Back at the dial again…!


Many of you might have noticed I’ve been absent on Facebook/Twitter , slower to correspond, and not posting quite as often this summer.

Yes, you guessed it: I’ve been on the road again.

Starting in mid-May, we made our annual pilgrimage to Dayton, Ohio, where we hosted an inside exhibit at the Hamvention, made some NPOTA activations, and visited the phenomenal National Museum of the USAF.

The LNR Precision LD-11 and QRP Ranger during a National Parks On The Air (NPOTA) activation in Ohio.

The LNR Precision LD-11 and QRP Ranger during a National Parks On The Air (NPOTA) activation in Ohio.

I then returned to the shack for one week, frantically finished a few projects, then hit the road again.  Headed even farther north this time….Destination: Canada.

The Udvar-Hazy Center houses a number of large aircraft including the Concorde, the SR-71 and even the space shuttle Discovery.

The Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center houses a number of large aircraft including the Concorde, the SR-71 and even the space shuttle Discovery.

Stopped in the Washington, DC area for a few nights and spent the better part of one day at the Udvar-Hazy Center. The aviation geek in me was in the skies––wow, what an amazing place!

By June 5th, i was just outside Québec City in the town of Beaupré.

My station on Field Day operating as VE2CQ.

My station on Field Day operating as VE2CQ.

While in Québec, I participated in a Field Day event with the incroyable members of the Club Radio Amateur de Québec. I practiced my French, the club members treated me like one of their own––hosting an excellent lunch and dinner––and I even got a few hours on the air as VE2CQ.

Oh, and you might recall a post from June in which I shared photos from an aerial display in Québec City featuring the Snowbirds. It was our first time seeing them, and it was, as you might expect, just spectacular.


We spent the rest of June and part of July in Québec, then made our way to Prince Edward Island via New Brunswick and Nova Scotia where a rustic off-grid cabin awaited us.

The view from our off-grid cabin on PEI.

The view from our off-grid cabin on PEI.

While the condo in Quebec had all of the radio interference one would expect, the off-grid cabin was blissfully quiet, free of radio interference. As you might imagine, I played a lot of radio…


I also sampled a lot of Island craft brews!

We spent several relaxed weeks in Prince Edward Island, then made our way back to the States.

I’ve only been home since last Wednesday, and found quite a pile-up in the work zone, so I’m busily catching up.  However, I’m finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I should be current with correspondence by next week.  Thanks for your patience, email friends!

And if you’re interested, just for fun, I plan to write a more detailed trip report later this summer or fall. I do have a few pics from side trips I’ll likely share in the meantime.

Yet again, we had a terrific adventure in Canada!  But it’s sure good to be back home…and back at the dial.

Anyone else done a bit of traveling this season? Feel free to share & comment!

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9 thoughts on “Back at the dial again…!

    1. Thomas Post author

      Thanks excellent advice and it sounds like you had a pretty amazing trip last year!

      PEI is a wonderful place. We have friends–who are more like family–who live there. You’ll enjoy your trip for sure. We’ve a few trips in mind for the future including the west coast, Alaska, and the big national parks. We’re big Nat Park fans.

      Thanks again!

  1. Ed McCorry

    Wow Thomas, sounds like you had a great trip with plenty of good radio time. My wife Paula was born in PEI and we are planning to head up there one of these days. We took a 15 day trip out west back in April. Rented a car in Vegas after spending a few days and stopped at all the Nat’l parks, state parks etc. in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, making a 2,250 mile circle back to Vegas. We stayed at the Zion NP lodge, and a ranch in Moab UT to name a few and it was excellent listening being in the middle of nowhere. It was a great trip and it was over way to fast.

    For any of you other old timers out there at least 62 years young planning on visiting any of the National Parks, monuments, campgrounds, basically anything federal (over 2000), you may want to get a National Park Senior Pass. It costs $10 if you buy it at a site, I think it’s $10 more on line. It’s good for life and you also get free admission for up to 4 people with you or a carload depending on the entrance fees in some places. We saved $180 on our trip with free admissions and last month I got a $18 discount on camping at a Nat’l Forest. And btw, It’s good to get some of my tax money back. Here’s a website with the info:

    1. Thomas Post author

      Hi, Mick,

      The Yaesu FT-450? I was disappointed. I imagine the FT-450 is a nice little radio in normal operating conditions. In the RF-dense environment of Field Day, however, it just fell apart.

      There were stations answering my calls, but I couldn’t understand them many times because the FT-450 audio was so muffled and garbled. The receiver simply couldn’t handle all of those tightly-spaced adjacent signals. At one point, I was wearing a Heil contesting headset, too, hoping that might help, but of course, it could only work with audio it was fed.

      They also had an older Kenwood transceiver set up as a GOTA station and it sounded simply amazing in comparison. Signals popped out of the noise and were clear/intelligible. A stark contrast.

      For most hams, I think the FT-450 might be a nice little rig. I’ve never tinkered with one outside of Field Day, but I’m sure it sounds much nicer then.



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