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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On the air, out in the woods... Plus, olive news

We were out in the Sabine hills this week. Things are starting to settle down out there: The Cinghale are, well, mostly GONE (see earlier post), and the gunfire is starting to die down. And the olives have all been shaken from the trees. All was going well, but my wife was worried that with temperatures dropping, she might find me frozen out at my front porch operating position, so she secured indoor accomodations for me and the HW-8. Wow, what luxury! My CW is back to normal -- the shivering had been a real impediment. On Monday and Tuesday I was on 80, 40, and 20 with the Heathkit. I managed to work seven stations using a far-from-optimal end fed wire with my flea market tuner. It was fun to work Russian stations -- UA6HNU was running a homebrew rig. It reminded me of the good-old days in which most of the Russian hams were running HB gear. Then, just as we were getting ready to head back to Rome, there was some icing on the cake: Near the top of the 20 meter CW band I heard KZ1H (see earlier post) all the way from Boston.

Next week, a better antenna goes up.

I got some questions about the olive harvest. It seems that the trees around are place are about 200 years old -- mere kids, considering that there are olive trees in the world that are 2000+ years old.

As for the harvesting process, the shaking machine vibrates the tree for about 5 seconds. The workers have a collection tarp on the ground to catch the olives. Then they have machine that reels in the tarp.

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