Tuesday, June 28, 2005
The ham version of "Field of Dreams"
A couple of weekends ago, I went to Virginia along with Justin to visit my friends Larry, N4VA and Coleman, K4RZ. Visiting them is always fun, but the reason behind this trip was to attend the annual open house at W3LPL's contest superstation. Frank's antenna farm is located on what used to be ten acres of cornfield. He was the first person in there, and he put up his tower before the neighbors moved in, so I guess they knew what they were in for. (One of his neighbors is Bernie, W3UR, who apparently has an arrangement where he can use one or two of W3LPL's towers when they aren't in use for contests.) Pretty much like the movie "Field Of Dreams", Frank cut down a cornfield and built something somewhat unusual. I didn't have a chance to ask him if he heard a voice telling him "If you build it, they will come", but contesters (and lots of wanna-be's like me!) certainly do come.
I've uploaded a bunch of pictures for your viewing pleasure. The pictures really don't do the place justice. The big problem is that the place is just so darn big that it's hard to get back far enough to take a single picture that gives a good perspective. The picture on this page was taken from about as far back as I could get while still on W3LPL's property, and it only shows a few of the towers. By the way, it's not at all obvious from the picture here, but that house on the left of this image is a pretty large house (3 car garage and all), it only looks small in the picture.
I figure that if nothing else, these pictures are good for showing to Sharon to explain that I'd never wind up with anything even 1/10th as large as this.
Here's an interesting tidbit: None of the towers is taller than 199' 6". (None seemed to be much shorter than that either.) The reason for that is that apparently after you get to 200', all kinds of of regulations regarding FAA notification, tower lighting, etc. come into play, so they've "settled" (hah!) for the current height.
at 11:24 AM