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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Field Day

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 Kudos go to Bruce Gillis, KI6CYT, for this year's effort pulling together the K6QLF Field Day.  ARCA had a full house at the Fire Department Training Facility, and propagation was hot.  So there were a lot of contacts resulting in ARCA racking up more points than any Field Day since 2005. All the action was at 5 watts and on emergency power.

 

32 people participated,  including Alameda Mayor Trish Spencer and the ARRL's Jim Latham, AF6AQ. The most contacts were on CW and PSK31, which did about equally well.  But the SSB folks put in a strong performance at 5 watts, boosting the total substantially.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Field_Day_2013_592.JPGSetup began at 8:00 am, and operating started at 11:00 am sharp.  With a break for pizza, the action continued until dinner time. All stations ran on 12V batteries.  Additionally Jerry Juhala, KT6CRT,  put together his solar power rig outside the building - one of two demonstating how to sustain activity on emergency power.

 

The antennas included Al Sweet's (KG6HM) G5RV in the parking lot, Bruce's 40m vertical next to the Red Cross building and my 20 meter antenna on the Training building.

 

Howard Harawitz, WA6YAG, in what is becoming a Field Day tradition, shot some great photos of the morning activities (available here). I took afternoon pictures, including those of the Mayor's visit (available here - also including Jerry's picture of Jim Latham).

 

Posted by on in Main

Saturday, June 25th
8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
431 Stardust (Alameda Point)
Alameda Fire Department’s Training Center

Help set up antennas.

See HAM radio in action - voice, Morse Code, digital.

Learn how to do it all on emergency power!

Join us for a cup of coffee!

 

Our Field Day Invitation and flier for you...

Posted by on in Main

Bruce (KI6CYT) and I got together last Thursday to do more Field Day antenna testing.  We met at the Sea View Park on Bay Farm Island. I brought my 10-15-20-40 meter OCFD antenna along with my Max-Gain Systems pushup fiberglass mast.  Bruce brought his lightweight 20 meter antenna.

One goal we shared for both antennas was to make it possible for one person to set them up without requiring additional assistance.  The OCFD had previously used two masts employing 4 foot fiberglass military mast sections. This required lots of rigging, a helper and not a little strength to raise each assembled mast. In contrast the new mast was made up of eight 4' long telescoping fiberglass tubes secured with a plastic clamp on the top of each section.  The plan was to set the first section on a base pegged to the ground, and use guy lines to hold it straight.  Two additional sets of guy lines were pre-positioned with the correct measurements so that support was available when the telescoping mast sections were pushed up.

Geometry works!  The secure base and the pre-positioned guy lines made it easy for me to raise the antenna in the usual afternoon sea breeze from the Bay.  And the measured SWR's slightly bested the antenna modelling.

Bruce also had a good result.  He removed the top section of the push pole to increase mast stability and modified the sliding base which held the "crappie" poles so that they went easily into position.  As a result, he was able to put it up himself.

All in all it was a good afternoon.  We are ready for Field Day!

More pictures...

Posted by on in Main

Bruce (KI6CYT) brought his new Field Day antenna for testing at Shop Night. It is a 20 meter dipole in an inverted "V". He has it mounted on a lightweight pushup fiberglass pole from MFJ. The mast employs two "crappie" poles as spreaders to secure the antenna ends.

Cass (AG6NT) and I helped set it up. One of Bruce's goals was to not only make it very light weight, but make it simple enough to set up so that one person could do it easily in the field.  Achieving the hoped-for single person setup didn't happen on this first trial, but our experience gave Bruce some good ideas about how to improve the mast.

Otherwise the antenna met Bruce's goals.  It was very light and portable.  Three guy lines secured it safely adequately in the evening breeze at the Training Center. A check of the antenna analyzer showed that the whole twenty meter band had an SWR of less than 2.0.  And a radio check showed that it was sensitive and could transmit 100w SSB.

Bruce and I agreed to meet again at the Sea View Park on Bay Farm Island to test his ideas to improve ease of use.

See more pictures here!

Posted by on in Main

This year's Field Day came off smoothly. Not only did ARCA pull together to implement Fred (KI6BES) and Bruce's (KI6CYT) plan, but the enthusiastic participation of CERT and ARES members did a lot to make it a success.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Field_Day_2013_580.JPGRon (KF6LSY), Dean and Wade arrived early towing two CERT Mobile Disaster Units from Fire Station 4 to the Bay Farm Shopping Center. These were set up quickly, with Bruce's vertical and dipole antennas going up soon thereafter. Al's (KG6HM) G5RV was raised along with various VHF/UHF antennas.

One MDU was dedicated for use as a PSK31 operating position for Howard (K6SID) and Lea (KJ6BNS). The other MDU hosted Sam (KJ6AF), Cass (AG6NT) and others for HF voice. Joe (KC6ZZT), Michael John (KF6YRG), Doug (KI6BZT) and Al held down the fort in the CW pavilion, while Fran (KF6UVB) and Al manned the GOTA pavilion, talking with Boy Scouts in Texas and getting Bruce's grandson on the air for the first time.

Rose (K6LEZ), Ruth (KI6TYZ), Marianne (KI6MTU), Fred and Joann teamed up in the VHF/UHF pavilion. They signed in visitors, explained Field Day activities and provided literature.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Field_Day_2013_592.JPGThe CERT and ARES folks were very active. Jerry (KT6CRT) set up a complete, self-contained emergency radio position including antenna, battery, generator, solar energy and shelter. In the CERT pavilion, Dean, Carmen, Wade, Jerry and Eric (KJ6UHP) showed visitors an impressive display of emergency tools, including a full MDU medical kit.

One innovation this year was the addition of bandpass filters to the HF stations. The filters enabled simultaneous activity for voice, data and CW without interference. David (KI6AWR), along with Cass and Bruce, spearheaded this initiative, which was a success.

Later in the day we had visitors from the Red Cross, including Madeleine Biskintaoui (AF6NL) and Richard Fateman. Chief Ricci Zombeck came by from the Alameda Fire Department, and Jim Latham (AF6AQ), Jim Tiemstra (K6JAT), Bob Vallio (W6RGG) and John Rabold (KS6M) represented the ARRL.

All in all it was an excellent day, with beautiful weather, good contacts on 15 and 20 meters and a much appreciated dinner at Harbor Bay's Penca Azul.

For more pictures of Field day activities, see here or here.

Posted by on in Main

Rehearsal crew ready for Field Day!Saturday the 22nd is ARRL Field Day, when Alameda's Amateur Radio Club shows what can be accomplished by setting up from scratch under emergency power and making as many contacts as possible. Field Day will be held in the Harbor Bay Shopping Center in front of CVS.  You can't miss it - there will be two Alameda CERT Mobile Disaster Units, several pavilions and antennas everywhere.

On June 8th the team rehearsed pulling everything together to work out the kinks. In two hours ARCA members were on the air and talking to other hams.  Here is the tired, but proud crew at the end of the morning.

Join us Saturday!

You can see more pictures here or here.

Posted by on in Main

ARCA is holding 2013 Field Day this year at the Harbor Bay Landing shopping center on Bay Farm Island.  We have permission to set up in a section of the CVS parking lot.  This will give us great public exposure, parking is easy and there are no strict requirements which force us to close down early.  The promises to be a great event and we want to make it especially successful by having a brief Field Day rehearsal. 

We will be hollding the Field Day rehearsal on Saturday June 8th 2013 at 885 Island Dr Alameda 94502.  There will be one MDU in position and the objective will be to get it set up as it will be for the real event (Saturday June 22nd 2013). 

The event will begin at 10:00 am and will last approximately 2 hours.  A succesful event will get us on the air and iron out the kinks so that we will be well prepared for the great event later in the month.  We will be getting the MDU ready, setting up the antennas, firing up the generator and getting on the air too!  Whether you are interested in setup, operating, logging or just observing at the real event, please come along and participate.  The more the merrier. 

Tagged in: Field Day

Posted by on in Main

Al Sweet Presenting at ARCA 3/2013.jpgAl Sweet KG6HM presented "Operating with Morse Code" at our monthly meeting. He covered the early history of Morse and signaling, as well as what it's like to operate CW. From coherers to spark gaps, he managed to convey the musicality of the original digital mode.

After the break, we discussed what we think Field Day will be like this year. We are planning to operate on Saturday from the CVS parking lot on Bay Farm. We'll have both MDU's setup, and probably run 3 or 4 stations. More details to follow!

 

Tagged in: Field Day Meetings

Posted by on in Main

We had our February Club meeting last night. The presentation was given by David Haycock, KI6AWR and was an overview of Field Day 2013 -- because it is never too late to begin planning! The presentation was an overview of the various decision points that need to be made, as well as some of the roles that need to be filled. For example:

 

David Haycock KI6AWR, presenting Field Day planning!

  1. Do Field Day on our own, or with another club?
  2. Location, outside the meeting house, or at a park, or somewhere else?
  3. Saturday only operation, or both days?
  4. Will someone be operating through the night?

One of the emphasized points was that in order to be successful, we need to have a wide variety of volunteers in different roles, such as Field Day coordinator, food, operation, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the presentation, we had a social period and then did some of the club business.

We had elections for club officers. The new officers are:

  • President: Cass Carrigan AG6NT
  • Vice President: Jim Wright KJ6UHT
  • Secretary: David Haycock KI6AWR
  • Treasurer: Tom Schweich KI6JRB (returning!)

I want to thank all those who participate as officers in the club, past and present. The time you put in is what helps make the club great!

We also had three members pay their membership dues for 2013. If you haven't already paid for 2013, please do so.