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[aprssig] Operation Uinta Report

Bruce Prior n7rr at hotmail.com
Sat Oct 1 03:20:12 UTC 2005

Operation Uinta turned out differently than planned, but I suppose all such 
operations have their unexpected twists and turns.  I planned a multi-day 
backpack trip.  It turned out to be a car-camping experience.  My initial 
acclimatization time at 10,560-foot elevation was the only period when the 
weather was completely free of the threat of thunderstorms.  I experienced 
one such storm directly.  One lightning strike was extremely close, as I 
sheltered in the car, grateful for its insulating rubber tires.

I received no APRS Operation Uinta messages at all.  I was, however, able to 
send two e-mail messages via the APRS system.  Here’s how I did that:  using 
the APRS message system in the Kenwood TH-D7A(G), I went to Input, then 
under TO: I wrote EMAIL and then I began the text with the e-mail address 
following by a space and the rest of the message.  The e-mail message had to 
be extremely brief, but it worked.  See 
http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/msg.cgi?call=N7RR for examples of APRS 

I want to thank C.H. Stewart, Seabury Lyon, Don Wilhelm, Howard Kraus, Jack 
Bennett and Erik Weaver for their advice about dealing with static discharge 
from a kite-lofted antenna.  Since I never reached a summit, I didn’t ever 
use a kite to carry an antenna. I was equipped with a 1.2 megohm shunt 
resistor, however.

W7GHT, W5UYH and W7GB provided excellent service by relaying formal traffic 
through the Idaho Montana Net (IMN: 0300Z daily on 3647 kHz) to my wife, 

The announced exchange for Operation Uinta was the 6-character Maidenhead 
grid and name.  Only three operators furnished their 6-character grids.

All contacts used CW.  Here is the log:
DATE/TIME Z        BAND    STATION      SENT                        RECEIVED
2005-09-20-0325    80 m    W7GHT      QTC#1 to K7MWP [Boise ID Bill]
2005-09-20-1918    20 m    K9EW          DN40xs Bruce         EN61 nr 
Chicago Ed
2005-09-20-1927    20 m    N0KKY        DN40xs Bruce         nr Chicago Dave
2005-09-20-1931    20 m    KG0RD        DN40xs Bruce         Omaha NE Jim
2005-09-20-1941    20 m    KM6OR/QRP DN40xs Bruce      Tulare CA Doug
2005-09-20-1945    20 m    KB8RTJ        DN40xs Bruce         EN81 Amherst 
OH Jim
2005-09-21-0202    40 m    WB6OLL     DN40xs Bruce         Santa Barbara CA 
2005-09-21-0250    80 m    W5UYH      QTC#2 to K7MWP [Nampa ID Russ]
2005-09-21-2906    30 m    K7NHB        DN40wo Bruce         CN94ia Les
2005-09-22-0135    40 m    WA6BXV     DN40xs Bruce          CM88 Jerry 
Novato CA 5 W dipole
2005-09-22-0315    80 m    W7GHT       QTC#3 to K7MWP [Boise ID Bill] [my 
SWR 7.6:1]
2005-09-23-0219    40 m    WA0MHJ    DN40ww Bruce       EN35kg Mark  Ham 
Lake MN
2005-09-23-0224    40 m    N6NR          DN40ww Bruce       CN87xo Rick or 
2005-09-23-0259    80 m    W5UYH      QTC #4 to K7MWP [Nampa ID Russ]
2005-09-23-0339    40 m    K7KHC/7   DN40ww Bruce       Troy MT Kevin
2005-09-23-1923    20 m    K0LWV       DN41se Bruce          Lay MO Larry
2005-09-23-1941    20 m    N7MFB      DN41se Bruce          Port Angeles WA 
2005-09-24-0250    80 m    W7GB        QTC #5 to K7MWP [Moses Lake WA Don]
2005-09-24-0334    80 m    N7KRT      DN40mq Bruce        DM26 Jeff Las 
Vegas NV
2005-09-24-1952    20 m    VA6RF      DN40ll Bruce            DO30 Earl

Thanks to all of you who participated.

I found that the end-fed wire & counterpoise antenna system did not load 
very well using the internal tuners in the KX1 and K1.  (Bill, W7GHT, a 
renowned CW traffic handler, and recent inductee into the Idaho Amateur 
Radio Hall of Fame and recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service 
Award, managed to copy my traffic one night while my SWR was 7.6:1, 
according to the readout on my K1.  Margaret and I stopped to see Bill in 
his Boise home on our way back.  We were intrigued to hear about his service 
as a high-speed CW operator and as an OSS officer during World War II.)  
Although I’ve written a favorable review of the Elecraft T1 for a future 
issue of QST, I didn’t bring the T1 along on this trip, relying instead on 
the optional tuners which are built into my KX1 and K1 rigs.  Testing the 
KX1 and K1 tuners in my backyard in Western Washington, with moist, 
clay-rich soil, worked fine, but in the arid Uinta Mountains of Utah, I 
assume that the ground conductivity was too poor to provide an effective 
capacitive ground coupling with my two counterpoise wires.  So, I retreated 
to the town of Roosevelt, Utah and bought some 18-gauge zip-cord.  I 
fashioned that into a zip-cord dipole, 65 feet on each leg, tied at the 
feedpoint of the legs with a figure-8 knot.  The zip-cord dipole loaded fine 
on 80, 40, 30 and 20 m bands.  The 18-gauge zip-cord is too heavy for 
backpacking, however, so I’ll duplicate the antenna using lighter-weight 
22-gauge speaker cord for future backpacking.  I just bought a 100-foot roll 
today at RadioShack.  We’ll give it a go.

73, Bruce Prior N7RR
Blaine, WA

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