For the past two days, I’ve been staying in Black Wolf, Wisconsin — which is on the shores of Lake Winnebago — helping Ed put up a 28 foot vertical 6-band amateur radio antenna. Assembling the antenna took several hours, as there were hundreds of pieces to put together. Then we had to mount the antenna about twelve feet off the ground, so that the radials are well out of reach of anyone (if someone touched one of the radials during transmission they could get a nasty RF burn). By the time we were done assembling and erecting it, the top of the antenna was about forty feet above ground. Here’s a photo I took just before we attached the coaxial cable and tested the antenna; I was lying on the ground (those are two blades of grass you see in the foreground) looking up forty feet above me:
The new antenna was much quieter than Ed’s other antenna; he quickly made a contact on the 20-meter band, an the other operator reported that Ed’s signal sounded good. And since that wasn’t enough time spent working on antennas, we went out to my car and tuned my roof-mounted 10-meter antenna for the FM-simplex calling frequency (29.600 MHz), something I had not been able to do before I left on this trip.
Yesterday Nancy asked, Didn’t I want to go out in Ed’s sailboat? No, I said, I’d help Ed with the antenna. Didn’t I want to go to the glass museum? Or go fishing? No, I couldn’t think of anything more fun than spending two days assembling and putting up an antenna. Nancy didn’t say it, so I will say it for her: Yes, I am a geek.