Stonewall Jackson Amateur Radio Association
Lowndes Hill, Clarksburg, WV
Field Day 2010

K8DF Stonewall Jackson Amateur Radio Association (SJARA)

     Early in the week running up to Field Day (June 26/27) the biggest worry we had was the possibility of rain. In previous years we had withstood nearly hurricane force winds and heavy rain so storms are always on your mind. We did have a very heavy rain and a thunder storm on Thursday night but by mid day on Friday the sun returned and it was beautiful. We all met Friday evening at our chosen Field Day site, location in a Civil War battle field over looking Clarksburg, WV.

     We set up two shelters, and dipoles for 40/80 meters, then raised the tower with a tri-bander. We secured for the evening around 8 PM to return on Saturday morning to finish preparations for the 2 PM starting time. A CW station, and two SSB stations with one position to be shared with PSK31 were installed with one station utilizing a vertical antenna. The GOTA station was set up along with four computers to be used for logging. At 2PM Hal, N8FXH started on 20 meters SSB as he has done for the last several years. John, NW8U started CW on 15/40 meters. The other SSB station and GOTA stations were put into action and everything ran very smoothly. The vertical was not working as well as we expected so a single element rotating dipole was erected, thanks to an abundance of surrounding trees.

     Visitors came and went though out Saturday afternoon and an evening meal was enjoyed by all present prepared by our resident cook, Dave N8YPE, with his assistant, Tyler (age 12). Several XYLs attended bringing a great selection of covered dishes and Hotdogs and Hamburgers were supplied by the club.

     The temperatures dropped slightly after sundown making it very comfortable after going through the 90 plus temperatures during the day. Everyone settled in for the long haul just to get through. As time moved on we were visited by several creatures of the night. A friendly raccoon found his way into the site and succeeded in obtaining a loaf of bread. Mike, N8FWD took action hitting the raccoon with a bottle of water. He wouldn’t give up the prize but did escape with his ill gotten reward. Several deer roamed in and out of the Field Day site at will during the night. The younger operators gave up the ghost around 3 AM but the old timers held their posts until sunrise when the sleepers were aroused to take over for the remaining time. At mid morning we were visited by a very attractive young lady with motion camera in hand from the local TV station (WDTV-TV) Pictures were taken and appeared on the 6 and 11 PM local news. Things continued without any mishaps and as 2 PM approached preparations began to wrap things up and police the area and leave the Civil War battle field as we found it for another year. Everyone said their good byes to Field Day 2010 looking forward to Field Day 2011. Myself and others then returned home to catch up on the sleep we had gladly lost over the weekend. Dick, K8TPH

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