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Field Day Results

 I took my AO-40 station portable up to Pleasant Hill PA and operated 
under the call N3WD with the Hanover Area Hamming Association. I didn't 
quite get things up in time to test at the tail end of the Saturday 
pass, but I gave it a shot when the bird was about 1 degree above the 
horizon, but no luck. My Field Day station consisted of a mix of tested 
hardware, including my fiberglass Channel Master 0 .75 meter dish, a 
helix feed with a patch feed for a backup, my FT-736, and a printout of 
the satellite positions at 15 minute intervals using Nova. Untested were 
a 20 element Cushcraft cross-yagi, and the dish-feed combination. Both 
the dish and feeds were tested, but not together as a unit.

 Spent the rest of the day playing with the antennas, showing off the 
station, and catching a little sleep for the big show Sunday morning. 
When 1 AM rolled around, I fortified myself with cold caffenated 
beverages, sausages, and chocolate snacks and went to work. To my 
suprise and amazement, the beacon was booming in a good 6 S units above 
the noise. using Dead Reckoning to control my Armstrong rotor. I was 
soon disappointed when I tried to hear my downlink, it was way down in 
the noise, even after making additional adjustments to the gamma match 
and the dish and yagi alignment. By comparison, my KLM 40 element yagi 
running barefoot with a 90 foot RG214 feedline could trip LEILA on CW. 
Though I didn't expect miracles with the 5 foot long Cushcraft, I did 
think that the use of a short 20 foot or so feedline would make the 
difference in performance much less than before. It was obvious that I 
would have difficulty making even one contact with the original setup, 
so at 2:45 AM I pulled the mastpole from the bumper bracket and went 
home for the big KLM.

An hour and a half later I was back, and after moving the dish around to 
accomodate the big KLM, and making some needed connector changes I made 
my first contact with K4ED? just as the sun was rising in the east. Over 
the next three hours or so, including a break for breakfast, I worked 
about another 30 stations or so, and at times had a pileup :o).  Deep 
fatigue set in about 8:30  or so, and I was hearing mostly dupes anyway, 
so I packed it in for some much needed rest. .Thanks to everyone that 
worked me, though my operating technique got a bit sloppy as my eyelids 
sagged. 73 for now, and hope to work out a better uplink antenna, 
without resorting to the big KLM. More power would have helped I guess, 
that might happen next year, but I hope to find a better antenna 
combination so that isn't necessary.

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