Ralph-W4REQ was operating with his "Go-Kit" that consists of a Yaesu 847 for HF. Ralph used his very nice "Big Shot" slingshot to launch some lines into the trees for support of his Double Zep longwire antenna. Ralph has quite an operation and I enjoyed watching him setup. See some pics below.
Ryan-AJ4MY and his dad Clifford-KJ4JKD setup a nice station using Ryan's Yaesu FT-450 and a High Sierra Sidekick screwdriver antenna. This was Cliffords first time to operate HF and had just recieved his upgrade to General Class a week or so before.
Andrew-KI4WHN brought his Yaesu-857D and a tuner to operate with. Only one problem......no antenna. Well, here comes Mark-KA4CID to the rescue. I enjoyed watching Mark and Andrew construct a dipole antenna from some telephone wire cut to be resonate on 20 meters. Andrew got a great lesson in antenna construction and with the use of my MFJ antenna analyzer and some simple math, he and Mark achieved success. Next they just needed to launch a line up into the tree in order to hoist thier project into the air. This was achieved very nicely with some string tied around a half filled plastic soda bottle. One toss over a limb later, the antenna had some elevation! Just a few minutes later Andrew was up and transmitting, quickly racking up a contact to a station in Europe. Don't ya love it?
I also set up a very simple station using my Yaesu 857-D and an LDG Z-11 Pro autotuner. I used a G5RV dipole antenna that I borrowed from Mac-KF4LMT and it performed very well. I operated my radio with battery power and my laptop and accessories with commercial power using my RigRunner for power distribution.
Although the band conditions were not the best throughout the day, we all did manage to make quite a few contacts including several in Europe. Everyone had a great time and we got to exercise operation in quasi-field conditions. We agreed to do this type of thing much more frequently in the future, in fact we are already talking about another outing toward the end of May. The last of us packed up and headed out about 9:00pm. Long day but very enjoyable indeed.