|Tunable Antenna System||Field Day Results||Secretary's Minutes|
Bob K1BIF will do a presentation on a tunable antenna system he designed and
built for less than $100.
We had ambitious plans to improve on Field Day to pave the way for a repeat of taking the top spot in the 2A category. New ideas were tossed around months ago and Paul started early recruiting for CW operators in April. Out of the discussion, we decided to add dedicated wire antennas for 15 meter CW, 40 meter phone and a receive-only antenna for GOTA. In addition, we put in a plan to utilize the digital FT8 mode in the wee hours of the morning on phone and GOTA.
Very quickly, our efforts became a desperate search for CW operators. We lost a couple of key people and efforts to find replacements bore no fruit. And it was clear that finding GOTA operators and even set up people was tough. Potential operators were unavailable due to family deaths, medical issues and competing activities. We even invited people from other clubs all throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. We eventually got a crew together, but staffing was thin. Several of the key players were dealing with medical issues or family issues leading up to and throughout the weekend.
Fortunately we got help along the way. We were able to borrow a truck from Matt Lumsden Real Estate (thanks!!!) which made equipment movement a whole lot easier. Bob N1GGU also helped out by towing Bob's trailer with the tent. Debbie W1DEB got together with Beverly KI6ISG to procure the food. We laid out an earlier schedule for setup, which allowed time for dealing with antenna and site issues. Jonathan KB3DQZ brought along students from Champlain College who helped with setup and take down. The setup worked quite well with most of the antennas and tents up by Friday afternoon. Station setup was smooth even though many of us were already tired and stressed. With 3 CW, 5 phone and 7 GOTA ops, we held our breath that it would be enough to get us through 24 hours.
The 2:00 opening bell came and we were off with both phone and CW racking up some great rates. GOTA was hampered by noise from the CW station, only 250 kHz away. Bob, Alan and I quickly threw up a 20 meter dipole further out in the field beyond the GOTA station and plugged it into the K3 receive port. Success! The interference was gone. We had a Leader Board at GOTA so that we could easily track the QSO's each operator made. Conditions on 6 meters at the VHF station were not great, but FT8 managed to put QSO's in the log. We were on our way!
On phone we had a dizzying rate of over 100 QSO's per hour, every hour, right up until midnight and reasonable rates up until 3. Then the bottom dropped out as 20 meters died and 40 and 80 meters could not produce runs. We jumped over to our secret weapon, FT8, and while it worked, it simply did not produce the rates we were hoping for. Finally, 40 meters took over in the morning and we slogged out QSO's until 15 meter unexpectedly opened up at 11 and we had a big run once again. Ultimately, we fell 140 QSO's short of last year's phone total.
On CW, it was a similar story as 3 operators pounded out a 70-90 rate through most of Saturday, with the rate hitting 114 at 11. Just like on phone, rates took a dive in the 4-6AM graveyard, but came back up steadily after that. Paul and Linn put in ironman hours as they CQ'd and pounced their way to the second largest CW totals we have ever done..
At the GOTA station, things started slow, but the rate built as the afternoon wore on. By 6PM some big rates were happening. Our night crew of N1YD and KC1IFK came on at 8 and things really heated up with a 70 rate on 20 meters after midnight. We ended up with 7 primary GOTA operators, 3 youths and a few others making over 580 QSO's, of which only the first 500 count. But we also picked up 980 points in valuable GOTA and youth bonuses.
A lot of other behind-the-scenes bonus point activities took place as well. Paul AA1SU generated a bunch of traffic and sent it to his relay station in his car. He also was the person who made sure several elected officials and agency people came by and visited us for the bonus. Jeff N1YD was our full time safety officer and ran an educational demo on phase-locked loops. I sent out the press releases and worked all week on getting up to speed to make our bonus satellite contacts. And Bob W4YFJ was not at the site, but he copied the bonus ARRL bulletin for us.
Overall, we ended up with 4528 QSO's and 14876 points made by a staff of 19 with some 14 visitors to the site, some of whom we put to work!
80 CW 225 80 Ph 144 40 CW 456 40 Ph 403 20 CW 787 20 Ph 1504 15 CW 109 15 Ph 291 GOTA Dig 7 GOTA Ph 493 VHF Dig 39 VHF Ph 40 Sat CW 2 Sat Ph 8 Phone Dig 20 Total CW 1579 Total Ph 2883 Total Dig 66 4528 QSOs 2530 Bonus 14876 Pts 2018 2017 2016 2015 QSO's 4616 4671 3932 3675 Bonuses 2490 2470 2530 2170 Points 14732 14794 13018 12202
AA1SU Paul - CW op; VHF op; Equipment; Traffic; Set up; Tear down. AB1DD Carl - GOTA coach; Set up; Tear down. K1BIF Bob - Photos; Equipment; Tear down. K1ZK Zach - CW op. KB1FRW Bob - Phone op; VHF op; Equipment; Set up; Tear down. KB1MDC Alan - Set up. KB1THX Tim - Phone op; Set up; Tear down. KB3DQZ Jonathan - GOTA op; Set up; Tear down. KC1IFK Stew - GOTA op; Set up; Tear down. KC1JGM George - GOTA op; Set up; Tear down. KE1AZ Jim - Phone op; Set up; Tear down. KI6ISG Bev - GOTA op; Food. N1GGU Bob - Set up; Tear down. N1YD Jeff - GOTA op; Safety; Demos; Set up; Tear down; N1YWB Jeff - Phone op; Set up; Tear down. W1DEB Debbie - GOTA op; Food. W1LWH Linn - CW op; Equipment; Set up; Tear down. W1SJ Mitch - Chairman; Phone op; Satellite op; Equipment; Set up; Tear down; Results. WL7CVD Duane - GOTA op; Set up; Tear down
There were about 13 in attendance. Duane WL7CVD called meeting to order at 7:00.
Jim volunteered to bring snacks for the July meeting. Bob H. offered to do a presentation a tunable antenna system he designed and built for less than $100.
Carl reported on the successful Museum ship weekend There were 1277 contacts including one from South Cook Islands. Certificates were handed out. About half a dozen other ships were contacted. There is a video on youtube.
Field Day Planning
Field day planning was conducted by Mitch. A demo was set up to go over switching from phone to FT8. The Monday planning meeting was announced.
Presentation: David Hale, W1KR
David gave a presentation on his miniature (and functional) reproductions of tinfoil phonographs, which was the first method of recording sound ever devised. David also became interested in telegraph keys. David gave an extensive history centered around Thomas Edison and the advances of technology taking place during his lifetime. The idea for the phonograph grew out of technology developed to automate telegraphy. In 1877, he made the first recording which featured "Mary had a little lamb." About 500 units were manufactured based on the Hardy mode.
Nora Austin KC1LPF (Essex) Technician Curtis Guild KB1KCL (Essex) KB1KCL upgrade to General Ryan Jurasek KC1KUW (South Burlington) upgrade to General
I have become more proficient at editing the newsletter and the associated
logistics in preparing the distribution. I am sure a few more challenges will
prevail. My 2nd Field Day experience was very positive. I am more confident
in the GOTA operation and increased my score substantially from last year. I
have set up my ICOM 746 PRO on the patio at home. I have made contacts with
Germany, Bulgaria and across North America.