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(My Blog for Duluth Parks)
Lighthouses, Photos & Info
I operate HF mobile, and backpack portable using an FT-857D. As a member of the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society I take my mobile and Portable rig to lighthouses on the Western end of Lake Superior.
Split Rock Lighthouse, ARLHS USA 783.
On the North Shore of Lake Superior, 45 miles NE of Duluth is Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, preserving and interpreting this beautiful lighthouse.
If you like lighthouses and plan a trip to the North Shore don't miss a visit to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. This spectacular lighthouse has served the shipping industry well and now tells its story to thousands of guests each year. Learn more here.
On July 24, 2011 I completed a project of operating portable from each of the city parks in Duluth. It took 18 months, and all seasons to do this and it was a great adventure where I learned a lot about my hometown and its natural and man-altered environment. Some parks, like Cascade shown on this QSL card are carefully maintained inner-city parks while others are wilderness areas where a sprained ankle or broken leg would mean a long wait for any possible rescue. I now hike with a walking stick to help assure a safe return.
When I completed this project I thought about operating from all of the access points on the Superior Hiking Trail that goes from Duluth northeast to the Canadian border along the rugged North Shore of Lake Superior. Then I got estimating the cost in gas and decided it was better to stick closer to home for now. So now, October, 2012 I am again on a new project to Work All Duluth Parks again, giving me the opportunity to hike some of the areas I did not see in my previous venture.
Follow my progress here as I try to again "Work All Duluth Parks"
Summer 2011 I completed a kayak expedition to the Apostle Islands with asignificantly altered go-kit.
Replacing the plastic tool box is a padded laptop computer case which fit in the compartments of the kayak. I have tuned my antenna for 20 / 17 meters eliminating the need for the MFJ-259 and the antenna tuner. This leaves just the FT-857D and the NiMh batteries to carry. In the case also goes the coax, radials, guy cord, stakes and QSL log.
This was my set up on Sand Island, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Western Lake Superior.
Current radio pack configuration:
The battery pack consists of 48 nickel metalhydridecells connected 12 in series, four packs in parallel.
The batteries I use are Tenergy brand, type SC, 1.2 volts, 3800mAH, 22mm X 42mm.
Total weight 6 pounds.Here is a more complete description and photos of the battery box.
Rolled up in the pack is a 28 watt Powerfilm Rollcharger. This lightweight and durable solar collector works well to extend my talk time over what the batteries can normally provide.
Shown is the 20 meter end-fed dipole; RG58 and 14ga stranded insultated wire and choke coil;1/4 wavelength feedline and second choke coil. All one length of coax.
Carry weight = 26 pounds. (12 kg). Includes FT-857d, battery box, carry bag, and lunch.There is a more complete description of my end-fed dipole HERE
When the rig is mounted in the trunk of my car I use this homemade vertical. 67 inches tall total, it is made with a 1/2 inch copper pipe mast under the coil, a fiberglass mast above and the whip from a Hamstick out the top.
The originial coil is shown at left. In October, 2012 I rewound it using rg-58 and replaced the spiral wire on the FG shaft with a braided cover from rg-8 coax then wrapped with electrical tape.
These are a few of the 131 Duluth City Parks I have operated from since the Spring of 2010.
And in December, 2010 & 2011 for the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society Christmas Lights QSO Party, I hiked to the Point Zero Lighthouse on Minnesota Point, operating portable for three hours.
To see a larger version of these images right click and select "Open in new tab".
Flag counter added August 30, 2012
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