6/30/2008

Field Day Fingering 2008--N2SE from Campgaw







Yes it's the Monday after the last weekend in June, that means it's time for Field Day Fingerings 2008!! Once again I transmitted with the 10-70 Repeater Association from inside the Campgaw Ski Lodge in lovely Mahwah New Jersey. The past three years running I have been doing PSK-31, but this time with my new Yaesu FT-897. Believe me it made all the difference In the world! Like every other year Rocky had to struggle with the computer not noticing the interface right anyway but with a bit of trouble shooting I was running by the traditional 2:00 start. This year my co-pilot was Tim,KA2A (yes I love that call too. Now if we can only get him to get ham license plates) who was jumping on my station every time I got up to stretch which unfortunately was quite often. In the end though we both roped in quite a few stations.
There were two major pluses this year, one I had the FT-897 so I was able to bust through some great interference and second, unlike in previous years, I really honed my skills with the macros over that last few months while working from home. I was just more comfortable about operating and felt I really have become an old hand at Field Day. One of the easier ways to get contacts is not only calling CQ which is the best way but also following other folks calling CQ. I hooked a few just when they completed a contact I jumped. The macros did save me a lot of the times and I only typed in the log entries.
Probably the best thing about this new rig is you can truly "grab and go" The new USB interface does make things easier in the long run, when the right drivers are installed!! I can honestly say the Field Days from my point of view have consistently gotten better over te last couple of years.

6/24/2008

Ten years ago-June 24,1998-PVHS Graduation

Today marks the tenth anniversary of my high school graduation......and the "unofficial end" of the Journal. I had always thought the 1998 Pascack Valley High School graduation ceremony would be the last entry but t he different big events happened, and I had to write about them. Then I started this blog which is a bit more of a relaxed format. Now I could go into the different friendshipsI had and still have o-r write about the events that made my high school year memorable, but that's in the Journal and in my autobiography. Instead I wanted t o highlight my thoughts of THAT DAY, kind of a reflection piece so here is the one journal you'll ever see on Mattes's Madness. If there any 1998 PV alumni reading this entry, PLEASE COMMENT



June 26,1998




For the first time in along time I feel the urge to write! This has been a crazy couple of days that I won't soon forget. First of all, I finally got out of high school for good,that's a big accomplishment. One of the biggest moments of my life and it was flawless! Roaming around the ym just before the ceremony I must have sweated a gallon of water! It was so hot all of us were trying anything to keep cool, from stepping out of our gowns, to going to the water fountain for last gulps of water. Seeing the camera flash and people smiling as I walked down the aisle gave me some kind of power I thought I could never have until now. Maybe it was just the fact everything worked out ok with a lot of effort from two peoplpe that helped me every step of the way.
There was something a bit more special that helped, climbing those stairs by myself! It was exactly what I needed to do at the end of five long years. When the people clapped and cheered when I walked up on stage, it gave me a power that I never thought I could possess agin! Man it felt good getting up on that stage without help. The main thing is I can finally say I made my mark on Pascack Valley High School! A mark so strong that it was emphasized by each clap and cheer walking up the steps. I feel it was the greatest accomplishment since learning how to walk and opening my mouth up for the first time to talk!

6/19/2008

Trolling different bands





Let me preface this by saying my first HF rig bit the dust right after Field Day last year. I couldn't even usx it for Lighthouses on the Air!! So I was off HF from the end of June until a few weeks ago when Isaac visited from Germany and we hooked up my Yaseu FT-897 I bought of Mike,W2MLS, in December/. Unlike the Patcomm which is a dual band QRP rig, the FT-897 is an all-band, all-mode radio, in other words my first "real" HF rig!! So of course with this new fllexibility and a lot more power. I tried 10 meters when Isaac was here and managed to pick up a station from of all places Hillsdale,NJ which for those who don't know is the next town over. Talk about your major DX!! Although I also bagged Georgia on 10 Meters and a few guys on 30 Meters
It's just something different some new. I would compare iit to fishing in different waters. My old rig I only had the two bands which is the equvilant of having two streams to troll. with this new rig, I can explore deeper waters and go after bigger fish. That's just not longer distances but with the old rig I was only limited to 20 and 40 which meant I was jumping over th e semi-local stuff like New England and upstateNew York, although last year there was a local band opening. Now with the different bands I can hop around a little and troll the big waters!! So keep an eye out on the waterfall for this fisherman looking for his next catch!!