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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.

Even the bad weather is dramatic here.  It comes off the Gulf and collides with warm air over the mainland and the cloud formations are spectacular.

In a moment of weakness at the Fort Myers Hamfest, I took the plunge on this HW-16.  I have had 2 of these suckers and sold off both with no shortage of regret.  Far from the performance of today's gear, the HW-16 brings back a lot of memories and with the right crystal, makes a dandy bird call. I am looking forward to fiddling with this rig and maybe even doing a couple of mods on it?  I think it is that unique smell of hot tubes that triggers those 40 year old memories?  

Here is a magnetic bug created by Tom Withers, G3HGE.  I love this bug.  You adjust it once, and forget it.  Unfortunately, Tom is no longer producing any keys or paddles.  Listen for me using this bug.

If you are looking for an inexpensive paddle, particularly for portable use, this UNI-HAM 730 is a good choice.  It is around $50 or so off EBAY and comes from China (surprise, surprise!).  You will need to put a non-skid pad under it of some sort, but it does a really good job.  I use mine with my QRP gear when I am on the road.  Small, as you can see by the quarter next to it, and solid enough construction to survive life in a back pack.


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


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