Tuesday, July 18, 2006

This chart gives us a good idea why we had so much trouble making QSOs. The green plot on this HFTA graph shows the performance of the 5-element 20m yagi at 60 feet over the 330 degree path to the US, overlayed on the statistical arrival angle information. Note that the Figure of Merit for this antenna is 0.9. The light blue plot is the performance of the same 5-element yagi, also at 60 feet, but over flat terrain. FoM for this antenna is 12.1. This tells us we should expect to be an average of 11.2 db weaker into the US than if we had flat terrain. The red and dark blue plots show the improvement that might be achieved if the antenna could be raised to 120 and 180 feet, respectively. The best we can do is still almost 5 db down from the same antenna only 60 feet above flat terrain.

I really wanted to know why we had such a hard time hearing and working th US and Europe during the contest. This is the terrain profile at 330 degrees - toward the center of the US. Note the obvious - there is a rise of 400 feet over a distance of 2000 feet. This hill will clearly block signal paths to the US.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A Jibiru stork makes a close-up appearance just before I put the photo gear away . . .

Hyacinth macaw at twilight with a little fill flash to help . . .

A Toco toucan sighting! Very nice.

Wings drying in the warm sun.

Sunrise on the last day . . . 1

Nicely posed bird in a bush.

Monkey climbing the trees.

Stork in calm water.

Finally . . . this is not a bird. A fairly large monkey . . . she had a whole family she was caring for.

This little reptile was very shy and very fast! I had to chase him through the brush for about 15 minutes before I was able to capture this shot.

There were lots of these around the lodge. They seem to be quite similar to the common finches we see all the time at home in New England.

Flight . . . 7

Flight . . . 6

Flight . . . 5

Flight . . . 4

Flight . . . 3

Flight . . . 2

Ok . . . here are some flight shots that seemed to come out alright . . .

And a picture-perfect landing.

Stork in flight . . .

Tiger stork . . .

And off to a photo session with another photographer, no doubt.

Another successful takeoff . . .

Wood stork gets ready for flight . . .

Lots of these purple flowers.

Cattle near the lodge included this fella.

Storks on the move.

Could you pose any better for me?

Hyacinth macaw fluffs his wings.

Nice sharp Jabiru stork in flight . . .

Birds and sun.

Wow! That's a nice shot.

The sky was clear and the moon was beautiful.

Sunrise . . . 4

Sunrise . . . 3

Sunrise . . . 2

The next opportunity to take pictures after a beautiful sunset is an even more beautiful sunrise. We trekked to the "short" observation tower near the lodge to see how the wildlife awakens. This was the sunrise from that location . . .

And the birds watch as the sun drops behind below the horizon . . .

Sunset continues . . .

Oy . . . another sunset . . .

Capabara on the move.

Capabara were very plentiful around the lodge.

Does this stork fear the Caimans resting nearby?

They were everywhere . . .

The water in this particular was chock full of fish. And the caimans knew it.

Every stork picture can be interesting!

A hawk seeking prey . . .

A typical view of the flooded savannah. This shot was taken on the way to our horseback safari. The horse ranch is in the background.