March 17th 2012
Fullerton Radio Club
Hider: Mike N6BOK and Glenn AB6PA
Where: Butterfield Park, off Mystic Canyon Dr in Chino
Equipment: 10W into a 10 element , horizontal beam
The leprechauns were out for the St. Patrick’s Day hunt.
I’m the 4th generation out of Ireland on me mum’s side AND
me grandma’s maiden name was Murphy (true), so it was only
fitting the way things went.
Glenn, AB6PA and I scouted the site a few weeks before. We
thought we could try our first Baldy bounce (we’ve been
hunting with the Fullerton group for less than a year). We
got to the site 35 minutes before the hunt was to start.
We drove up from Moreno Valley and it was dry – no rain
and the sun even came out for a while. As soon as we
pulled into the parking lot of the park, the sky opened up
and it poured.
We set up the 11 element bean, attached the coax, placed
it in the tripod got it sighted towards Baldy and went to
get the stakes to keep it from falling and gust of wind
came along & knocked the whole thing over, onto the
sidewalk, breaking one of the elements off (I swear I
heard the Little People laughing). OK, so we re-set up the
10 element beam, staked the tripod, re-aimed the beam and
moved to set up the radio.
We used an Alinco DR-135 mobile radio, 125 AH Telco
battery, a PicCon and a Rigrunner to tie the power
together. Easy-peazy right? Nay nay… Got it all hooked up
& the radio wouldn’t stay on. Every time I set the
power cord down, the radio would go off. My phone rang and
it was Deryl, N6AIN, asking if we were hiding. $#@%!!!!!
It was after 8:00. I let him know we having some technical
difficulties & should be on the air in just a few
minutes. I grabbed one end of what I thought was my extra
Anderson Power Pole jumper & plugged it into the
Rigrunner. As I pulled the other end out of the ‘pile of
junk’ I brought as back up stuff, I thought I heard a
‘pop’ like an electrical arc. Glenn said he didn’t hear
it, so I thought it was the damn Little People messing
around again. I continued to pull on the cable and
discovered it was the wrong cable, this one had eyelets to
connect to the battery and they had touched, causing the
fuse to blow on the Rigrunner!!! More digging produced the
correct cable. Power on, PicCon working, we can hear it in
our monitoring radio, WE’RE ON THE AIR!!!.
I CALLED Deryl and he said they couldn’t hear it. Now I
know better than to trust what a T-Hunter tells you , but
I could hear his radio in the background. I turned up the
power to 10W & 50W & still nothing. A quick looked
confirmed the antenna was still standing. I checked the
SWR meter we had inline and I was putting out about 35W
forward and 35W reflective. $#@%!!!! Now what? Glenn
checked the antenna with a flashlight and found when the
Little People pushed our now 10 element beam over they
also snapped the screw that was holding the center feed of
the coax to the bazooka matching network. Glenn, being
taller than me, was able to reach the connection without
taking the beam down, was able to perform field surgery
and jerry-rig the broken part. A quick check of the SWR
meter and it was reasonable. Another call to Deryl and it
was confirmed… the hunt was afoot – 20 minutes late.
22.0 35 minutes
26.4 47 minutes
minutes Forgot to rest his