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Short Takes Issue #23: Wild West Roping with the Weaver Arborist

Discussion in 'Trials and Errors - Ham Life with an Amateur' started by W7DGJ, Feb 7, 2024.

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  1. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello, thanks for reading Issue #23 of W7DGJ's "Short Takes" columns. This issue features an activation using the Weaver Arborist to launch a sloper 40 feet up on a gigantic Saguaro cactus. Read about Dave's experience with a difficult temp antenna installation, and how well his new Lab 599 Discovery TX500 worked in the field! Also, post your comments on the future of digital media to replace our tried-and-true ham magazines. Please post your questions and comments here, Dave [PS and Author's Note: Thank you to the loyal readers who posted their objections to the use of a cactus as one support for a QRP wire antenna. Just as in the movies when they say "no harm was done to the animals used in this film," there was no harm to any cactus through the antenna installation described.]
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2024
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  2. N3ZKI

    N3ZKI Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I use a 14oz weaver weight with cheap synthetic orange bailer twine from tractor supply and the big shot arborist slingshot. The big shot might seem expensive but I get my wires over 100ft trees with ease usually on the first shot. It makes for an easy POTA activation and a great signal quickly. This is the Amazon link to it. At $150 I cried once but smile every time I put my wire exactly where I want on the first shot :)
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  3. AE0Q

    AE0Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nope, I would never encourage doing that for an antenna support! It's too easy to use your own mast every time and sets a good example for other hams. No chance of upsetting anyone or the wildlife if no wires in trees.

    Glenn AE0Q

    DSC_1231 K-1219 antenna.jpg DSCN2283 Antenna.jpg
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  4. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just to be succinct, Dave - if the cactus is on your property, it really is your cactus. The SoA recognizes this and so do I. Public land is an entirely different matter.

    I spent years hiking and camping west/south of Tucson - and loved the many parks and Monuments hosting the local cacti. This is where my blood would boil when disc0vering that the (very bad words here) 'tourists' would damage these very-slow growing cacti out of malicious stupidity. Barrel cacti would be found butchered by folks, having read a book / listened to old wives' tales about finding water... You get the idea.

    If your cactus was on private land, please accept my apology.

    BTW, some cacti can fight back
    this is, quite literally, going to leave a mark -- or two....
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  5. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sounds like we need a column someday on the "Ethics of antenna installation in trees and plants." Thanks Glenn. Dave, W7DGJ
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  6. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks Don. my cactus, so no issues. But once again, no matter, I would never damage a cactus, tree or anything growing on my property, or on the public lands. They are too precious and were here long before my family, Dave (PS - Great photo) PS - This would apply as well to a majestic Oak tree from my previous life in Ohio as a young ham!
  7. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ah yes, the “jumping” cholla cactus. For which I never went far without a pocket comb, small pliers, and small scissors on a Swiss Army Knife or multitool when I lived in Tucson.

    For those unfamiliar, the pocket comb is used to hold the cholla pod away from the body, the scissors are used to cut the embedded spines, and, once the pod is detached and safely discarded far away, the pliers are used to pull out the embedded spines one at a time - painfully. It is nearly impossible to pull the entire pod or even sections of it off at once because the spines have barbs and take some force to remove.
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  8. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    An unforgettable experience, to be sure.
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  9. AI7KI

    AI7KI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Dave - I have owned, (re)read (and gotten rid of) a great many paperback books over the decades. I've switched entirely to electronic books because I don't have to keep refocusing my vision as I scan a curved page. I still get a few paper magazines (e.g. Fine Woodworking) but I also get their electronic content. Unlike some others, I quite prefer to get QST online.

    Happy Cycle 25 y'all!
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  10. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks! You're right about the adjustment of vision to a curved page. I've got Macular degeneration and I'm always moving my head or adjusting my glasses when I read. I guess I'll have to get used to this new way of reading . . . it sure is hard to change. Dave
  11. N8TGQ

    N8TGQ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hey Dave

    I think the popularity of radio in the parks is causing officials to rethink allowing the use of trees for antennas. I have seen "tackle" left caught in trees and had rangers remind me to make things easy to take down when I'm done radioing.
    It's not a new thing to them now and they're watching us!

    So I'm using telescoping poles these days. I try to do inverted L end feds so I'm able to use a clamp on a picnic table to hold the pole up. The longest pole I use is 16', so a fiberglass driveway marker will hold everyhing up if needed. A 3/8" hole in the ground is better than wires stuck up in the tree.
    Im also looking at the telescoping verticals hams are using. QRP builder just came out with a new one. I would love to see a new version of K1DJV's altoid tin random wire tuner. Then my antenna would only be 35' long and the tuner would still fit in my setup.

    The two things I don't like about magazines:

    There's only a few articles I'm interested in.

    The news and ideas are already two months old when they reach you. Most stuff I have already read about and seen the reviews before it ever hits my eyes.

    I much prefer emags to print just because I don't have to get rid of it when I'm finished. Of course if they stick with their print format on the computer, it's challenging to read.

    I read CQ when it comes out online in my library's Libby app. You can downlad an atricle that interests you. They also have a feature that converts an article to a plain text format that is easy to read on a screen.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2024
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  12. W3TKB

    W3TKB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    WOW! I really like the look of that TX500 radio...especially that panadapter screen that my Yaesu FT-818 does not, plus 10w instead of only 5!! Might need to start saving the pennies for one of those in the future. If possible (?), I'd like to know if some headset microphone would work (be compatible) rather than a speaker mic?

    As for magazines...I'm with you; much prefer paper to digital. I tear out articles to save for later use or reference; tear out ads on things I'm interested in and stick them on my bulletin board...a sorta "wish list" of future goodies. I had a digital subscription to a magazine, and discovered that since it's "out of sight", not showing up in my mailbox and subsequently laying on my end table...I totally forgot about it and never read it. Finally canceled the digital subscription; I obviously wasn't missing it. Too bad for the publisher...if I had the paper option I probably would still be getting it, and they'd be making money.

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  13. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hey Rick, thanks for posting. I agree about the rangers . . . while this particular "activation" wasn't POTA, it was a property I own. The POTA experiences I've either been on or heard about in the last year have had more oversight from rangers/park police than in the "good old days" of three or four years ago. (How old is POTA now?). I have a TN07 SFP-102 green monster mast that I'll take out on occasion and I use it with a drive-on mount. Works great and it has an optional wire to attach to top of the mast which makes it more broadly useable. The fact is, however, I like to get "back in there" and don't like to just pull up and put up a mast. I'd rather pull out a radio on a hike. We DO have tall trees in AZ, just nowhere near my house, which is why I will occasionally find a willing cactus. Weaver Arborist makes that possible, without damage to the environs. Dave, W7DGJ
  14. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Brando, thanks for coming back with a comment. I am really happy with the TX-500 so far. I'm impressed that they were able to get so many nice features into something this size. The fact is, I can actually SEE the screen and it's nothing like the Xiegu I have, which is fine for the money but where the buttons and options are so tiny. I've been getting out very nicely on it. Yes, there's an adaptor cable (I got it with mine, not sure it is optional or standard equipment) that you plug into the proprietary port for the speaker/mic and it gives you a more traditional speaker jack and mic jack. Someone told me on the air that it's best to use the stock mic, so that's what I've been doing.

    On the topic of magazines, I fear that there's no middle ground, and that we'll all be forced to go with digital. But readers seem to be saying (here and elsewhere) that they are getting used to the format. Like you, I don't even remember they are there until one shows up in the mailbox. Dave, W7DGJ
  15. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    "future of digital media to replace our tried-and-true ham magazines."

    The death of dinosaur media (paper) is no longer a point of discussion, just about everyone is in the process of converting to a digital format. How that will play out for add revenue - mostly the reason for the publication - remains to seen. I've seen the digital realm as a battle for "content" to ensure success, or at least continued existence.
    Given the number of failed/failing magazine and websites, the culling isn't over yet.

    The Baba Yaga lurking in the background is really a two headed monster - AI enforced censorship and AI generated 'content'. One is scary, the other - to date - is fairly easy to spot. In the future that may not be so easy.

    It will be a Brave New World indeed.
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