Goals are funny things. Sometimes, they motivate, other times they stifle. In this case, a goal reminds me that I have something to work toward. Without something to work toward, I often forget to pursue things that matter to me, for things that have deadlines. I'm not sure if that has to do with my upbringing, my need for success, or a hole in the ozone layer but a good solid goal keeps me engaged. I like to be engaged, especially if I'm doing something fun.
The notable date on my Ham calendar is Field Day. Having recently moved to New Jersey, I haven't found a club yet. Furthermore, I doubt I'll be able to get involved in one before Field Day, since all the ones in my area only seem to meet when someone signals them from Gotham City. I have not been able to locate a single one with a set meeting schedule or location; instead, they seem to roam the New Jersey pavement like nomadic hobbyists in search of a purpose. Since I'm not sure which bat-signal to follow, I haven't yet figured out where to go and meet these wayward Hams.
Being club-less (there I go, making up words again) and dead-set on operating abroad, I'm setting my sites on a little QRP Field Day atop a semi-local mountain-top. When I say "mountain-top" I mean the tallest spot in NJ, which is a little less than 2000' lower in elevation than my last QTH. This brings up a few challenges to overcome in the weeks ahead.
- I need to get my power setup built and tested. I have all the parts for a great little solar/battery setup, I just need to put it all together into something that doesn't look like a pile of electrical intestines torn from Robbie the Robot.
- I need to finish my PFR-3!
- I need to actually get on the air and have some CW QSOs. I don't expect to be hosting huge pile-ups on Field Day, but I don't want to sound like an idiot either. I've been in learning mode so long that its about time to try and use it.
- I need to test out a few antennas to decide which will serve best for that particular weekend.