While traveling in Idaho this weekend I made a side trip into Oregon to meet up with NK7U – Joe Rudi and visit his station. We have run into each other during some of the contests over the past few years and seemed like meeting up face to face would be a good thing to do. It was, Joe is one of the guys who I’m glad to have run into, thanks to ham radio. A very down to earth nice guy who was a real pleasure to get to meet. He also has the biggest station to date I have been able to visit or operate from.
Spring has slipped away as we rush into the summer farm work around here now. Since my last post after the CQWW 160 Contest in Feb. I have been busy getting the farm ready to go again. Work includes a few repairs to the sprinkler system both on the fields and in our yard, winter has been hard on some if it. Now about all that is left is servicing the equipment so its ready to fun for the summer.
I did get in a coax upgrade project this past weekend on the tower. Also had to change out the antenna switch system up there after a lighting strike last year I have been down as far as being able to switch from one antenna to another up there. All is repaired now so its all back up and ready to play radio again.
Wow here it is the March 10th all ready and another winter ( radio contest season ) has come and gone. These past two weekends I got the remaining low band antenna equipmment off of the pivot field so we can start up farming operations again for the spring and summer. It seems like just yesterday that we were finishing up and we had the winter months ahead of us to play radio.
I would like to thanks those who came up to the farm or helped in the NK7C team entry for the CQWW 160m SSB contest. It was a lot of fun to have everyone there for the weekend. Cyndi – N7NND, Gary – KF7FQU and I set up and took down the low band antenna system this year and I greatly appreciate there help. The op’s this year were Bob – W7RH, John – N7CQQ, Blayne – KG7SS and myself – NK7C. Many thanks to Cyndi for the great food and taking care of us all weekend during the “slug fest on the air”. 160m ssb contesting can be a rough affair at times and his year was no exception. The second night of the contest we lost the antenna on the multiplier station so we went down to just the one radio system for the rest of the night, 4 op’s and one radio. I think everybody did get the chance to sleep some that night. Thanks again to everybody for all you did.
I’m looking forward to the growing season this year as last year was a lot of fun for me. Must have been the upgrade to all of the newer hay equipment and getting rid of the old stuff we had for a few years. Whatever it was I did have a great time and I think this year will be another great experience for my family and I.
The party is over, well the low band contest season is over for another year. We completed the past weekend contest ( CQWW 160m ssb ) Sunday morning and everybody headed home to Las Vegas after breakfast. Team was W7RH – Bob, N7CQQ – John, KG7SS – Blaine, KF7FQU – Gary, my wife Cyndi – N7NND and myself. We had two others drop out at the last minute due to work.
Anyway we had a good time, only a couple of problems during the test. One was during the afternoon on Saturday when the logging network went down for some unknown reason. Had it back up in a half hour or so. But then just at dark we found that the second station antenna had broke down during the day. Resulting in the loss of the multiplier station for Saturday night. The last contacts just at sunrise were with it and everything was fine, but by the end of the day something had gone wrong resulting in it shorting out. It was a real bummer to be down one antenna with the group we had. All that is left now is to take down /remove the antennas off of the alfalfa fields, roll up some 25,000′ of wire and coax and turn it all back into a farm this coming week so we can start farming again for the summer. Oh boy sounds like fun !
After working on setup for the past couple of days the 160m setup is ready for the last 160m contest of the year. We will be putting up a HP Multi team entry again this year with NK7C, N7CQQ, N7NND, KG7SS, W7RH, KF7HGD & KF7FQU new kids on the block. Hope conditions hold out for another week or two here so we all can have fun !
The past couple of days I have been pretty busy installing the radials on the verticals for 160m & 80m. Last night I did a couple of on air tests with W7RH and everthing is running fine with them. Both set up’s running almost perfect match’s and signal reports last night were very good. Now tonight with a storm moving in and 35 mph winds outside I’m glad to be inside and the work is complete on the TX antenna’s. Still have the beverages to run before the two CQ 160m contests at the end of this month and next month. Looking forward to some fun after all the work getting set up. See ya in the contest’s !
I guess I’m a little behind schedule here. Yesterday I got started standing up the verticals for 160m and 80m. With the help of a neighbor and friend – Gary, KF7FQU and my wife Cyndi – N7NND we stood up two of them in about 90 minutes. Still have the radials, beverages & control lines to run. One thing that is hard to believe right now is that our farm is at 5325′ elevation in central Utah – it was 55 degrees yesterday while we worked on this. The middle of winter and in short sleeves. Much more to do with time getting short before the CQWW 160 contest coming up at the end of the next two months.
Well lets see, its been a couple of months since the last post so where to start. I spent a big share of the summer cutting or baling hay. It was nice, may sound strange but have been really missing the summer work up here since it has gotten cold now.
Staci and I have done a few pretty good bike rides since we did the 50 miler with Joren for his Cycling Merit badge. On the 15th of October we did a relay team entry in the “Pumpkin Man Triathlon in Boulder City, Nv. The team was my oldest granddaughter Sierra doing the run, a friend of there’s Travis who did the swim and myself on the bike. We placed 4th , missing 3rd place by 6 seconds, But I think the three of us had a real good time doing this one.
Since the farm work has slowed down I have had time the past couple of weekends while up there to work on repairs to my 160m vertical antennas and building more verticals to add into the array this year. The upgrades has made them into 10′ long sections rather then one long mast, making them much easier to transport and store. These changes have given me some much needed practice on my TIG welding skills on aluminum.
Its been a very busy summer up here this year, not radio wise but farm wise. With the summer farming activities coming to an end maybe there will be some time to play radio now.
On July 22, Staci, and I headed out with Joren my oldest grandson for a 50 mile bike ride. He has been working on his ” Cycling ” Merit Badge for Boy Scouts. The ride started at the summit ( 7200′ ) of Clear Creek Canyon south west of Richfield, Utah. There is an old highway there that is seldom used now that I 70 runs down the canyon. After the 13 mile down hill run we made it out into the Sevier Valley and road thru some 8 towns before we ended up at our place ” Putter Butt Farms” north west of Monroe, Utah. Oh and by the way those are not socks on my legs, just lily white legs with no tan.
With sore legs and butt Joren can now say he has riden 50 miles on one ride. 3 hrs 18 minutes ride time on a very pretty day for a ride not much in the way of wind until the last 11 miles then – you guessed it a head wind for 8 miles when your legs are starting to burn we run into a head wind. Oh well Joren did great and should have the merit badge completed now.
It was late spring was when I finished welding up the two new aluminum 80m verticals for W7RH to add into array at his remote in Az. That was the last radio project I think before I had to get busy farming. There are a few much needed repairs that need to be made to our 160m verticals before they go back up this winter. Then maybe if I have time I will work on building a couple of more verticals to add into our array here. Looking forward to getting to doing some TIG welding on some new antennas, sounds like fun !
This has been one of those weekends were a lot was accomplished none of it was much fun. When we woke up last Sunday morning the “waste ditch” ( spring run off canal ) along the west and north sides of our property was running very full and had crested over the top of its banks along some 750′ to 1000′ of it. So since Clint was here with his family I sent him to the Cowley’s farm up in Venice to get their Cat Blade and I set out on the Backhoe to pack dirt into the low area’s. It took 3 days to pack dirt into those low area’s with a teaspoon, well that’s how it felt. The Backhoe has maybe a 1.25 yard bucket on it so it was a very slow process.
Clint used the Blade to berm up some of the area’s that could be done that way by just wind-rowing up excess dirt along the top of the existing berm. This was maybe 1,000′ or so, ( we raised up the entire berm ) it turned out to be approx. 24″ tall and about 4′ wide at the base. This berm sits on top of the ditch bank berm that was already around 3′ tall and 9′ wide. The rest of the 1,300′ run had to be packed in with the Backhoe most of it in one long 1,200′ run that could be reached from both ends. I started by lowering the grade of an area at each end and packed it in one bucket at a time until we had enough layed down ( 8′ wide and 1′ deep ) to make the same sized windrows as Clint had made. By the time I would get out in the middle of all of this it would be maybe 3 minutes each trip out there and then have to backup all the way back out. To make things worse after the water had run over the ditch bank it left everything pretty soft and muddy in the area I had to drive on, pretty nice way to go with a two wheel drive Backhoe. Anyway it’s closed in now and hopefully we will not be having anymore flood problems this year. It was a lot of work but well worth it if it will hold back the waste ditch and we don’t get flooded like last year again.
We still have over 200% of the snow pack up in the mtn’s around us and the Sevier River is running over flood stages right now. We don’t live by the river, I feel bad for those who do as its getting very bad around there for them. The whole north half of the state is going to be pretty wet this year from the looks of it. It seems that every storm we get is still bringing more snow and here it is the 1st of June. Global Warming ? Oh wait today its called ” Climate Change “