Fun Rottweiler Facts!
There are some things that people don’t understand about Rottweilers. Some of those things lead to a prejudice that can be debunked in under 2 minutes with a dog. First off, do you know why Rottweilers and Dobermans were the “Bad Dogs” in all the movies? Docked tails. Yeah. It’s hard to sell the idea that a dog is crazy evil if their tail is wagging furiously in a happy manner because they are executing a command for their trainer and, quite frankly, are super happy about it! It also helps when the dogs in question are incredibly smart working dogs with a long history of learning complex commands.
2 minutes with a Rottie will make clear that the best way to describe the breed is: clown. They’re silly. They love their families. They want to be close to their people all the time. But most of all, they want to play.
A tired Rottie is a happy Rottie. A great way to tire out a bit ol’ dog like that? A 7-10 km hike in the woods. They get to bump into other hikers for pats and they get to smell all of the smells of the woods. When they get home, they’re absolutely exhausted. That, my friends, is the desired outcome.
What’s that go to do with radio or POTA? Simple. My wife has a Rottie. I like to go to the park and play radio. She hikes the dog all over creation for about 90 minutes to 2 hours and I get to play radio. Everyone goes home happy!
On 11-Nov, we headed out to a trail at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It’s a spot where I’ve never played radio before. On this particular day, I took along the IC-705 and the AX1 as I continue to test my theories about this compromise of all compromises of an antenna. Last time, I’d been so pleased with my clamp that holds the antenna that I didn’t bring the little tripod. So what did I find? Cement tables that are 3″ thick. Not what I’d hoped for. But it’s cool. The clamp attaches itself quite nicely to the Peovi frame on the IC-705. Crisis averted! A new operational tactic was unlocked as well.
A New Piece O’ Gear
I did have something new to play with this time. I’ve been having a very personal, very silly crisis over headphones. I really, really hate earbuds. A lot. They are the worst thing to happen to headphones since their inception. But they’re lightweight and pack down to nothing. The other issue that I’ve had is that my cool Heil headset has two earphones. This leaves me unable to hear the sound around me. I don’t love that in a public setting because I hate being startled. The solution? A single earphone headset. I chose the Heil BM-17 IC. It gives me the ability to flip over to phone modes when I want to talk while providing me with a headphone so that I don’t spew my radio noise into the fresh, clean park air.
The headphones are great. Typical Heil high-quality sound. I love having only one headphone and that produced exactly the results I was looking for. Yes, the bright yellow is supposed to be an emergency communications thing but I see it as a way of telling which headset is mine and being able to find it if I drop it in low-light conditions. With two uses under my belt (hold on…we’ll get there) I’m all in all quite pleased with their performance.
On The Air
The day was quite cool as it sat in the lower 40s temperature-wise. It was also overcast most of the time. I’m getting better at writing with gloves on, so that’s something. The bands were not cooperative. I squeaked out 10 contacts on 20m and 1 contact on 17m. 17 was dead silent. 20 at least had traffic on it. All contacts were CW this time out. Here’s what the QSO Map looked like:
After just over an hour, the very tired puppy and my wife returned from their hike. They got enough of a walk that the dog was flopped on the living room floor for most of the rest of the day. Mission accomplished!
Sunday was a Scouting event. When my duties as taxi were over, I grabbed my bag and headed off to West Branch State Park – K-1999.
There are definitely worse places to spend a Sunday afternoon in the cooler pre-winter days. The sky was clear and blue. The temperatures were in the upper 40s. It was very, very quiet. The wind was low. Everything was what I wanted it to be for a trip to the park.
This time around, I took the TR-45L and, again, the AX1. I love playing with this radio. The more I use it, the more I want to use it. There are things I’m still figuring out. There’s a lot for me to learn about the Z-match tuner, for example. I also need to spend more time with the filtering options. Each time out, it feels more like a friend, but I haven’t logged nearly the hours with it that I have with the IC-705. We’ll get there, I have no doubt about that.
I did put an L connector on the bottom of the clamp. There was no chance to test the success of that arrangement the day before, but on a Standard Issue Park Picnic Table, it worked exactly as I’d hoped. With the L in place, I can direct the cable so that there’s less fiddling around and less cable strain. Given that I had the connector in a drawer, it was a worthwhile experiment.
I took my time and over the course of about 2 hours walked away with 29 contacts on 20m. All of them CW. There were a couple of Park To Park contacts. And I even translated that fact as the other stations were telling me that they were a Park To Park! I feel pretty good about how my copying is proceeding these days.
An observation I have about the TR-45L is that the headphone jack seems is either not working correctly or I’m using the wrong kind of headphones. My guess is that I should either send an email to ask what I should be doing or crack it open and see what’s what with the jack itself. My known-good headphones (as well as the new headset) don’t work without a little fiddling on the phones jack but WILL work on the speaker jack on the back. It requires some attention outside of a park visit.
The TR-45L continues to perform well. I made a lot of contacts with less than 5 watts on 20m. Here’s what the QSO Map looked like:
Where’s The Dog?
Given the way I started this, you will notice a conspicuous lack of dogs for the second park of the weekend. West Branch opens some of its areas to hunting during this time of year, and I’m not a big believer in hiking around even in designated areas and wearing bright orange. It’s easier to avoid the situation entirely. Where I sit is in the open near a disc golf course and well outside of the boundaries for the hunters. The trails in the park run close to some of those areas. Again, easier to skip it.
I had two days of park fun as the cold begins to roll in for the winter. I’ve got the gear for winter activations as well and I will continue to get out. It’s really important to enjoy the time in The Big Blue Room when the sun is out.
72 de KC8JC!