Marine Mobile on Lake Estes

Lake Estes, Estes Park, Colorado

On May 30, 2003 I attended the Rocky Mountain ARRL Convention (Hamcon) and brought along the boat. Here was the view from the lake at 7,500 feet altitude. The wind was 10-12 knots with gusts over 20 knots and made it hard to keep on course at times.

Band conditions were predicted to be  poor for the weekend. As you can see from the photo,  I used my IC-706, running about 20 watts, and an MFJ tuner. I was trying out a 1/4-wave antenna so I also had my MFJ analyzer along. I have tried several configurations for a ground plane/counterpoise with 1/4-wave antennas on the plastic boat, and have never had much success getting a low SWR. This is one reason I like to run 1/2-wave antennas.

I operated on 17 and 20 meters with only moderate success reaching only to the states of NM, LA, AZ, CA and MT due to band conditions.

Here is the boat rigged and ready to go. There were storm warnings and you can see some of the dark clouds in the background. After two hours of rowing I saw a squall line approaching and decided to call it a day. A heavy downpour started just as I finished securing the boat to the truck.

Another fun day on the water with ham radio!