Saturday, June 16, 2012 — Day 22
For those of you not familiar with the contesting side of ham radio, let’s just say that it’s pretty serious business to some hams. W3LPL is one of the most well known contesters, and he holds an open house each June.
His antennas are … well, the word impressive doesn’t really convey the experience. There were so many towers that I couldn’t get them all into one shot. I tried. Each of these towers is 199 feet 6 inches tall. Once you get to 200 feet, the FAA and a bunch of regulations get involved. It’s easier just to keep them at 199.5 feet. Here are some pics for you to drool over:
David introduced me to Frank W3LPL. It was a pleasure getting to say hello to him. I briefly explained my trip and asked if he would sign my t-shirt. He was happy to. As he finished signing the shirt, he suggested that I have the man across the table from him sign the shirt as well, because he’s had some rather exotic call signs from DXpeditions he’s been on. So I passed the shirt over to him, and he happily signed it as well. The picture of his signature is below. That last line isn’t a ham radio call sign. That’s the Navy’s abbreviation for Commander of the Fifth Fleet: C5F. You can read more about him here: Scott K0DQ.
Of course I knew going into this trip a little over three weeks ago that there would be unexpected things along the way. But if anybody had told me I’d meet (and get the signature of!) the Commander of the Fifth Fleet, I’d have just laughed. It’s amazing the things I’m experiencing and the people I’m meeting. This is so much fun!
David is one of the first Tweeps I got in the log, way back in November 2010, but I hadn’t yet gotten Paul in the log. I also hadn’t made a QSO while in Maryland, so we took care of both of those deficiencies. Some may call it cheating, others will say it was efficient: he was on my HT and I was on my mobile, and we made a simplex contact on 146.46 while approximately two feet apart. I figure if it works for county hunters, it can work for me. :-) Nice to have you in the log, Paul.
For those of you keeping tallies on the artificial wildlife I’m encountering, there were no big metal chickens nor terra cotta pigs, but there was a concrete bunny.
I’m so grateful to W3LPL for the open house and David K2DBK for inviting me. That was a once in a lifetime experience, and I’m so glad it worked out to be just exactly when I was already in Maryland. We couldn’t have timed it any better if we had tried.
Once I left W3LPL’s, I headed toward Baltimore. I saw just the tiniest glimpses of the tops of the tall ships, but I did see them. :-)
Then I headed through part of Delaware, got a QSO in the log, and went on to Pennsylvania. I spent the night in Philadelphia near the airport.
Day 23 will include a visit to the Liberty Bell.
Trip totals as of Day 22:
- Miles driven: 3040
- States**: 16
- Logged QSOs: 56
- Ounces of good decaf: 204
- Ounces of bad decaf: 40
- Tow trucks required: 1
- Big metal chickens: 5
- Concrete bunnies: 1
- Terra cotta pigs: 0
- Number of times I’ve heard “Somebodeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee That I Used To Know” by Gotye: 38
** “States” now includes states and the District of Columbia
73 de NR4CB, Connie