Sunday, January 29, 2012

Eighth Air Force 70th Anniversary Special Event Summary

Had a great time today operating the WW2COS radio station and interacting with museum guests. I arrived around 0830 to get things set up for the event. I brought along two 102 amp hour 12v UPS batteries to install in the aircraft for our 24v power source for the radio compartment. These are sealed deep cycle units and will not emit any gases. Something I cannot say about a couple of our radio operators!

Thanks to Rocky for coming early and getting the new batteries cabled into the system. He got them fitted into the battery area despite them being significantly larger than the old ones and he built a new longer jumper for the series connection between the batteries. Rocky is the poster child for improvise, adapt, and overcome. These batteries are two to three times heavier than the old one and it took both Joel and me to hand them up through the hatch. Everything worked fine for the entire day.

Once we got the power applied and the antennas connected we were on the air. We made brief contact with the radio guys at Barksdale but the signal was never strong enough for us to carry on a conversation. We did talk with about 30 or so hams all across the country including some family members of B-17 crews. One fella in North Carolina will be sending us some info about the B-17 “Dynamite” that his uncle flew.

We welcomed three new volunteers to the radio team today and introduced them to Dave and Rocky. These guys are active duty Air Force and are stationed at Wright Army Airfield down at Fort Stewart. They maintain radio equipment for the 15th Air Support Operations Squadron. They spent most of the day with me getting oriented on the radio compartment. They are also interested in working on all other aspects of the restoration.

We operated till about 1700 then disconnected all power, disconnected antennas, stowed all equipment, locked the aft hatch and secured the aircraft. Key is back in the office.

Guy, K4GTM
Radio Team Crew Chief

Two 102 amp hour UPS batteries courtesy of Candler Hospital via Coastal Amateur Radio Society

Rocky, the Saturday crew chief, installing the two new batteries under the cockpit

Greg, KF5FQT operating that WW2COS station

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