What started out as a simple project has turned into a real headache. The only one I have to blame is myself, as I seemed to forget the first rule in ham radio. SAFETY! With that said, the installation of the new rigid feeder was simple and straight forward. I was able to attach it, along with the feed line choke with absolutely no problems.

The problems occurred when I got in a rush wanting to get it up in the air so I could work on each band, since my backyard is not really large enough for the antenna. At 20-25′ the antenna is just above the peak of the garage and I can work on it rather easily. Unfortunately, with some wind yesterday and a lack of real preparation on my part the hex took a tumble from the mast, just above the roof line. Thankfully my son and I were not injured and the hex survived the crash back to Earth.

At that point I was frustrated with what had just transpired, so I stopped worked on it and figured I would continue today. Unfortunately, home remodeling called and I was not able to get much time into the hex, but I was able to tie off the spreaders…again! I was able to get the 20M band attached to the feeder and will continue with the work tomorrow in preparation for NAQP RTTY this coming weekend.

I also attended the NCCC meeting last night down in San Jose, which is a bit of a trek for me, but always worth the drive. Some excellent presentations as well as great food! We got to hear about W6YX (Standford University) and their amateur radio club. I know a few of the guys from the club and YX always has a strong signal for me in Oakley. I also met Dennis, W1UE from Massachusetts, who was out west. He discussed his 3 hour sweep in the CQP as well as the YCCC SO2R Box, which he had a hand in developing.

All in all a good few radio days, with any luck the hex will be back up and on the air tomorrow!

First NCCC Meeting

I finally had an opportunity to attend my first NCCC meeting last night in Livermore with a few of the local guys. I carpooled with N6ML and N6RO, both of whom have been long time members, while I only joined a few months ago. Along with the club, I have been submitting my contest scores on behalf of the club, what little I contribute helps with overall score.

It was enjoyable putting name and faces with call signs, along with seeing some real experienced operators in the room. Makes me realize just how much I have to learn in order to get to their level. Regardless, I was a bit hesitant, as I only knew a handful of hams in the room. As is typical (from my experience) they were all friendly and with name badges you knew names immediately.

Of course I also felt like a “fish out of water” in some respect, since I was relatively new to the club and new to contesting. So I expected to know very few people there, outside of the group I carpooled with and a few other faces I have met. Nonetheless it was a great time and there is a wealth of experience to draw from, which is what I am looking most forward to.