TARA NEWS - March, 1998 Page 7

Tales From Tex Written by: Tom "Tex" Remmert, N2TR/5  



Hi Gang!!, Well here it is, March down here in Texas. We're supposed to be getting warm weather, but yesterday morning it was snowing rather heavily. Fortunately, none of it stayed on the ground. It's clear today, but the forecasted low for tonight is 26!!

It's time to get the lead out and start concentrating on HF. If your a Tech or Tech Plus, it's time for some serious upgrading effort.

Why? Well here's a couple of reasons. One, Field Day is just around the corner. The bulk of the points made on Field Day are from HF contacts. Here's a great chance to get a taste of HF operating.

Second, the sunspot cycle is on the upswing. This means better and better HF conditions. Recently, solar flux has been over 100 and it's going to get better. You don't want to miss this, do you?

Yea, I know, you've got lots of excuses. You don't have time to work HF, you don't have room for antennas, etc. Well, I'm sorry, but that just ain't gonna cut it. Why not try MOBILE HF. Use that commute time to work the world!! For less than $25 you can mount a 20 meter Hamstick antenna on your car. Don't even listen to horror stories about static,

  grounding etc. Just put the darned radio in the car and hook it up to the antenna. You can tweak the installation later.

I have to pass on a recent QSO that I made while mobile. I was on the way home from work, fighting the Dallas rush hour traffic. I decided to see what was happening on 20 meters. I started at the bottom of the band. Around 14.154 I heard two people in QSO. They sounded sorta British, maybe Canadian. Then I heard one guy say he was near Perth. Being a geography wiz, I knew he was in Australia - half-way around the world. Well, when they signed I excitedly threw out my call sign twice (with "mobile 5" tacked on). I heard "N2TR mobile 5 this is VK6VU, good evening." We had a short QSO and VK6VU gave me a signal report of 5-7, peaking 5-8. This was from 100 watts into a 20 meter Hamstick!! So, you see, it can be done. If anyone would like to try a sked on 20 meters around 5:00-6:00 PM Eastern time, let me know.

WARNING!! I am making plans to attend this year's Field Day in Troy! So, I don't want to hear any excuses. I may even faint if I find a certain Taraist has upgraded to general (hint hint Chiefy!!) I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again, it's been far too long. Take care pardners! 73 de Tex N2TR/5