Field Day Results Reported to ARRL

CW 303 x 2 = 606 + Digital 33 x 2 = 66 + Phone 1149 = 1821 x 2 = 3642 + 1330 Bonus = 4972 Total score

Field Day 2011

Lowndes Hill Park

Beautiful West Virginia Hills -- Early Sunday morning June 26, 2011

N8FWD 40 mtrs CW/Phone

KD8FDD/K3EQ 20 mtrs Phone/Digital


NW8U 40 mtrs CW/Phone




Field Day 2011

      The Field Day for SJARA went very well. I had told everyone to be on Lowndes Hill by 4 PM on Friday to help put up the antennas and as usual John (NW8U) along with his wife (KC8RIQ) and his sons (KC8RIP), and Trevor already had erected the tower and had run the coax for the 20/15/10 meter beam. They also had their tent and shelter up just waiting for us. As it always seems John gets there before the rest of us. After the gang arrived we finished putting up the 80 meter and 40 meter dipoles.

     We set up the shelter for the 20 meter station and the GOTA station. There was a short rain but it didn’t last long so around 7 PM we secured for the evening and went home. John (NW8U) and Mike (N8FWD) with his sons had set up their tent and were prepared to stay the night.

     The gang all showed up around 9:30 AM Saturday morning to complete the set up the radios and the computers with the network for logging. We had received three new flat screen monitors from the OEM and one from Dean (N2DKK). Having flat screens gave us much more space to operating. Eric (KB8WSX) showed up around 10:30 AM to install and check the network for logging using the N3FJP Field Day Software. We saved all our files on a single Flash Drive installed in one of the five computes in use.

     We started operations at 2 PM (18:00 UTC) and the first contact was logged at 18:01 UTC. It was beautiful day with a slight breeze and everything went very well for several hours. Around 5:00 PM someone shouted, “The logging software stopped working!” Panic set in and everyone began logging on paper and the network was brought down and each computer was checked finding the main computer storing the data file on the Flash Drive had frozen. After a reboot and reestablishing the net work everyone was up and logging as usual.

     Everything was running smoothly when a Staff Writer (Leslie Moses) from the local newspaper, The Exponent Telegram, arrived and began interviewing everyone starting with the CW station and then the Phone station and then onto the GOTA station. She was very inquisitive and Bill (KA5NYN) and Dave (N8YPE) gave her some operating instruction and encouraged her to set down and make a contact. She agreed and on her very first CQ she made contact with WB8CQR in Ohio. They exchanged information and she was hooked on Ham Radio. She wrote a very outstanding article about the K8DF SJARA Field Day activities.

     At 7:00PM we had a meal consisting of Hamburgers, Hot Dogs with all the trimmings and Potato Salad. The meal was completed with outstanding covered dishes brought by Cecelia (KD8IZC) and Arnetta (KDGKQ). After dinner the evening continued until the late hours when things slowed down and it was decided that we would just close down until early the next morning. All equipment was secured, generator was stopped and we all settled in for a few winks until the early morning hours of Sunday.

     Operators began drifting in and all systems came up without a hitch and we went to it for the remainder of Sunday when secured near 2 PM and repacked everything away until next year or until, heaven forbid, there is an emergency and we will be able to put up on a moments notice.

     Operators during the two days of Field Day were: (CW) NW8U, KV8S (PHONE) KA5NYN, N8YPE, N8FWD, K3EQ, KD8IZC, N8MD, KD8FOH, KD8FDD (DIG), and K8TPH. GOTO station KA5NYN (coach), Andy Howe, Tyler Pierce, Aaron Swiger, Jacob Talkington, and Exponent Telegram Staff writer, Leslie Moses. Guests and club members dropping by were K8YJ, WV3G, N3ONO, KD8HBR, W8DXD, KD8ABS KD8IFY. Just as we finished packing things away it started to rain, just enough to get things a little wet, which will have to dried out before they are put away until next year.

See you in 2012.

If I missed anyone please let me know and I apologize. If I missed you I did not see you on the Check-in Sheet and I know I didn’t get to talk to everyone. Dick, K8TPH

The Exponent/Telegram
Ham Radio Operators Practice Their Skills.
Stonewall Jackson Club sets up on Lowndes Hill for annual Amateur Radio Association Field Day
By: Leslie Moses, Staff Writer

     CLARKSBURG – Into the airwaves Ken Queen cast his call words Saturday, and there was no reply. So he tried again:
“CQ Field Day, CQ Field Day. CQ Field Day,” Queen said into a microphone. “Kilo 8 tango papa hotel..” Still, nothing except the radio static. So Queen got creative, replacing “tango papa hotel” with his own words. Finally a response. “See? Didn’t get a bite until I said “toilet paper holder”, the visitor from Maryland said with a smile. Amateur radio is fun for Stonewall Jackson Amateur Radio Association club members. But the fun is secondary.

     Saturday, the group camped atop Lowndes Hill during national Amateur Radio Association Field for a serious cause: “Emergency exercise,” club treasure Richard Wilt said.

     The ham radio operators know if they can set up their 40 foot fully portable tower for the 24 hour event, they can set up later elsewhere. Because when disaster strikes, ham radio operators may be needed. Ham radio operators helped in the wake of 9/11, Hurrican Katrina dn Midwest floods.

     The telephone overload seen for instance, during the 9/11 tragedy made communication via ham radio invaluable. “Amateur radio was the only communication the had,” club secretary Dave Anderson said. “When all else fails, then it’s ham radio,” Wilt said. “We get through,’ club member Bill Reid said.

     Reid recalled that when he helped oversee shelters housing misplaced Hurricane Isabel victims, ham radio was key because all other circuits failed and power was out for five days. “That was how they got the message in and out of the shelters,” Reid said.

     So the members practiced Saturday amid radios, computers and constant Morse Code beeps, the mood was lighthearted. At a middle table inside one tent, Jason Hatfield called too, looking for a contact. The group hoped to log numerous contacts in the 24 hour period. Hatfield had 32 in his book in 35 minutes. “That’s not bad at all,” Wilt said. After calling out, operators wait and begin again. “You have to do it half a dozen times before someone answers, you,” Wilt said.

     Once contact is made, operators repeat the responder’s call sign and log the entry. And far away contacts are like hitting the center ring in a game of darts. Organizers alter the tower’s top as they go, and sometimes they even bounce signals off the moon, Reid said. By afternoon the group had made contact with ham radio operators in Russia, Mexico and Poland. The young, old and even bedridden can talk to folks in distant lands, Reid said, and “travel the world on their ham radio.” You just have to learn the lingo.

     The voice part isn’t to bad but Morse Code – although not required – takes a bit of work, Reid said.
Wilt took his place on the microphone. “CQ Field Day,: he said three times in a row before continuing his call protocol. He logged one contact after another before signing off, ending with well wishes. “It’s a hobby, It’s fun. And the serious part of it is when we take what we do for fun and make it work for somebody else”, Reid said.

Return to Main Page