K3IU Takes First in RI ARRL VHF/UHF Contest 2009
K3IU Takes First in RI ARRL VHF/UHF Contest 2009 avatar

Ken Wagner, K3IU, was surprised with what he found in the mailbox. “In today’s mail I received a lovely piece of wallpaper from the ARRL for being the SOLP Winner for 50 MHz in the RI Section, in the 2009 Sept VHF QSO Party.

It just goes to show that you should always submit your log. My score was 207 and I had 23 QSOs (before dupes).”

Almost as good as an unexpected tax refund.

Ken had no serious expectation of winning anything when he submitted his log.  He didn’t even submit any observations or results to the CTRI CG reflector except an oblique reference to his logs when he responded to a post from NG1G several weeks after the contest identifying a problem with the scoring robot.

There is an object lesson in this for all of us. No matter how modest your performance in a contest seems at the time finish the effort with a log submission.  At the very least it will boost the club’s aggregate performance slightly, and, who knows, you might pull off a surprise win!

Congratulations Ken.

New SteppIR at KS1J… Finally

Early on the morning of Saturday, October the 16th, a crowd of club members met at the home of Jim Bowman, KS1J, to help him finalize the project that he has been working on for months. Jim had a new four element SteppIR (40m thru 6 m) that wanted to get up on the tower. The temperature was in the high 40s and the wind was whipping out of the northwest.

Jim has already assembled the SteppIR which included the 40 meter element and it seemed like it took up most of the back yard. However, in all cases like this, there was still several things needing to be done, not the least of which was figuring out how to get the 108 pound, 4 element beam, with a 32 foot boom and 34 foot long elements up to the top of the tower.

How many hams does it take to finish getting ready??


It was determined that the best way to get the 108 pound beam up to the mast was to rig a tram wire from a tree across the yard to the mast. Here are a couple of pictures showing the preparations.

Prep for the tram wire

And here is the other end of the tram wire…


Jim, KS1J, making the final inspections before hauling the beam up the tram wire.

I had to leave before I remembered to take a picture of the beam atop the tower, so I came back a few days later after Jim had cranked the tower up to its fifty-two feet (or so) height. Jim has reported that when he first attempted to put some RF into the beastie, he got HUGE SWR indications. However, when he plugged the coax from the beam directly into the back of the tranceiver, it was normal (or should I say, nominal). Later searching resulted in a trashed elbow connector on his manual coax switch. Jim reports that everything is working now as it should.

Here’s the SteppIR up in the air in Barrington, RI.

That’s All, Folks…


Ken Wagner K3IU