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Old 01-16-2009, 10:55 PM   #1
One Country Boy
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Default Short trip to Florida Springs RV Park

Plans are to head out in the morning to Florida Springs RV Park and Campgrounds at Bonifay, FL. We have a little business to take care of in the area, so we decided to do a little camping at the same time.

I was awfully tempted to put the TS2000 in the 5'er but decided I'll leave it at home. I put the TS450s in the RV and will carry along a 2-meter rig for local rag chewing. Bonifay is only about a 2 hour pull from home so it's not a long trip. Plans are to stay about a week. There are several hams I've been talking to up there for several years and never had the chance to meet. Maybe I'll also have some eyeball QSO's.

This campground has been there for a number of years but has been closed for the past two years. New owners have renovated it and trying to get it back on it's feet and in operation. There is a small lake on the property, fed by a spring and many large oak trees. It is in a prime location, within a half mile of I-10 at the Hwy 79 exit to Bonifay. It has lots of pull-thrus with full hook-ups. I was told by the owner today that their WiFi should be in operation tomorrow. They do not have cable TV yet, but it's in the works. Looks like it will be an excellant site for folks traveling I-10 to pull off for the night or to spend a few days.

The owners tell me that they have never RV'ed but would like to one day. They asked more questions than I did. It appeared they really wanted to please their guests by asking what we would like to have as far as ammenities and what we expected of a good park. They told me they were talked into buying the old park by some friends up north that own a CG.

We'll try to give you guys a trip report when we return or maybe while there. I sure hope they have that WiFi in operation. If not, I may be seeing "pink elephants" before I get home.



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Old 01-17-2009, 04:18 AM   #2
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Have fun on your trip Jim. Send some of that heat up here when you can. Maybe you can modulate your ts450 with the ouput from your thermometer and if the skip is just right, it may raise our temp a degree or two. So, when is this global warming coming? I'm gonna try to work some 6 & 2m in the ARRL VHF contest this w/e and will be listening off and on on 7.230 and 14.260
73
Andy - n1ork



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Old 01-17-2009, 08:02 AM   #3
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Heat ?? Heat ?? Brrrrrr !!!! The low was 24 here last night. Now I know that's not as cool as it is up there but that's cool for we'uns. C'mon down Andy, I'll take you to the beach. I'll sit in the car while you go for a swim.



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Old 01-21-2009, 08:40 AM   #4
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Internet is back up and running here at Florida Springs CGs. I was beginning to need an Internet and ORR fix. The WiFi has been on here but the ISP the CG uses (Embarq) has been down.

They owner/operators hospitality has been outstanding and they are working hard to get the park fully operational. Having heard their plans and watching them work it looks like it will be a 5 star park in the future.

It's been cool since arriving, the temp was 22 this morning. We've had some 30 - 35 mph winds from a front passing. I'm glad it has finally calmed. It was so bad the other night we almost pulled the slides in for fear the wind would rip the slide covers off. It really had the 5er rocking, not much sleep that night.

How did you do with the VHF Contest this past weekend Andy ? It would have been nice to work some 6 meter ssb. I've worked FM on 6 but never ssb.



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Old 01-21-2009, 11:56 AM   #5
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Jim,
Glad to hear you're having a good time in spite of the WX. Never got around to the VHF contest, too many other things going on. I uploaded a few new pics to my albums if you're interested. Can't wait till Spring to get back to NH, but it looks like I may have to get the snow shoveled off my Park Model roof. They say there's over 2' on it and expecting maybe another foot soon.
73
Andy - n1ork



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Old 01-22-2009, 09:38 AM   #6
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Good looking shack in the photo you uploaded Andy.

Water hose frozen again this morning. Low temp was 25 last night. The good news is that it's up in the low 40's and it's only 0930. A warming trend on the way.



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Old 01-25-2009, 06:40 PM   #7
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Back home from Florida Springs RV Park. Nice to be home.

We got our projects completed. The weather was cold and dreary for the most part but, it was not to be a pleasure trip. I learned one thing, "to anchor my satellite dish and tripod better from now on." About the time I got it oriented and tuned into the two birds, a strong gust of wind took it out, busting my LNB. I finally got another but got ripped off bad in the process.

When the new owners of the park get finished, it should be a nice place to stay or stop to get off I-10 for a rest. It's located at Exit 112 (Hwy 79) if anyone is passing through.



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Old 02-08-2009, 02:04 AM   #8
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Here's what we did for amateur communications on this trip.



Attached Images
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File Type: jpg FLSprgsRVPk0048a.jpg (31.3 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg FLSprgsRVPk0044a.JPG (74.9 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg FLSprgsRVPk0036a.JPG (81.6 KB, 13 views)
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:58 AM   #9
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Nice setup Jim. Hope to have my QTH/P setup this spring with FT-857D, G5rvjr, 2m/440 jpole and, if time allows, 4el 2m and 3el 6m yagis on a rotator and mast attached to the park model.



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Old 02-08-2009, 12:56 PM   #10
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Very nice setup!
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:33 PM   #11
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I'm having a "WELL...DUH!!" moment. I never thought of putting the mag mount on the pedestal box. That opens up possibilities for VHF/UHF, plus hamsticks and other stuff.

Old dog, new trick. Hmm?

And you don't even have to climb anything!

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Old 02-08-2009, 10:49 PM   #12
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It was not very high Wade, but it served it's purpose. I was able to work a repeater probably 30- 35 miles away. I like your mount to the ladder with U-bolts and wing nuts. I was thinking of putting a 2-meter ant there for the added height. I'll just have to ground it.

Thanks,
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One Country Boy View Post
It was not very high Wade, but it served it's purpose. I was able to work a repeater probably 30- 35 miles away. Jim
Yeah the pedistal box probably ain't got much of a ground plane. Hmm? I bet a decent GP could be rigged up, get some stiff wire and make some radials about 19 inches, then sedge them up under the magnet. Hmm? But probably not needed anyway if you can hit repeaters 30 miles away.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:34 PM   #14
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The pedestal box just happened to be convenient at the time. I imagine the SWR was high. The radio (Icom V8000) transmits 75 watts max. I never ran over about 20 watts with it. I know it has a roll back circuit in it to drop the power when the SWR is high but I'm just not comfortable running a rig on hi power when I have not checked the SWR.

I saw a photo somewhere, may have been an ORR Member, where a plate was mounted to the top of a satellite dish. The dish on top a tripod and a magmount on the plate. I don't always have to put out my tripod and dish, so your ladder mount really has my attention Radio. I like the idea of talking to the local hams when we are out camping. Also a good source of information on things to see and good places to eat. ... I will get something worked out on a good mount before we head back up to the mountains for three months this summer. I'd like to meet some of the guys up there and maybe attend a club meeting.

I'm going to change out the Icom 2 meter rig and put my Kenwood TM-251 in the camper. It runs 50 watts on 2 meters. It has a UHF receiver in it, although it does not transmit on UHF. With the UHF I can listen to the public service bands to see what the sirens are all about. The 251 has one of the hottest VHF recievers I've ever had. I used to run it on packet. Data is one of the things it is designed for.

Thank you for the comments, Radio, Andy and Jagco.



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