7/25/2007

Field Day Fingering 2007--N2SE Back on the Air Part II




Seriously I know I should have written this before the Huntsville entry because this was the weekend before Huntsville, but I needed to think about compose my thoughts. Since Isaac went back to Germany, Howie picked me up this year to make the trek up to Capmgaw Ski Lodge in Mahwah. I spent the night before packing up my radios and trying to figure out if I forgot anything.
Howie pulled in the drive at 9:30 am Saturday morning to find me still half asleep and woofing down some crumb cake. He actually left with out me, but a quick call on the W2PQG repeater brought him back. I threw my stuff in the back of his car and we were on the mountain a little after 10. Rocky greeted us with a laptop, note to self next year bring the USB driver.
This year I truly flew solo and got my prime spot in the lodge right behind the registration desk, which housed the ATV station last year. I also brought my old 2m/440 radio, so I ran the Field Day talk-in station as well. People usually have their same spots every year. I was outside two years ago when the weather was nice, but since I was staying overnight and didn't have a tent, staying in the lodge was the obvious choice. There was also a prime spot for the air mattress my mom had bought the Friday night before, so I was set. It was even somewhat dark back there so I did get some sleep! Although I saw more than a few people eyeing the bed, I kept worrying I would either wake-up somewhere in the woods or have an uninvited bedfellow snuggle up besides me also known as Rocky!!
The most frustration part of doing PSK is people use too much power aand I'm restricted to 15 watts. I was getting blown away by the PSK station in Ramsey, they were running at least 25 watts. However I did manage to work Oklahoma on a brief opening so that was very cool. I saw stations as far west as Washington State, but they faded into the RF abyss before I could even try to bag them.
Since this was the first time I had a camera with me, so I took some pictures while the bands were dead, which unfortunately was the majority of the time. I got some nice shots and managed to remember taken out of my own setup.
The weekend was a success and even though it rained at night, there wasn't any thunder or lightning. My setup once again was the little station that could, although it would have been better if the bands opened up a bit.
I have already marked out my territory in the lodge for next year. While this year was a real milestone in my book, there are still things I can improve. Hopefully the station in Ramsey will knock down their power a little.
73,
Justin,KC2GIK
Note above is a picture of Richard,KC2PYB and I at the keyboard

7/24/2007

Situtation with ScanningUSA

Alright this SHOULD be an easy fix.....but it's not!! My aunt got me a subscription to ScanningUSA for Christmas. She gave them my address but they sent the magazine to her house, no big deal I thought I would just e-mail them my address . That was back in Janaury, I have e-mailed them every month since NO REPLY AND THEY STILL SEND IT T O HER HOUSE!! The e-mails DO NOT BOUNCE, I just don't get a reply I called, she has called, NO ANSWER I have to go to her house every month to pick up the magazine. Can someone give me the magic trick to contact the subscription department over there?
Also th e magazine is ripped EVERY month?? I don't know what's up because when I buy it in the store it comes in one of those annoying plastic bags.! When they mail it out they don't use the plastic bags!!!
Bottom line I like their magazine but their customer service STINKS!! I will
continue to be a loyal reader, but maybe I won't renew my subscription because I really don't see the benefits?! I will buy it at Borders, in the stupid plastic bag!!!
An update: I finally dug back into my archives and dug out an old magazine with an old 800# and they gave me an e-mail to change the address. Hopefully this problem is s-olved. However if I wasn't a packrat, I never would have gotten th 800 # in the first place. This still does excuse them for not returning my e-mails to their main address! The should say "For subsscription problems call this number". Hey at least I wonn't have to ride my scooter over to my aunts house to pick up my magazine!! Not that I mind but it usually takes her time to fish it out of her mail!!

7/02/2007

Huntsville Plate Hunting


Yes I made it there and back in one piece thanks to Tim Stentiford, I
can't begin explain how happy I was to get there. Tim, his son Kurt
(one of the kids running around the auction floor and won a junior award
for his display) and I had an incredible journey there and back. We got
delayed in Memphis Saturday night, but otherwise the flights were smooth
and we couldn't ask for better assistance at the airports. Although the
folks at La Gaurdia seem to forget the phrase "handle with care". Like
on family vacation my scooter became a luggage cart and Tim had so much
trade stock, it actually slowed me down, my dad is going to have to
remember that! For the record it was heavier on the way down than on the
way up!! As for Kurt he gave me a hand a couple of times, if he is an
reflection of the next generation of plate collectors, our hobby will
continue to grow. I saw something I never paid attention to before, such
a young man taking such pride in something. Sure Tim gave him a hand
putting that display together physically, but it was Kurt's idea,
that's what counts
The scooter worked out perfectly!! I was able to cruise the Covention
Hall with ease, although actually getting it out of the car Tuesday was
a bit of a trick! For the record I didn't knock any displays over and
everyone kept their toes, I think! Too bad it doesn't have a trip
counter or else I could tell you exactly how many laps I did around the
hall. One bad thing is I forget to print out a copy of my KC2GIK license
plate, we'll save that for next year! Although I bought an ALPCA sticker
I stuck on, so I am getting there! I need to give the scooter a good
cleaning before it goes back down the basement, but it held up well and
the battery never ran out before I got back up to the room! Yes Kurt
and Matt did beg to ride it. I replied with my best "uncle" impression
and said not this year.
People I never met came up to me and congratulated me on my
determination. You have no idea the feeling of not only accomplishing
something terrific, but to have others recognize the feat! The trip
couldn't have been possible without Rick K., who so graciously
split his room with me. . If I needed something,Rick was always a phone
call away . It was a huge leap of faith on his part because he had
never met me before. I am sure Rick held his breathe more than once as
I walked around, for the record I didn't fall once. Every night when
we got back to the room we pull out our lastest finds and reviw each
others stash. We went out to eat and just chatted about our families,
shared collecting stories and just hiad so much fun. Although it took
some time to get to know each other, by the time the convention
officially started, Rick and I had struck a friendship I will always
treasure. Above is a picture of us on the convention floor.
As far as plates I acquired I finally got a Vermont wheelchair and
managed to pick up a Virginia Fight Terrorism plate with a wheelchair on it.
That was very cool. This year at the auction I bagged the convention
plate #99 which was a total surprise to me. I didn't even to down there
with the intention of bidding on a low number plate. My paddle just
popped up when it was on the block!
I want to congratulated the officers and local members of ALPCA who
pulled together another wonderful Convention! As you
can read I had a great time. There were people coming up to me and said,
"Well if you can make Huntsville, you can make Salt Lake City" I just
turned and chuckled to myself..........little do they know!


To view some of my pictures click on the link below:

Justin's ALPCA 2007 Convention in Huntsville, AL Pics