Two Left Standing at Ft. Defiance


Greetings from the Flying Pigs of North Central Tennessee. We are visiting Ft. Defiance again for another memorable outing. This is our first visit here since the First Blood Drawn at Ft. Defiance story which is listed on our web site. Since our last story the location has been finished and a modern facility has been erected. Attached to this story are several pictures of the building and grounds surrounding it. If you are ever in the area give it a look see and take in the beautiful building and walkways.


It was a cool morning and a hint of fall was in the air. The plan was for the local pigs to meet at our usual pig pen (Mc Donalds on Riverside Dr. in Clarksville TN) then leave for the operating location. I met with Terry-N5HOT and we had a quick bite and a cup of coffee to fortify us for our outing. We waited for the gang to show up and after about half an hour it was plain to us that we had been stood up. Not letting the day go to waste we picked up our coffee and off we went to one of our local land marks to have some fun. We arrived in the parking area of Fort Defiance and pulled our vehicles into a good location for the morning sun and started to set up. Terry brought his K3 radio and his home made OCF dipole antenna and we set about hauling out the gear. The weather was cool but the sun was shinning bright and it would not be long before it started getting hot. Terry made ready for putting up the antenna by shooting a fishing line over the top of a large tree at the edge of the parking lot. As he did that I unrolled the antenna and coax and laid it out in a east west configuration so it would be easy to haul up into the air. With both lines in the trees we connected the ends of the antenna and hauled it up. By the time we set up the table it was beginning to get warm. We plugged in the K3 to the key and power and it sprang to life with a burst of CW. What a sound.... it was music to our ears as we set about listening to one of our favorite bands, 40 meters. It was not too long before W8TY- Jon in Columbus Ohio was in the log. Looking around a bit more on 40 we came across W9ZN Bill in Chicago Illinois. We talked about our Flying Pigs and QRP operation and he was FB with what we were doing and our signal. He was booming into Clarksille and had a great fist. We decided to move over to 20 meters and see if any DX was on the band. So off we went and in not time we heard WI4A- Jim in Venna Virginia. He gave up a 579 and he was a booming 599. Real strong signal into the K3. Feeling a little lucky we moved up to 10 meters for a quick look before breaking down the station and going to lunch with our local ham radio gang. We have lunch every Monday with some of our ham radio friends here in Clarksville. We were listening on 28056 when we heard a steady tone. It seemed to go on for some time so we figured someone was tuning up an old rig. After it stopped we were going to jump on the operator like a black bird on a June bug. We waited and no signal was heard. So I sent a quick QRZ and no answer. So a couple of CQ's and our WA4PIG call went out. You guessed it G3WKZ-Colin in West Berkshire, England came back and gave us a 339. He was a strong 599 to us and we were thinking wow this is real cool. His report to us was he was at Oxford England. After a quick report by us about Flying Pigs Colin said we were fading in and out so we gave him our 72 info and stood up did a little jig. Man 5 watts is fun stuff. Now it was time to break down the station so we set about putting away our rig and table. We took down the antenna and made sure we left nothing behind. What a great time being on the air with only a wire and 5 watts. This radio stuff is too much fun.

Give us a call on 7125 (40 meters) at 12:55 hours UTC Monday to Saturday most times unless an outing is scheduled. Look for us here in Clarksville on the C.A.T.S repeater on 147.390+ no PL when you pass our way.

72 from WA4PIG, John and the whole gang... dit dit