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Field Day - The perils of handheld ops

Hi Group,

Working AO-51 in v/s mode with a handheld station seemed like an iffy 
proposition to me but I thought I'd give it a try. Friday nite and 
Saturday morning got my hopes up as I made 10 great contacts with the 
setup. pix at http://www.themidwives.org/sband

When the first FD pass came over, my hopes were dashed hearing the huge 
numbers of stations all trying to work the bird at once and not waiting 
for a QSO to finish before calling CQ. I didn't have much hope for my 4 
watt HT to break through the noise.

On the evening pass my luck changed. The bird was jammed as before and I 
didn't hear myself in several attempts to make a contact. At 0227z with 
Echo only a few degrees over the trees and sinking fast, I heard W1AW 
calling QRZ... threw out my club's call and was blown away to hear my 
signal full quieting on the downlink. I was stunned to hear W1AW come 
back with my call and his class and section. I acknowledged his info and 
gave him my 2 alpha/Michigan. With no interruptions in the QSO he gave 
me a QSL and echo went below my horizon.

I was pretty excited and hurried to log the contact. Wrote the call, 
wrote the time and then completely blanked on the class and section. At 
least I'd be able to get it form the mini mp3 recorder I had taking the 
input from the W32A's headphone jack.

It was a long pass so I settled down to listen. About 2 minutes into the 
recording...SILENCE   dead silence. The file was finished. One of the 
major high points in my short ham career, lost to brain freeze and 
technical difficulties. At least I know W8GQN is in the W1AW logbook.

On the last pass of FD I almost had success with VE4KK with Aruni at the 
mike but we were thoroughly broken up by dozens of other stations 
blasting in over both of us. So zero FD satellite contacts.

The Lesson?  Have someone else with a headset logging for you. And yes 4 
watts will do it if you're awfully lucky.

73 de KC8ZFN
John in EN75
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