Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cliches and Operating

You that old saw, "It's not a failure if you Learn something"?
I've always hated that statement. I try to learn from my failures, but failure is failure, and for something to fail means that I wasted time doing something, and time is really my most precious commodity.
So here's what has failed, and here's what I've learned.
1. I wanted to build an antenna that would cover 10m, 20m, and 40m. I failed because I didn't understand the nature of what I was building. Instead of making it small wavelength to big wavelength, I needed to make the calculations for the whole antenna first, and build the whole thing, then tune from the smallest wavelength to the biggest wavelength.
2. I attempted to operate from the field (work parking lot) twice this last week, both times was a bust. My semi-success with the 4SQRP outing in October. I had to learn lessons there too, like, easy setup is more important than antenna efficiency in times of expediency. I think something like the St Louis vertical, or the St Louis Loop is a better choice for time sensitive ops, where the W3EDP is a better choice for times when you have time to set up. As an operational note, W1AW was 599 to my QTH on 40m Monday night.
3. Right now, I'm building a dummy load out of 2 watt resistors. 44 of them in parallel to be exact. Even that has had "Learning opportunities", namely when it comes to lining holes up. That has changed from being something pretty and elegant to downright ugly. I just want it to work.

Tonight, I think I might just go to bed, leave the soldering iron cold...
or maybe I won't...
stay tuned!


John Burgoon said...

1. You are completely wrong about wasted time. The key is not results, it's attention. You failed in a small portion of your effort, and that made you pay attention so that you could understand the nature of what you were building. Yet, you succeeded in the overall effort. Only your attitude is off-base, since you apparently succeeded.

2. Something is better than nothing, that's all. In the grand scheme of things, if you succeed in operating from the field hundreds of times over many years, those first two intial failures become insignificant.

3. There is a reason "practice" is called "practice". You must be young, because you still think you know something because you've read something. Practice is what makes skill. Book learning is just preparation for practice. Guided practice is the best of all, and that's what you are doing.

In my opinion, you are engaging in guided practice and logging your results. This is the basis for greatness. All you need to do is acknowledge this and you will be happy and successful.

Cheers, John KC9TUI

Anonymous said...

I don't see any of those as failures , but rather you learned that there are better and other ways to do things in the future .

Charlie , W5COV