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2017 ILLW

This year’s ILLW was hampered by poor propagation as we head towards a sunspot minimum.   However, we still had a good time.

Mike, N7TLL, and Ed, KD7TUN, arrived at 8am and began setting up.  Mike brought his trusty antenna rope launcher, a cut down fly rod with a golf ball on the end of the fish line.  His first attempt at launching the golf ball into the trees failed when the ball hit the tree trunk and bounced back at us.  His second attempt looked good – until we realized the fishing line broke, and the ball had disappeared over the bluff, most likely ending up in the water.   With no spare ball, we had to improvise.  Ed dug around in his tool bag and produced a snap on ferrite bead about the size and weight of a golf ball.  We tied it on to the line with a cloth strap, and added a red paper chop stick bag to help make it visible.

Mike did a practice launch to get the feel of the new weight, and when it hit the ground the plastic case of the bead broke in half, leaving nothing on the end of the fish line but the cloth strap and the chopstick bag.  More work with the cloth strap and the pieces of bead, and we tried again.  We finally got Mike’s 20M dipole up in the trees about 40 feet high, and aimed roughly SSE.  Soon after, Mike bagged our first out-of-WA state, working a station in the Ohana net on the big island of Hawaii.

 

Hoop

Hoop, K9QJS, arrived about 9:30, and started off by working S. Dakota.  We had plenty of park visitors asking questions, including someone from France who asked about French lighthouses participating.  (There were 3, two of which he was familiar with.)  No Orcas showed, but we did see some humpbacks.  We took turns operating, and by the end of the day we managed to scrape up 24 contacts.  Hoop stayed until about noon, and Mike and Ed toughed out the chilly wind until about 3pm.

 

Ed & Mike

The final tally was:

States & Provinces:  BC, CA, CO,  HI, SD, WA, WY
Lighthouses:
US0067   Old Pt. Loma, CA
US0218   New Dungeness, WA
US0037   Pt. Fermin, CA
US0117    Pt. Arena, CA
US0033   Pt. Vicente, CA

State Parks:  KFF-1226, Lathrop St. Park, CO

 

 

Ranger Ted has retired, so thanks to volunteer Mary for putting us in touch with Ted’s replacement, Ranger Rich, and thanks to Rich for giving us access to the spot and the AC power.

Ed K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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