VHF Winter Contest - Lessons Learnt
I've stepped away from the operating position at my radio stack, to check on the icing conditions of the antennas mounted on the push-up mast located at the rear of my mobile.
As you can see from the heavy fog surrounding my mobile, the conditions dictated that I keep an eye on the SWR and power levels while I operated during the ARRL January VHF contest, as the power out would begin to fold back when the ice collecting on the elements of my log-periodic, as well as my 6 meter loop became excessive.
Interestingly enough the ice was also forming on the mast assembly surfaces, causing ice to fly in all direction when I released a clamp on the individual segments of the mast to lower the antennas for de-icing purposes.
I actually enjoyed the experience of operating mid-January in the VHF contest under challenging conditions, as the experience will serve me well if faced with the same conditions again.
In fact I know from past experience that a product called 'Rain-X' that I've used on my gearmotor antennas helps keep bugs from adhering in place to the external surfaces of the antenna, and allows for easier clean-up.
I believe 'Rain-X' may help with the removal of ice from the antennas should the situation occur again, so therefore I will apply this product to the antennas that mount on my push-up mast, and see how it goes should similar conditions occur again..
So it's always good when everything goes good while operating in the field, but when things don't go so well, it's good when you learn from the experience for the next time you're faced with similar conditions.
I'll make an entry in my field operating journal under a new listing called...