|My makeshift 2 Meter setup besides my bed|
|The antenna is a simple mag-mount on my bed|
One of the routines I missed most when we moved down to Cape May was talking on 2 meters. My old setup included an outdoor antenna which did ok getting into the local repeaters and even doing a little simplex work. It worked great especially since my bedroom was on the second fl;oor! Although my signal was spotty at times. I did a lot of simplex work with local hams as well. It was a sad day when the 2 meter antenna came down in Woodcliff Lake. I had been off HF for a year already u p there because of all kinds of complications
Months after we settled in Cape May members from the Cape May County ARC came to try to get me on the air with a whip HF antenna, which annoyed my dad because the wire was hanging out the window and the antenna was hanging of the fence which is belongs to out neighbor. When I ask him ifd it was OK his reply was, "Do you plan to contact Mars?", I was going to reply no Uranus but I remembered I needed his permission. Well right after that happened my laptop died and with it any attempts at PSK. I tried SSB contacts but heard nothing and that meant it was a bust transmitting as well. I eventually told my fellow Cape May hams to come take the HF antenna down. I was depressed about not being on the air but there was nothing I could do. It seemed like a total loss./
As more time passed I got to know members just by listening to the local repeater on my scanner. I got to know some of the hams by voice, just like I did when I first started up north. The urge to get on the air became overwhelming. One day I visited my friends at the Cape May Firehouse, the assistant chief is also the OEM coordinator . I saw a 2-meter radio and asked if I could try it out, make sure it worked. After dropping my callsign a few times, a member of the Cape May ARC came back. We had a great QSO, the folks at the firehouse were happy the radio was getting some use!!. I was ecstatic, every time I heard a conversation on my scanner, I would hop on my scooter,race down to the firehouse to try and catch them on the air. It was cat and mouse game, a game thatg didn't last long
Finally the urge to get on the air was too much. One day I just searched "2-meter mag mount" on ebay, picked the closest location and did a "Buy-it-now". Part of me couldn't believe I did it. A few ,,days later the package arrived in the mail. With some assistance from Dad I was on the air within minutes. I made my first contact on the air/. It was a real relief!! FINALLY SOMETHING!!
For all you hams out there if you're ever in Cape May County I monitor the 146.6100 (-.600) repeater with a pl of 141.3. If you're in the area, drop your callsign. Catch you on the air.........73 de KC2GIK