Here is a list of radio events for the upcoming season. Events marked with the highlight indicate a contest that we typically make a significant effort toward. I believe these dates are correct, but I have not double-checked them against a second reference.
As usual, the rule is hang loose. Let's assume for now that there will be an effort on the marked contests. Please don't make any assumptions about the availability of the station for the other events. Check with me before making plans - some of us actually use parts of the station as a residence. :-)
While the standard approach to station maintenance at the Radio Farm is "bury it and forget it" (this is also our filing system), occasionally, there are chores involved in keeping the station on the air. We have several wire antennas in the Radio Farm arsenal, as well as yagi and vertical antennas.
Low band antennas take alot of maintenance. For example, our beverage antenna system gets put up and taken down every year. This enables the non-radio farming chores to be performed during the growing season. The radio farm typically sports two beverage antennas. These monsters run from 500 to 600 hundred feet (150 to 180 meters) across the fields behind the farmhouse.
Our 160 meter transmitting antenna is an inverted-L design. It runs up the side of the "big" tower, then out into the woods. In an effort to reduce maintenance, AA0WO started using the "work smarter, not harder" philosophy. Routine maintenance had consisted of throwing a new string over a big tree several times a year, as storms would inevitably entangle the antenna or its support string in a hapless tree growing beneath the antenna. The "smarter" philosophy involved the strategic use of a chain-saw with this antenna-snagging nuisance of a tree.