QCWA logo

Chapter 36 - Northwest Indiana

~ Creaky Knees and Rusty Keys ~

We had a another great turnout at our September 14th meeting, with a new attendance record of 31 members and guests (includes Joe and Brandie's two young harmonics). Its great to see new folks coming out each month to join us for food and fellowship. Maybe its the all-you-can-eat meals that are so popular?!?! This one was a good one too! Thanks to Bruce W9OTN for suggesting the Ponderosa Steak House on Main Street (Rt 55, or Taft) on the north side of Crown Point. It was an especially good bargain for the seniors (over 55) to meet here on a Monday... their special price was only $5.99 which included a beverage. We had half of their meeting room reserved which turned out to be barely big enough for our crowd. But it was fine, and we had good food and service all evening long.

The most interesting handgun photo contest wasn't even won by a handgun at all! But the handgun look-a-like tennis-ball-antenna-launcher by George K9WWT and Tom W8FIB claimed the top spot. Congratulations guys! See pics and more info on this very cool device below. There were some great entries though... from Star Trek phasers, to a starter pistol, to some very interesting real firearms. Thanks to all for bringing in your photos... I'm glad you're my friends, not my enemy!

The Special Contest to find Herb Brier's middle name finally had a winner: Chuck KC9OYE located a genealogy research death certificate from Porter County. It cost him $2 and they wouldn't tell him if the middle name was listed or not, but it was! So Chuck's $2 investment turned into a $20 prize... not bad! Congratulations Chuck! Oh yeah, the name: Herbert Sebastian Brier. Sebastian was Herb's grandfather's name.

Pics by Stan W4SV. Click for a larger view. (I apologize that the pics aren't too good this month... I should have got a shot of each table instead. I also forgot to remind the group of our September birthdays... I'm really struggling with this "CRS disease." Happy Birthday everyone!)

The Guns 1
The Guns 1
The Guns 2
The Guns 2
The Gang 1
The Gang 1
The Gang 2
The Gang 2
The Gang 3
The Gang 3

Attending: (in last name order)

Bruce Balsley (W9OTN)
Ken (N8COQ) and Luanne Barnes
Marv Boetcher (WV9O)
Kenny Brown (KE9TC)
Carl Hallberg (W9CJH)
Troy (KC9E) and Claudette (KA9IXZ) Harrison
Chuck (KC9OYE) and Cheri Hill
George (K9WWT) and Nancy (WD9ETJ) Kelly
Dale Kempf (AC2E)
Joe (N9TAX) and Brandie (W9BLK) Krajacic (and their two daughters)
Tony (W9AL) and Janet (KC9HUG) Langer
Joel Miner (W9WJU)
Dave (W9DN) and Fran Nicolaus
Paul (AE9P) and Bambi Patterson
Tom (W8FIB) and Cindy Ruggles
Dan (W9DWS) and Heather Scheetz
John Schick (W8OCG)
Don Swoverland (brother-in-law of W9CJH)
Stan Vandiver (W4SV)

More on the tennis-ball-antenna-launcher. This is a very handy device that hams or clubs might find very useful for getting a wire antenna up in the air for Field Day, camping, or many other activities. Please read the following details from George K9WWT:

It went something like this. Last year I found a web site describing how to build the tennis ball launcher that would help put up antennas on Field Day much higher in nearby trees. So I showed it to Tom and we were off and running. Next thing I know he is ordering parts for two guns and said I could have one if I was interested. So after getting the on line hard to find parts, we did a local shopping day for the rest. We spent a couple of night's at his QTH assembling mine and then sealing leaks. Tom being an electrical engineer was a natural for looking at the print and knowing exactly where to place what part without a lot of trial and error. Once mine was built, we did a couple of tests with it to see how far it would go and what type of fishing line we should go with etc. We did a dry run at our Field Day site prior to FD and actually put up an antenna and tested it that day. Once mine was finished Tom then built his and so now Lake County ARC has two available if needed. Tom used his on a fishing vacation this year in Canada and was 599 with 10 watts due to a G5RV being up 70 feet in the pine trees. I have used mine this year twice at Lemon Lake, and once at a picnic area on Route 12 in Tremont, IN near the Dunes to talk to Tom, portable to portable QSO sort of speak.

The launcher has a air storage chamber with a quick exchange valve between the storage chamber and the shooting barrel. The storage chamber is pumped up to about 70 LBS of pressure. A tennis ball with a 25 LB fishing line attached to it is loaded into the barrel with a ram rod. You then find a suitable tree, aim, and with a release button fire the ball over the tree. The quick exchange valve senses the change in pressure and opens toward the barrel end, forcing all the air out the business end of the launcher thus "launching" the ball into the air. Usually 70 LB of pressure will get you over a 150 foot tree. The tennis ball is weighted with 25 pennies so it will drop through resisting foliage easily. Once the fishing line is over the tree, a heavier antenna support rope is pulled back over the tree by "reeling" in the fishing line. Once the rope is over, the final step is to attach the ends of the antenna to the rope and heave away mate. Whalaa - you now have a G5RV up 60 to 70 feet in the air in a matter of about an hour without killing yourself by climbing or tossing wrenches that come back and hit you in the head!

A couple of photos are attached of the launcher and my portable installation at Lemon Lake Shelter 2 this summer.

Here is the web page from whence came all the big ideas.


Pics by George K9WWT. Click for a larger view.

The Launcher
Have Corsair Will Travel
Have Corsair Will Travel
Up 50 ft
Up 50 ft
In The Clear
In The Clear

Back to the Meetings Page.

Valid CSS! Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict