "iffy" on 80 and forget 160)...and is easy to assemble, try the NCW. I have used this antenna in Colorado and NH with good success and am now using one here in Florida. My compliments to Len Carlson, K4IWL, for developing an excellent solution if you want just one antenna and several bands. I even borrowed his graphic.
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