Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Princeton BC Spring Break

Princeton, B.C. Canada what a neat place to visit. We had the pleasure of staying at a friends home on 38 acres of land. One of the buildings on the site is a log home built in the late 1800's or early 1900's by the original land owner. We did not stay in that building due to some current tenants with long tails. It was so much fun exploring the area, lakes and towns. We took the 4 hour drive from Vancouver to Princeton. I am sure you can do it in less time but we had a few dog stops along the way, lunch and shopping before we arrived at the site. I had the car unpacked and items in the house in no time. By dinner time I was trying to get a line over a tree in the yard to hoist my End FED Par Electronics antenna. This took a while due to a strong wind that was determined to prevent me from hooking the branch I wanted. The XYL looked out from the kitchen window just in time to see me lose my prime branch. In the end it was at about 40 feet at the top end and 12 feet at the low end. I have had great luck using the End Fed antenna from PAR. Its simple to put up works 3 bands, and does not require a tuner. The antenna can handle up to to 25 watts, which is plenty of power to work SSB or CW. I was hearing the Eastern Seaboard from New York to Texas. There were many European stations as well.

So here I am working CW on 20 meters using a set of Palm Mini Paddles and a IC-703 radio that belongs to VE7EPP David. Its a cool little radio that has a built in tuner. The red plastic cups are from the wonderful drinks my XYL was blending in the kitchen. Alex our youngest was keeping a close eye on me to make sure that I was entering everything into the log. The fire was mostly to keep the misquotes away. It was also very warm to sit around after dark. After many portable trips using the End Fed I am convinced that the low end is the direction the antenna will favor. I had the high end pointed due west and the strongest signals where for the east. I did work stations on the west coast as well with good signal reports.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hawaii Trip 2008

This was the first ever DX holiday I had ever been on, not to mention my first trip to Hawaii. I was very fortunate to have an Elecraft K2 at my disposal. It had the built-in tuner, SSB board and lots of CW filters. Our trip included 9 days on the Island of Molokai, and 4 days in Maui. we met many great people while on Malokai, includuing Don Bordon NC6A. Don and I have become good freinds and continue to email one and another. Don will be visiting us in Vancouver July 11th, 2009. I can't say enough good things about holidays and portable ham radio fun.

Kualapuu Cookhouse Entertainment

We drove every inch of the ilsand of Maolokai, and in some cases hiked to see some of the sites. My XYL even rode a donkey down the side of the mountain to visit the unique and formerly forbidden village of Kalaupapa. The residents of Kalaupapa have set the rules, including one that stipulates no visitor under the age of 16 is allowed here. During the decades of isolation, newborn infants were taken from parents and removed from the settlement, placed with relatives or in orphanages to prevent the babies from catching the disease. They feel, 'Why should other people be able to bring their children down here when ours were taken away at birth?' " The remaining patients know today's tourist drill well. We were told they usually retire behind the curtains of their homes in the late morning when the tour bus pulls in, and remain there until it drives off in the early afternoon. A requisite stop was St. Philomena Church, which was central to Father Damien's ministry at Kalaupapa before he contracted leprosy and died here in 1889.

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