The work just keeps on going!

There’s something to be learned about having a large club station: Work is never done. And there was some work to be done to prepare for the Ohio QSO Party at the end of August. As usual, DELARA members were there to help as Dale, W8KTQ, Stan, N8BHL and Mike, W8MDC led the charge to prepare the station. One job remaining from days gone by was to finish the installation of the new VHF-and-up beam on the west tower. It was a tricky install, as Dale had to figure out and splice rotor cable to make the 100’+ run from the station across the roof to the tower. And there was coax to run as well. For the record, it has been recorded that Prez Mike, W8MDC, was seen on the roof also working on the tower. Now, the bad news. We did a lot more testing on the antennas with three IC-7300’s and we still have the inter-station interference. There are dents in the desk from banging our heads trying to figure this out. For OQP we ran the two CW stations with appropriate filters and a new 40 filter on the 7300 in Canned Ham. Even with backing off the RF gain (your best friend in a multi-multi environment) we still had significant problems. To quote our favorite Bob: “No hope!” Mike mounted his DX-Commander in the front yard and that worked well (it’s vertical, rest are horizontal) but we just can’t seem to nail this interference down. Truly, it’s a contest or Field Day and thus a hobby event, but there is a critical need underlying all this: this station is not only the county ARES Control Station, but in all likelihood could be called as a central point in Red Cross or other emergency response agency functions in a real disaster. So under those conditions, the multiple stations all ~have~ to work together. We will continue to chase this down. In the meantime, what we have works fairly well and it’s FUN! The station is open to all paid members! If you missed the boot camp where we discussed how to operate the stations, Dale, Stan, Mike or others will be happy to help you get started. And don’t forget to ask George, WD8KNC, if you’re interested in using the Yaesu 950 without even leaving your own comfy recliner- it’s available over the Internet!

Every Club Needs a “Dale”

Most people know that Dale W8KTQ keeps our club station up and running. But not everyone has a chance to see him in action. I've seen Dale repair coax with a quick on-the-spot fix, slice yards of sod with a pocket knife to bury coax on his hands and knees, and install our 160m inverted V antenna. But last month Stan N8BHL and I had a real chance to see Dale in his native habitat. We needed coax and rotor control cables run from the log periodic antenna on the west tower, across the roof line and into the radio room. That meant coax had to be pulled into the attic and passed down into our shack. I captured two pics of Dale up on the roof, which I thought showed him at his best. I especially like the picture with the half-moon in the background. It was very professionally taken, if I do say so myself. But not all radio work is so glamourous. When Dale tried to enter the attic, he hit some unexpected resistance. The drywall access panel just didn't want to budge. Something was in the way. As he started to clear the obstruction, it was obvious that some animal had made a nest in the attic. The more he pulled out, the more there was. When he was done, the entire attic access was filled with straw, leaves and other debris - and we couldn't see Dale at all. We always thank Dale for his work on the club station - both seen and unseen. I thought folks might like to see what Dale is willing to do to keep our station running. Thanks Dale. - Mike W8MDC