K0GKJ – Just Another Ham
The New QTH – A Floating Shack

First Contact on the Boat !

I finally screwed up the courage to hit the ‘tune’ button on the 746 and successfully ((I think) tuned up the entire rig on my sailboat (mast, shrouds, stays, etc.) since I have not yet installed my backstay insulator. That insulator will complete the installation of my boat QTH…

At least my SWR meter indicated I had close to 1:1 SWR. Turns out I was also successfully radiating…

Just couldn’t wait to get on the air.  Y’all know how it is, right?

So after dialing up 7.268 LSB to listen in to the Waterway Radio & Cruising Club daily net to ostensibly get the ‘lay of the land’, I still managed to check in and give my position report at the wrong time (during the ‘boats underway’ portion of the net when I was, in fact, securely tied to the dock) and before position reports were formally requested. Oh well…

At least I checked in (and was heard!) during the ‘traffic from boats’ portion of the net.

The NCS’s (net control station’s) QTH for yesterday was Marietta, Georgia, and Al heard me just fine, although I didn’t even get his call sign completely and accurately recorded in my log. I informed the net that this was my very first WRCC net check-in ever. They were extremely polite and seemed to understand any unintentional protocol transgressions. I felt very welcomed.

And not wanting to check in with a wimpy signal, I of course cranked my RF power up to max (only 100 watts), and gratefully received a solid report.

I found it fascinating how this formally directed net efficiently solicited reports from regularly attending stations in the north, the Bahamas, offshore, etc., and used relay stations for signals not heard directly by the NCS.

Although from my relatively noisy location (in a large marina with lots of RF reflections and interference), there were many stations I could not hear, there were also many that I could.

So on balance, I was pleased with the initial performance of my onboard installation so far.

WRCC net (at 0745 ET daily) is a well-run net, and fascinating to monitor an amateur radio net specifically directed to serving maritime ham operators.

Great job, gang!


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