Well…it was some week END, anyhow! Conditions for the just-past CQ World Wide phone contest were, to quote old pal P40W, simply “too good,” meaning it was not only hard to take a break, & risk missing more QSOs, but hard to find a clear frequency on several bands (John spent a couple hours running at 29.1 mHz!). In a word, WOW~! I spent time in the chair at W3LPL’s & had a swell time. Lots of things of interest: WAZ in less than 12 hours, plenty of running, some great S&P conditions, good DX, indeed. Alas, we were beaten by both KC1XX (who operated FD-style on emergency generator after 18 inches of snowfall), & K3LR who set the M-M bar very high with 37M points.

Monday morning I picked up a new 2L SteppIR from a Silent Key estate for a NC client, then headed to Potomac, MD to do a site survey for WA3WFA, then headed to W4CYS, thinking I’d get to install his newly-repotted Prosistel. Alas, the Green Heron controller seemed to have been zapped by a transient, so that is off to GH for repair. Tuesday found me back at W0ID’s, where we hoped to re-install his 40M Yagi driven element. But the crane companies had other ideas. Managed to stumble around doing odd-jobs (refurbishing an old WARC band dipole & installing it, etc.), do the crankup tower repairs the old fashioned way (I hate climbing crank ups!). We had the crane scheduled for Thursday, but the dispatcher apparently “forgot” to enter us in the daily schedule, so I was finally happy when we got one today–Friday. The element replacement went okay, but by the time I was ready to try leveling the beam (it needs to move lower about 3-4 inches probably, to get the boom perfectly plumb), the wind had picked up to a steady 30MPH, & even the crane operator suggested maybe I should come down. The man-basket was moving at least 8-10 feet in the wind, causing the chrome-moly mast to bend considerably–pretty nerve wracking or sphincter-tightening time since I had the basket tethered TO the mast! So I came down to the lower 20M Yagi & installed the torque compensator, then to the ground. Considering the wind & rain, I was pretty happy & Dick said he was okay with everything.

Finally home tonight, catching up as usual; work is piled up from the recent weather-related delays.

Conditions for CQ WW CW in a couple weeks are predicted to be good also, Hurray, it’s great to finally reap some benefits from the sunspots, at long last.

stay tuned…

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