Here we are in January, 2016, at the very beginning placing solar panels with Steve’s shiny new steel building in the background. It was late October, 2015 when I got an email from my old friend Steve offering space for a small remote base on his new acreage after the holidays. I had been looking to buy a lot or cabin of my own for over a year. Always something was wrong. It was too expensive, too far away, too small, too run down, no Internet access. Other friends had offered to let me use their stations remotely but if I have to resort to remote operation it at least needs to be my own station. So I gladly accepted Steve’s offer.
The acreage is located near Elizabeth, Colorado on the prairie 40 miles southeast of ( and 1300 feet higher than) Denver not too far from the Palmer Divide. We’re at an altitude of 6600 feet and we are an hour’s drive from home. Steve has spent the last months having a steel building erected. It is a half mile back from the road. The car tracks to the building were very muddy the first day I visited and my car had no chance. After Steve gave me my site tour I began shopping for an affordable 4 wheel drive vehicle to get through the mud. I found this good old Jeep Cherokee and it really does a good job on the mud.
I rationalize this expense and all remote base costs the same way. It’s to get back to even before we downsized. When we made our decision to downsize I promised myself I’d make a good effort at DXing with restricted antennas. If it didn’t work I would set up a remote base. I tried DXing for a year and a half at home but had only moderate success. Expenses have to stay within reason because I didn’t have a huge station before (also, I’m not rich). But I could work DX at the previous house and that’s my first love and I want to get back to it. Here we go. This will be a “proof of concept” station with only the minimum needed to get on the air remotely.
By the end of Day 1 we had made some fast progress. The panels were installed along with poles for the Internet equipment and a fiberglass pole equipped with a PAR/LNR EF-20 twenty meter vertical half wave.