What FUN! What a SUCCESS!! More photos to come from Olivia, our new PHOTOGRAPHER, but here are some. We had a GREAT time, renewed and made friendships, practiced operating, gained new skills and knowledge.

The biggest learning point for ME was just how much FUN our crew had just sitting around and TALKING. I had not planned well for this and that can be improved, but our folks brought chairs and just visited with each other while teams fought their way onto bands and scored precious contacts! Despite two rain-showers, the weather was PERFECT with overcast/sunny alternating, and great temperatures and very few BUGS.

Two of our TRUE COMPETITORS at work! 15 meters was not that great, with fewer folks than we had hoped on the band, but they harvested mightily!

FT8 is more Dean’s speed, but it isn’t part of the FL QSO Party so he soldiered forth on sideband on our 2nd station.

A shot of the QUINTPLEXOR and homemade cans that allowed us to operate TWO stations simultaneously with (most of the time) little difficulty. Due to Nancy getting sick, and time limitations, we didn’t have our “best” filters available….and somehow the 40-meter filter busted (we’ll fix it! — bad solder, blown cap? we’ll find it). 20 and 15 were doing acceptably. We will be building more of the lower-loss VA6AM filters.

Manish working on the mast at the Generator Trailer.

Manish, Leland, Susan getting into the action. This was after we pulled out the BED to make room for the extra operating position. Jury-rigged, but it worked!

EVERYBODY got into the action! 15 meters kinda DIED by the late afternoon (and our late start due to medical complications) but everyone got a chance to HONE THEIR STYLE. And we had CONTACTS!! Even DX!!! By some of our NEWBIES!!! Way to go, gang!!

Our Photographer, Olivia, captures the group relaxing during the rainstorm at Hardees, Old Town, Dixie County.

Word from Columbia County was that it was only later in the afternoon that they started racking up QSO’s — and then they ZOOMED! So maybe it takes more time than we had, or better propagation? But we did the best we could for the time and people we could! –

We had incredible success in setting up and tearing down. Fanning Springs State Park didn’t bat an eyelash at our trailers and our entourage! The trailer spots back of Hardees in Dixie County were EMPTY. Over and over, our crew did SETUP and TEARDOWN in literally 14-20 minutes! It was unbelievable how many “ants” were flying around tightening this, unfurling that, connecting the other and turning on stations! We could drive to a spot, be operating inside 15 minutes, give a crew a good chance, and be ready to drive again after a 15 minute teardown! Wow!! We have NEVER had these skills before. We are truly a portable team, now!