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W2HDI USA flag USA

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QSL: LOTW PREFERRED

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 w2hdi@arrl.net

I operate from Stowe, Vermont (Lamoille County), marine mobile along the Maine coast on "Metaphor", and portable using my RemoteRig setup.

View from the QTH in Stowe, Vermont, looking south.  Elevation is 2000 ft.

The base station rig is an ICOM 756ProIII and a new Icom 7300  with an SPE Expert 1.3K amplifier. The remote operation uses the Remote Rig system with an Icom 7100.  I often operate remote using just the Remote Rig Android app on my Pixel phone, or the windows 10 app on my laptop. 

Antennas: Force 12 3CSS Triband yagi mounted on a US Tower MA40 crank up mast.  A WARC dipole (30,17 and 24 meters) is above the yagi.  Other antennas include dipoles for 40, 80 and 160, and a ground mounted Hustler 4btv vertical with 50 32ft radials, operating on 80, 40, 20, 17, 15 and 10.  The excellent capability of the vertical has been a very pleasant surprise and is the primary antenna I use when operating remote.

In 2017 I finally achieved confirmations for 5 band DXCC - it took me 58 years.  I tried to do it entirely via LOTW, but achieving confirms from 100 coutnries on 75 meters required the use of the excellent OQRS system and Club Log.

Stowe is about 40 km east of Burlington, Vt., and about 150 km south east of Montreal, Canada. Stowe is a major ski resort - the home of Mount Mansfield, and is advertised as "The Ski Capital of the East". We are active cross country skiers, using 100km of groomed trails at the Trapp Family Lodge, home of the Von Trapp family made famous by "The Sound of Music".  

I've been operating marine mobile for many years on sailboats, most recently on "Metaphor", a Tartan 4100 41 ft sloop.  In 2016 we traded in the sailboat for a 34 ft Maine style lobster boat (see photo below).  When I moved from the saiboat to a motor vessel, I  tried to configure an adequate  HF antenna, experimenting with a buddi pole vertical, ham stick vertical and and ham stick dipole, and a comet hf mobile vertical.  None gave satisfactory performance, especially when compared to the backstay antenna on the sailboat.  I was not willing to install a big 23 ft vertical and try to establish a good ground system.

With some good advice, and considering that my boating was not offshore, I decided to try to establish a remote operation from the boat, using the Icom 7100 that had been hf rig on the sailboat.  Verizon wireless provides a very good internet connection.

I chose the Remote Rig option, which allows me to have the control head of the IC7100 on the boat, and the base radio at my home station.   It's not tradional marine mobile, but it's a wonderful way to take advantage of new technology and work hf from anywhere in the world.  I'm finding that one of the easiest ways to use Remote Rig on the boat or travelling is with the Android app on my phone, connected to either wifi or the Verizon 4G network.  It seems to work very well with a bluetooth headset.  The IC7100 now feeds the remotely operated Expert 1.3K amplifier, which has automatic bandswitching, tuning and antenna switching.

Metaphor's home port is South Freeport, Maine - about 2 miles from the headquarters of LL Bean, at the top of Casco Bay, and about 15 miles east of Portland, Maine.    During the summer sailing season, we try to check in on the Waterway Net at 0815 on 7.268 SSB.  We cruise out of Casco Bay down east towards Mt Dessert Island, and south towards Cape Cod.  Now that our hf antenna is in Vermont,  nearby vessels will not always be heard on hf, but I try to monitor marine VHF channels16/9 and ham VHF 146.52.  We also have DSTAR and DMR radios on board.

 

I was licensed in 1959 as K8QXA in Cleveland, Ohio, using a Heathkit DX40 and Hallicrafters SX99. W2HDI was issued to me in about 1975. The original call was issued in 1935.  

I retired in 2002 and moved to Vermont from the NY City area where we lived since 1970. I worked in international banking in NY for more than 30 years, and now I am active as a banking industry consultant, with a specialty in corporate finance risk training on a global basis.

www.mountainmentorsassociates.com

Often in association with my work, my wife and I travel extensively, and have "trekked" or bicycled in 26 countries on five continents.

My wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in 2017 with a trip in France, biking and hiking  in Brittany, Burgundy, Provence and the Cote d'Azur.  And I celebrated by operating my remote IC7100 from France only using the Remote Rig Android app on my Google Pixel smartphone and a bluetooth headset.

 

8581506 Last modified: 2018-01-14 21:24:09, 6593 bytes

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