It’s Alive!

Eldest son Steve and I spent Friday getting the temporary mount for the VHF antenna set up and the cables run, and then spent Saturday getting the Comet HF antenna assembled and attached to a temporary mount and the cables run for that.

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Here’s the temporary grounding rod with the lightening arrestors installed. Trying to drive a 6 foot long grounding rod through the frost layer was entertaining, to say the least, but we got the thing in at last.

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Here’s the temporary mount for the VHF/UHF antenna. Basically it’s just screwed to the side of the garage. With the weather the way it’s been recently there’s no way we can get up on the roofs to do anything, so we have to settle for temporary mounting until the snow and ice melts and we can do more permanent mounting systems.

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Another temporary mounting, this one for the Comet multi-band vertical. Basically it’s just an 8 foot pipe driven into the ground for a temporary mounting mast. Not exactly an ideal setup, but it will work until we can get a permanent antenna system installed this spring.

Amateur Radio

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I’ve been a ham radio licensee for a week now! I passed my General license exam on Feb. 2 and got my call sign about a week later (KC9YGN) and now I can annoy people on the radio as well as on the Internet.

The rather intimidating looking gadget is my Kenwood TS-2000 multi-band transceiver, and yeah, it’s as complicated as it looks. Just got the thing unpacked this morning and I’m still suffering from a bit of shock. It’s going to take me longer to figure out how to use the thing than it took to study to get the license in the first place.

Right now I’m limited to VHF operations because I don’t have the HF antennas set up yet. And the VHF antenna is not mounted up on the roof, but leaning up against a wall because it’s hard to install antennas when there’s 8 inches of snow and ice on the roof.

The most frustrating thing is that I’m getting some really nasty interference from somewhere in the neighborhood that completely wipes out one of the more popular VHF repeaters in this area, and we can’t figure out where the hell it’s coming from.