W4M – Day One

Wow! Day one is over – a total of 78 contacts to include two new states for me… Nebraska and Delaware. Worked a number of other states as well to include Washington, Texas, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, North Carolina, Missouri, Kansas, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Also a few into Canada.

Biggest lesson from today – operating a portable station away from a vehicle on generator power using a G5RV is a lot of setup work to do by yourself. I set my station up on the top of a WWII coastal artillery battery, taking advantage of the extra height and incredible view. However, this also entailed hiking up down a series of stairs with all the gear. Also learned some better techniques for using the G5RV. My intent was to use two painter’s poles nested one on the other with a 1/3 of the bottom sticking into the top one. I attached the center point of the G5RV and then tried to raise the pole to the vertical. The bottom pole’s top 1/3 ended up snapping due to the weight. What I should have done is run a line through the eyelet at the top of the top pole and then raised the center point once I had stabilized the pole into a vertical position. Also – I need to secure the guy-wires to the side of the pole, the guy-wires got needlessly tangled when I did finally get the pole into a vertical position.

The generator worked quite nicely – I had no issues with it at all. It started right up, operated quietly, and had hummed away nicely until I shut it down.

Overall, it was a good day and I learned quite a bit. Tomorrow’s operations should go a lot smoother.