Near-Fest (spring 2019)
Was not bad weather this Spring at Near-Fest. However, it seems vendors and the flea market have thinned out. I am not sure why. Maybe the fact that Boxborough Ham Fest is every year now is impacting Near-Fest.
I did buy three stereo cable with 1/4 inch plugs for my TKA key project. I am waiting for my shack to be complete to finish the project.
I did see Larry, N1FG and of course he took some pictures for the "Rag Chew". Always nice to meet up with Larry.
The real tragedy was the church concession was not open. So no apple pie this year.
Well I was able to put up my OCF Windom dipole. I took the EFHW antenna down. It had broken several times and needed to be retired. Glad I was able to get my OCF back up.
I think the root cause of the EFHW failure was because one end was tied to the porch, which did not allow any give when there was some wind. We had some 50 mph winds which put a lot of strain on the antenna. So I shouldn't be surprises it broke.
I am hoping since the OCF dipole is anchored in two trees, it will not be as prone to breakage.
|Closeup of OCF|
|Temporary mount for my Slim Jim 2m/70cm antenna. I hope to get it mounted to the back of the garage when my ham shack is completed.|
|Toilet flange used as antenna wire input to ham shack.|
Nothing too shattering form the Flex front. I did have a DAX issue that was caused by a Windows update. So I submitted a bug report and within a day Tim had the problem fixed. For some reason some of the DAX drivers got named wrong and Tim just had to rename them.
I must say Flex service is great. Never had an issue they could not solve.
The shack is finally complete and I have moved in!
Below are some pictures of the ham shack being built.
Since the room above the garage was never intended to be used, the contractor needed to add a beam down the middle of the floor because the span was too long for the joist. They also needed two beams across the width of the garage. One over the garage door and one in the back of the garage.
|This was the Faux door on the front of the garage.|
|Window to replace the Faux door.|
|Wall between shack and storage area|
|Stairs and platform.|
|Open for business|
|The new shack!!|
Of course setting up the shack was not without problems. When I was setting up, I started setting of the smoke/heat detectors in the garage, mostly 40M and 20M. If I reduced power, the problem would go away. My solution was to route the lead in coax from the antenna completely around the back of the storage room and the shack. I also rearranged my layout so the radio is now towards the front of the garage and further away from the smoke/heat detectors. This solved my RFI issues with the smoke detectors and also greatly reduced the RFI into my speakers.
Here are my WES results. I didn't submit a May or June WES.
Month count overall QRO
April 42 86 57
July 55 27 17
Aug 29 72 52
Sept 13 172 123
Here are my Brag results for April to September. Not getting the 90+ brags that I was trying for every month. Kind of fell of the wagon.
Month count placed
April 21 42
May 59 26 I was bonus brag this month
June 28 24
July 48 21
Aug 36 16
Sept 36 21
That is it for now.
73 - Dave KB1WOD