Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July HAM Station

I set up a simple station at the Southside Baptist Church 4th of July Community Picnic and Fireworks Display over the weekend. Kind of a last minute idea but thought it might be fun to operate a little since I would be outdoors most of the day. I borrowed Mac-KF4LMTs battery and G5RV Jr. antenna and found a good spot to setup in right field of one of the ball parks over there at Paulsen Sports Complex where we were having the picnic. I put up a 12 x 12 canopy and setup my station on a small table that is perfect for events like this. I brought along my Yaesu FT-857D and my LDG Z-11 Pro tuner. In no time I had the radio and tuner connected to the battery thru my RigRunner power panel. Next step was to get the antenna up in the air. I solicited the help of Charles Cobb, one of my friends from church. We used the magic softball and a spool of chaulk line. Charles flung the ball up and was able to snag one of the foot pegs on the outfield light post. Did the same on the other side and tied everything off nicely. Got it up about 30 feet. Took just about 15 minutes. Hooked the feedline to the tuner and boom, I'm on the air. Operated for about an hour before my wife called me over to help with the picnic. My job was to cut up 30 watermelons! Dang, that's alot of watermelon. It took me about 3 hours till we ran out. Then I was able to clean up and get back over to the radio station. I operated right on thru the fireworks display and even had the opportunity to explain HAM radio to a bunch of my friends and my daughters friends. After the fireworks ended I broke down the station and headed to the house. Sure was fun. The simpler the better when operating an event like that.

CARS 2009 Field Day Summary

Here is a very nice summary of our Field Day activities at the Coastal Amateur Radio Society as taken from our club newsletter......

After breakfast at Sunnyside Up, CARS members assembled at Southside Fire Department Station 1 on White Bluff Rd. at 8:00 AM to begin setting up for Field Day. As the temperatures and humidity rose, so did the antennas: A hex beam for 20 meters, dipoles for 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters, a 6 meter yagi, a military HF vertical, and a 2 meter/70 cm satellite antenna. We operated as a 5A station using the club call sign W4LHS. Radios were provided by various club members with a multi band setup on Philip’s military radio, dedicated stations for 80, 40, and 20 meters, and a 10/15 meter station. In addition to the HF stations, Ralph Quinn, W4REQ set up a 6 meter station and Dan Scott, KF4MND set up a satellite station. In addition to the antennas and radios, a wireless network was set up and logging software was used on the 80, 40, and 20 meter stations. That made logging the busiest of the 5 stations much easier. The recently renovated and improved club station, which is located at the fire station, was used for our Get on the Air (GOTA) Station as K4S on 10, 15, and 20 meters as well as 2 meters and 70cm. Many
thanks to those who showed up early to get the antennas in the air and the stations set up, without their hard work; the rest of Field Day would not have been possible. Field Day was a success. There were 45 total attendees throughout the weekend, with 25 staying for dinner on
Saturday evening. Propagation may not have been cooperative, our score may not have been high but we had fun, and that is the key thing. During Field Day, several CARS members made their first HF contacts and prospective hams were introduced to the hobby with the opportunity to get on the air. With the exception of dinner time, there were stations active for the duration, even over the "midnight shift." In fact, many 40 and 80 meter contacts were made in the late night and early morning hours. During the daytime, 10 meters and 6 meters didn’t decide to
cooperate with us, but 15 and 20 meters did. 302 contacts were made, 46 of which were CW contacts. The GOTA station contributed a further 35 contacts for a total of 337. After the score was tabulated, we had 1290 bonus points and 778 points from contacts. Field Day was also a success away from the radios. Saturday morning, in addition to station preparation also saw a VE session and an introduction to operating class. The VE session resulted in one new Technician Class operator, a
General Class operator who passed the Technician and General exams at the same session, and an Extra Class upgrade. Jack Beaty, Jr. earned his Technician Class license and Edward Meyers passed the Technician and General tests, earning his General Class license. Jack Beaty, Sr., KI4QAP earned his Extra Class license. Jere Conan, KT4ZB conducted the HF Operating and Radio Set up class prior to the beginning of operations to help new operators and those new to HF get a good start on Field Day and HF operations in general. Field Day brought two new CARS
members: Joe Carroll, AG4BO and Jack Beaty, Sr., KI4QAP. The Field Day dinner not only paid for itself, but also brought a small profit; $125 was taken in to cover the cost of $98. The after dinner auction raised $112.