The Light after The Darkness
Although the sun had risen several minutes earlier, the rising sun was struggling to break free from the layer of smoke that has enveloped southern Alberta over the past several months, what with the wildfires burning in southern British Columbia.
With that in mind, I had to work quickly to capture the photograph before the sun overpowered the electronic strobe that I had in play, required to preserve subtle detail of myself and the manpack, that otherwise would have resulted in a silhouetted image.
I could have increased the output of the remotely placed electronic flash, but that would have flooded the scene with harsh artificial light, taking away from the pleasing soft natural lighting of the sun bathing the grasslands at first light.
To keep the light from the strobe under control, I used a flexible light modifier attached to the flash head, allowing me shape and direct the majority of the light at myself and the manpack.
Getting past the details of how the photograph was captured, interestingly enough, or at least to me is that I'm working 40 meters with the Yaesu FT-897D that makes up the heart of my manpack, but more importantly is the fact that it is connected up to the Webster Band Spanner antenna that traces its heritage back at least 65 years, making my original build WBS a senior citizen in the world of antennas.
Still, after several months of operating with the 15-75 meter Webster Band-spanner that originally was designed and built by the Webster Antenna company out of San Francisco as a mobile antenna, I have discovered that this antenna works extremely well mounted on my manpack.
In fact I'm of the belief that I may be the first ham to go down this path, giving the WBS a new lease on life as a portable antenna.
Now I should mention that I am not replacing the 10-60 meter antenna that I normally use with my manpack, but look close at the photo, and you will notice that the 10-60 meter vertical is stored on the frame of the manpack, for the times the band is not in that great a shape, requiring a more efficient antenna.
Another change that has been made to the manpack, is the addition of a SCS 3070 Tracker TNC, that has been paired with the FT-897D transceiver, allowing for HF RPR APRS operation on 30 meters, allowing the manpack (and me) to be seen on Google maps via aprs.fi.
To read more about how I added the SCS Tracker to the manpack, read it here.....