Members in the hills

On Monday April 18th,  Dale  KC3RKP and wife  Debbie, and Dave KB3RAN went camping at Cunningham Falls with the intent to get on the air from the forested mountains.  Little did they know that they would arrive to snow.  Dale arrived with an inch of snow,  Dave to a couple inches and it continued until evening with about 4 inches total.  The temperature was hovering around freezing with light winds so it was just a different experience rather than a problem. We ate indoors together on some big juicy hamburgers.  
Antennae up the next morning.  Dale put up his ham stick spider web attached to the back of his travel trailer. Dave got a 20 meter wire dipole up in the trees and a multiband ham stick on the back of the van.  Dale was on the air making lsb contacts to hams in the eastern part of the US.  Dave was attempting to make contacts on 20 m PSK.  This being a new Roadtrek campervan; not all of the bugs are worked out and he was getting nowhere.  Most likely due to stray rf modulation getting back to his computer.   We cooked steaks outside on Tuesday smothered in onions.  That was tasty.
Wednesday we did more of the same.  Dave got on the air on 20 meter sideband, then changed his dipole to a 40 meter wire dipole in the trees.  It was warm enough to stay outside for longer and Dave played a bit and sang with his autoharp.
Thursday we had a round robin chat group with 4 stations in Calvert and 2 in Frederick County from the campground.   Participating were Dale KC3RKP, Dave KB3RAN, Steve N3BPM, Erik KC3QQD, Bob N3PPH and Shawn N3AE.  This was a great exercise of NVIS  capabilities and fun to chat with the folks back home.  It turns out NVIS Day on April 26 didn’t happen due to a lack of venue; so we got some practice in anyways. Dave never made a PSK contact but made more sideband mike conversations than he had ever done, so that was good. Ferrite beads are on order and will be put to use soon.
We left Friday morning to a beautiful day going up to the 70’s and all the snow had melted.  It was a great trip and we plan to do more of these and hopefully get more folks to join us.

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