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Village Life Chernihiv Churches

We had just an unbelievably complex time putting together our trip back to Ukraine. Tamara had not seen any of her family in over 4 years and the last day of August she was about to receive her U.S. citizenship, meaning, if I hurried and we got all our ducks in a row (passports, visas, tickets, etc., etc.) we could get the whole family across the border before the weather turned bad. I won't torment you with all the things we had to do and all the things that had to happen just in time, nor all the expense of that, but suffice to say it was worth it.

And then, on top of all that, I got this bright idea that wouldn't it be fun if I could take my little K2 along and actually be the DX for a change!

Antenna mast and feedline

Trying to figure out what the requirements were for operating my radio in Ukraine seemed nearly as complex as planning the trip itself, I kid you not! In the end it turned out that the hoops were few, but finding that out was the real challenge, since none of the information out there had been updated in over a year. Of course, there was also the small matter of planning and putting together the right gear and antennas to take and trying to be prepared for anything, since the actual logistics at grandma's house were mostly unknown. So, anyway, you already saw all the gear and such I took back at the main K2 page, so I digress.

This photo is of one end of the 20 meter half-square antenna and shows the mast I was able to hoist up. The pole itself was one of three that just happened to be laying around on the farm. In order to get it high enough (minimum of 7 meters) I had to support the bottom end on that wooden ladder, tie it off, put two small hooks in the gable, and tie it there, too. The vertical lines are one of the phased verticals and the feedline.

The other end looked like this. It was even more precarious. If you look carefully, you'll see that it's actually two poles overlapped and lashed together. The bottom is sort of woven through a small apple tree and sits on top of a sawhorse. The top I lashed to a neighbor's attic window frame, a window that had no glass. When I drew tension on all this, I was expecting a big crack and the whole thing to come tumbling down, but it held very well for four days.

In retrospect, I was very fortunate that those poles were there and that I had the right distance between buildings and just what I needed to finish the antenna portion. There was a small sub-window near the feedline where I could bring it into the house and also a handily located 220V outlet (the only one in the room I think). It really all worked out so well.

Antenna other end