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Another ILLW has come and gone!  We had a great time, but due to bad band conditions, results this year failed to approach last year.  We had only about half as many contacts, fewer lighthouses and fewer states/provinces.

Mike, N7TLL, Hoop, K9QJS, Ed KD7TUN, and Chris, KG7BMU, arrived about 8a.m., and found Ranger Ted already had the pump house unlocked for us to get power.  We had 2 stations and 3 antennas on the air by about 8:45.  We used Ed’s 20M end fed halfwave at 20 feet up, Hoop’s 40M inverted V, and Mike’s 20M dipole.  Mike managed to get his antenna up about 40 feet using a shortened fishing pole to sling a golf ball on nylon fishing line up into the trees.  Imagine how much better could he have done with a sand wedge!  We oriented Mike’s antenna for E-W signals, Ed’s for N-S with a switch to select either one.  Hoop’s antenna is pretty much an NVIS antenna on 40M.  Mike’s dipole turned out to be our salvation.  Ed’s antenna was pretty disappointing, and 40M was so dead that there’s nothing to say about Hoop’s  antenna.  A check of modeled performance shows the extra 20 feet of height gives Mike’s dipole a 5 to 7 db advantage over Ed’s at take off angles from 20 degrees down to 2 degrees.  An interesting lesson for future ILLWs and Field Day.

With everthing set up, Mike started off with a contact with an Ohana Net buddy in Wisconsin, followed by Ohana Net folks on Whidbey Island, and in Denver.

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Hoop & Mike Working Hard

+We had the usual good interest from park attendees, including a few visiting hams, or people whose parent was a ham.  Hoop did a good job entertaining one young fellow, and actually coached him through a couple of contacts.

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Dad Watches While Hoop Explains Things

About 10:30 the whales came by, to the delight of all the visitors.

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There was a pre-arranged schedule for contacting other lighthouses on 40M at 2p.m., but the band was so dead we only managed Haceta Head in OR, and with great difficulty, Patos Is.  Although it was a nice clear day, it was just cool and breezy enough that we never took our jackets off the whole day.  We started tearing things down about 3p.m.  The results are:

Contacts:  37,   33 on 20M, 4 on 40M

Lighthouses: 4

Pt. Vicente, CA
San Luis, CA
Haceta Head, OR
Patos Is., WA

States and provinces: 11

Alaska
Arizona
British Columbia
California
Colorado
Florida
Nevada
Oklahoma
Utah
Washington
Wisconsin

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