WVARA Field Day, 25-27 June 2011
Another Awesome Field Day!
2011 President's Field Day Letter
Field Day is a great opportunity to get outdoors, gain experience assembling equipment in the rough, and operate a station under challenging band conditions. This year we operated QRP in the 7A Battery category from Mora Hill in Los Altos, California, overlooking the Silicon Valley from an elevation of 500 feet. (Our site was visited by deer and wild turkeys during the weekend.)
We had 3 HF CW stations, 3 HF SSB stations, an HF digital station, a Get On The Air (GOTA) station, a satellite station, and a VHF station. In spite of being limited to 5 watts, we succeeded in making three satellite contacts as well as QSOs on 50 MHz with Vermont, Virginia, Colorado and Western Washington.
Our GOTA station was particularly popular with plenty of drop-in visitors including a good number of kids. Older visitors included a couple of enthusiastic college students from Cal Poly who stuck around and operated graveyard shift on 20m SSB.
In addition to having a great time, each year we work at improving our equipment, antennas and operating skills. This year we used two homebrew HF triplexers to simultaneously share a pair of HF tribanders between multiple stations on 10- 15- and 20 meters. If youíd like to build one, you can read all about how to do it in K6KVís article in the June 2010 issue of QST.
Since we had CW, SSB and PSK-31 stations simultaneously operating on 20 meters, we took care to have HF transceivers with well-designed front-ends in order to minimize spur transmissions and receiver pumping/desensing. The majority of our siteís stations used Elecraft K3 and/or K2 transceivers.
Being outdoors also meant that we got to put up wild-n-crazy antennas that our spouses and neighbors might never allow back home. Cool new antennas at our site this year included a 40 meter, crossed, switchable, self-supporting dipole array, crossed (switchable) dipoles on 80, and 4-element monobanders on 15- and 20 meters. This was also the second year we used a 2-element 40 meter quad, which continued to perform very well. We appear to have worked all 50 states while handily beating our score from 2010.
73, Jim K6EI
It may be hard to see the white wires suspended from the yagi boom, but this was our full-sized 2 element 40 meter quad.
Scott AD6RY and Senthil KJ6KCG operating SSB.
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