I have returned to Florida. Good to be back. I will be operating sometimes up at my daughter's place in Osprey, FL just below Sarasota so if you hear me sign /P, that is probably where I will be. Most of the time, I will be in Bokeelia, on Pine Island.
Bokeelia is quite a spot. Old Florida for sure.
Here is a shot of the Pine Island QTH. I love it here. Tropical paradise.
Here is my back yard. Notice the S9 Vertical (43') on the mooring post. Got some radials underwater. My canal runs out to Pine Island Sound.
Calico Jack, the 19 foot O'Day has been replaced. My son gave me a new boat for my 70th birthday. It is a Tatoo 26. It is actually the same as the old Macgregor but now renamed and made here in Florida. The name on this boat is SUNAPEE. That means Wild Goose in Abenaki Indian language. The boat is a dream to sail.
Here I am at the helm of SUNAPEE. I am one lucky guy for sure.
Here is my other boat. It is a Shaeffer V 2.39 (24') with a 250Hp Yamaha 4 stroke engine. It moves right along and is perfect for these waters.
Here is what it looks like heading out of my canal towards Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor.
It takes me about 10 minutes to get out into open water from my dock out to Pine Island Sound on the Ben Gunn (power boat) and about 20 minutes in the sailboat. The water is pretty shallow around here so you have to stick to the channel and watch the tides carefully.
One of the most incredible things about living on a tropical island in Florida is the bird life. There is a constant traffic of egrets, ibis, herons, pelicans not to mention osprey and the occassional bald eagle. Here is a shot my brother took of an osprey that was on a tree behind my house. The osprey is an expert fisherman. This one is drying off his feathers after spending some time diving on fish.
Here is a Blue Heron.
I just purchased one of the best keys I have ever used in 55 years of trying to master CW. Tom Withers, G3HGE, a craftsman-scientist-inventor, who lives in Bury St. Edmunds, England, developed something called the eZKe. It is a single lever paddle that is entirely magnetic. It is the smoothest, easiest to use paddle I have ever laid my mitts on. Impeccable engineering and stunning craftsmanship are the hallmarks of what Tom does.
Here is what ten bucks bought me at the recent Fort Myers hamfest. It is called a "coffin bug." Back in the days of Allied Radio and Lafayette, you could buy thise Japanese imports pretty reasonably. This one is in terrific shape. With a bit of Windex, elbow grease, 4 new suction cups on the bottom, it is now good to go. I owned one of these back in the late fifties, and so I am now very pleased to own one again.
Here is the antenna that I am currently using. This seems to perform very well on all bands. Mine is a quasi-sloper. I have it hooked to the top of my 35' flagpole with the feed point tied off on a palm tree abt 5 feet lower in height. I got the 9 to 1 balun from Balun Designs (model # 9130sw) rated at 300 watts. It runs $49.95. Another optimum length is 124.5 feet. I would imagine you could handle 160m with no problem at that length. I just don't have the room for that size antenna. You can make this wire even shorter at 36', 44' or 49' but I have not tried any of those lengths. Makes a nice all band antenna for small lots.
Here is another variation on the end fed theme. I have put together a few of these and they all seem to do pretty well on 40 through 6. This is a pretty simple end fed with no balun. You do need a tuner though. This is a great "emergency" or portable antenna. If you are into camping or backpacking with a QRP setup, this might be just the wire for you?
For contacts in NH or CO, QSL to P.O. Box 133, Goshen, NH 03752.FL QSO's can get a card to me here at the Bokeelia address above.
Please note: Bokeelia is on Pine Island which is IOTA NA-069.
Pine Island is in Lee Country in Florida.
Goshen is in Sullivan County in NH.
The Cayo Costa (a.k.a. Lacosta) Island QTH and the East Part Island QTH are also IOTA NA-069.
Member of A-1 Operator Club.
A few numbers for those interested: 10-10: 8274, QRP ARCI: 3788, FISTS: 6198, NE QRP: 41, FPQRP: 1042, NA-QRP: 481, SKCC: 1234, CW Ops: 182, FOC: 1734.
Rev: W4MQC - Saturday, May 17, 2010
Last modified: 2014-04-13 19:05:46, 6526 bytes
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