Field Day 2014
As last year, we held Field Day 2014 at Jackson County’s Table Rock Park. This year, W7DTA worked as a 3A entry with two SSB phone stations and one for CW. We also had a GOTA station (“Get on the Air”) for visitors with both SBB phone and 2-meter FM capability. As last year, Mike Bach WB6FFC brought his VHF/UHF trailer-based station for the 6 meters through 70cm bands. According to the ARRL Field Day rules, both the GOTA station and the VHF/UHF stations are “free.” That is, they don’t count as part of the club’s overall transmitters operated for the event, but we still get QSO points made on each.
ARRL released Field Day results in late November. We had a total of 1,167 contacts plus a number of bonus points, resulting in a score of 3,786. This was good enough for first place Oregon in class 3A, and 6th place overall in Oregon for all entry categories and power levels.
[More to come soon . . . with photos!]
Field Day 2013
Our Field Day this year was held again at Table Rock park in Medford. This continues to be a great site for our event, even as the public property has changed hands and some of the paperwork required has increased.
Our club president Jeff Statchwick, W7KNX, ably handled getting permission and approvals from the city and county, and Carl VanOrden, W7BRO secured approval of the Cascade Christian High School to use their parking lot.
The club’s re-built tribander beam antenna worked great on CW (“continuous wave” in Morse code). Tom McDermott’s repairs and reworking of the feedline seems to have fixed the SWR problems of years past. Mike Bach, WB6FFC, brought his trailer and crankup tower for the CW tribander and a 40m wire dipole.
On SSB phone (“single side band” with voice), Mike also brought a different (heavy) tribander, and by himself man-handled it to the top of Vern Hajek’s (K6UGS) tower. We also put a 40 meter wire dipole on the phone station.
For the GOTA (“Get On The Air”) station, we used a 4BTV vertical, and on VHF/UHF, Mike brought a truly impressive array of aluminum for 2 and 6 meters.
We operated “Class 2A” this year—a CW and a phone station, plus VHF/UHF and GOTA stations for bonus points. This was one less transmitter than last year, but it seemed two was a good number as we were able to staff operators a fair percentage of the 24 hours the rules allowed us to operate.
In stark contrast to last year, the weather this year was warm (but not hot) and sunny on Friday and Saturday, and cloudy on Sunday. The rain held off until several hours after we were all packed up Sunday. Overall it was a really great weekend for hamming and several new club members joined in the event.
The tribanders and dipoles provided a good account of themselves, as both stations were able to hold a frequency and “run” stations on 40, 20, and 15 meters. We tried 10 meters a couple of times, but the band never opened, and we had no contacts on 10 at all—a rarity for Field Day near the peak of the sunspot cycle.
The club’s two gas-powered generators worked great— one near the CW and GOTA stations, and the other on the far side of the park near the Phone and VHF/UHF locations. Having the two main stations well separated really helped knock down the inter-station QRM (radio interference). Surprisingly, the 6 meter transmitter signal was picked up in the phone station on 15 meters, but the placement of a 6 meter bandpass filter on the antenna lead of the 6 meter rig completely eliminated that interference.
We also had several solar panels and batteries, and we were able to make the required number of solar-power contacts to claim the bonus points for those. Many thanks to Tom McDermott, N5EG, chair of the Field Day Committee, and to Mike Bach, WB6FFC, who provided a good 75% of our total equipment this year. Thanks also to Joe Gunderson, AF7GN,who provided lots of bonus points by providing a PR booth, handouts, and inviting our public officials. We had a visit by Ron Ormond, the mayor of Butte Falls, and also by our ARRL Section Manager Bonnie Altus, AB7ZQ. Bonnie joined us for our dinner Saturday night, and she was able to spend several hours chatting with club members.
Our CW and phone stations both used computer logging this year, creating various near “Cabrillo” formats for the logs. [Ed note: there is no official Cabrillo format for Field Day]. This eliminated a lot of tedious key stroking after the contest and is much appreciated! After the logs were entered, the computerized ones were converted to ADIF format and uploaded to our W7DTA ARRL Logbook of the World (LoTW) account, and immediately matched about 10% of the entered contacts. This has cut down the paper QSL card count quite a bit, to one so far.
Our photographers for Field Day this year were Todd Carney, K7TFC, and Jerry Fulstone, K6KSI. See below for gallery.
Report by Tom McDermott, N5EG.
Photo Gallery (click on a picture for a larger view)
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