The Amateur Amateur: Past Tents
By Gary Hoffman, KB0H
forget things, so I make many lists. Sometimes I make lists showing
what lists I've
made (one for work-related stuff, one for home projects and so
forth). And as you might've
guessed, I either lose or forget about the lists. Is there a name for
this? Lost List Syndrome? Is there a cure for it?
January 12, 2008
Make sure that the antenna you're about to erect isn't under a tree.
Bags and boxes everywhere (Gary Hoffman and the Deadly Clutter?).
I need a better way to display my poster...such as on a billboard.
I recently wrote
about a field station demonstration run by our local
Tale of Three Tents, Part 1
.) Some weeks before the event, I practiced setting
up a digital field station in my driveway. I took very careful notes
of what I did and made a list of things I should address before or
during the demo.
Well, I just
found that list. It doesn’t do me much good now. I hate to just
throw it away, thought, so I thought I’d share it with you.
that the service department is open before dropping off the car for
Oops. This item belongs in a different list.
that the antenna you are about to erect isn’t under a tree.
used to laugh at people who did this, but really, who thinks to look
How do I stop the mast from swiveling?
Super Glue isn’t the answer.
Will someone be available to watch my stuff while I’m
transporting things to and from my car? Will some vital item get
“borrowed” and never returned?
It wasn’t a
problem at the field station demonstration, but I still worry about
having difficulty reading the dial of my radio out here in the bright
sunlight. Shade is beginning to seem rather important.
an even more serious problem with the computer screen. Fortunately,
it was overcast the day of the demonstration, but it’s still an
plug a 25 W transceiver into a socket protected by a 5 W fuse.
The band is dead. Is it bad luck or bad planning?
In retrospect it
appeared to be bad luck. The band was fine on the day of the
a lot of stuff to haul and much of it is heavy. Portability is going
to be a bigger problem when I’m not on my own driveway.
figured that I’d taken care of this when I bought a two-wheeled
dolly. But the demonstration site was a fair number of hills and
valleys away from the parking lot, and it took many trips to
transport everything. Obviously this is an issue which requires a lot
known this, but carry spare fuses for every device, not just those
that will never blow.
It seems like such a simple, easy thing
to do that I keep putting off doing it.
Duct tape is
handy, but double-sided tape would be better for my poster.
demonstration poster needs some very sturdy support, like, perhaps, a
batteries am I really going to need during the day?
two 55 aH batteries during the demonstration. The main problem was
powering my laptop computer. It sucks up almost as much energy as the
original ENIAC did.
bags and boxes all around my station. Some passerby is going to fall
over one of them. How can I declutter the area?
have an answer yet, but during the demonstration, the participants
strung orange, red and yellow warning tape just about everywhere. My
wife Nancy dropped by a few hours later and said, “It looks
like a crime scene.”
The flies are
During the demonstration it was bees. I have
a tough time thinking about technical issues and personal items
simultaneously. I need to make a separate list.
The transceiver and computer take up all of the surface space. What about
a writing surface?
There was a picnic table available at the
demonstration site, but it’s still a good question.
There are a
million adaptors in my kit, but will I be able to recharge my hand
held transceiver in the field?
Amazingly, yes, I could.
I thought I
had a log in the bag, but I don’t. No log, no paper, and no
pens or pencils.
Although I forgot about this list, I did
remember to take paper along to the demonstration. And I was wrong
about there being no pens. At the very bottom of my bag was a box
containing N0EIS’s “quasi-official emergency
yellow-and-orange” pens. Thank you, Chuck!
the list. And in retrospect it wasn’t wasted after all. It
reminded me that there are problems I haven’t solved and other
matters I’ve yet to address.
For example, I still need to take my car to the shop.
Editor's note: ARRL member Gary Hoffman, KB0H, lives in Florissant,
Missouri. He's been a ham since 1995. Hoffman says his column's name
-- "The Amateur Amateur" -- suggests the explorations of a
rank amateur, not those of an experienced or knowledgeable ham. His
wife, Nancy, is N0NJ. Hoffman has a ham-related
Readers are invited to contact the author via e-mail,
© 2008 American Radio Relay League