DX from the Fish Shack

January 10, 2009

Gary KB1ESJ loves fishing more than anything.
He even fishes in the winter... from a fish shack
in the middle of Webster Lake in Franklin. So
today I went out to visit him. I thought I'd do a little
fishing myself so I brought the 20 meter MFJ Cub and
a half wave wire. I caught some nice DX too.

You can see the DK9SQ mast behind the shack

The shack is only about 4 by 6 feet. But it's plenty big.
Outside it was only 15 degrees. Inside there's a kerosene
heater, and it's a cozy 65.

I brought my DK9SQ collapsible mast. It expands to
33 feet high... perfect for a half wave wire on 20 meters.
So we set it up in back of the shack and attached the
antenna wire with some Velcro strips. The pole was
anchored to the building with some cord.

Inside I set up the station on a plastic pail. The MFJ Cub...
the battery and a key. I had brought a little speaker so
Gary could hear too. The antenna wire poked out through
a tiny hole near the window above.

The North American QSO Party was starting soon. A few
people were testing their gear as I tuned around. WA1FCN,
Bob in Alabama came booming in. He gave me a 559
on the first try. A few minutes later I answered K5GO, in
Arkansas. Stan gave me a 559 too.

Gary was in the shack watching. He had some fishing gear
down the hole into the ice. No Bites. But he wasn't really

The white bucket at Gary's feet has no bottom and goes
straight to the water below.

The best catch came on the next call. VE7CBU in
British Columbia was getting ready for the contest.
Stan was a 579 and gave me a 569. A few minutes
later I called W6YX, the Stanford University ARC
station in California. He was a nice 599 and gave me
a 569.

Working W6YX in California

In barely 10 minutes I had worked four stations with
only two watts. That's good fishing!

But now it was Gary's turn. If he was going to get
any fishing in, I had to clear out. But I hope I'll be
invited back. The heated fish shack sure beats sitting
outside in 15 degree weather. Thanks Gary!
73, W1PID