Updated August 16, 2021
Random QRM from the President’s Shack
Sometimes life throws you a lot of curveballs. While we are now slowly coming out of our pandemic haze, I’ve had a lot going on at home and work. Even though I planned on doing a casual Field Day at home, my mother-in-law was readmitted to the hospital Friday night before Field Day. I seriously wondered if I’d get to participate at all.
Things did work out—mother-in-law was doing OK—and I was able to do Field Day at home part time. I had planned to do all FT8. It took a little while to get the laptop sorted—Windows updates, WSJT-X new version, etc.—I finally got the rig fired up... and got a nice surprise!
20 meters was jammed, of course. but so was 15 meters! And the bandscope on 10 was filled! WSJT-X includes CAT control of your radio so it’s quite easy to jump bands quickly. I was able to make contacts on those bands with my non-resonant 34-foot vertical with typically 25 watts as shown on my LDG tuner.
Just for curiosity I tried 6 meters and got another surprise! ...
Field Day Expedition
Working under the special event call, W5N, Kevin Grantham, N5KRG, Andy Parcel, KE5KOF, David Duke, KM5YQ, Ron Reeves, NN5R, Tom Yenny, K5LOL, and Fred Lusen, W5CWO, set up for an unofficial Field Day at Carrollton’s McInnish Sports Complex. Kevin and Andy’s Mobile Command Center (MCC) provided air conditioning and computer support for the group. The group logged as 3A, NTX (North Texas), but due to the adjacent dog park, the team dubbed themselves the “Dog Park Dodgers.”
Kevin deployed his Icom® IC-7000 go box with a Chameleon™ inverted delta loop. Ron was on a 20-meter dipole with his Icom IC-718. Andy was busy Sunday morning on 6 meters. Tom worked phone and CW and Fred worked CW with his Icom IC-756 using a shared 20/40 fan dipole. David had his kit-built Elecraft® K2 with a 15-meter Buddipole™ vertical.
Kevin said, “Apparently we are mostly ‘old school’ as all of our contacts were CW or Phone.” He notes, “Weather was warm but not unbearable. Light breeze most of the time. Mosquitos were generally light. We went through gallons of bottled water.”
The group set out the Club and ARRL banners that attracted some curious members of the public. ARRL North Texas Section Manager, Steven Smith, KG5VK, came by just after midnight. Thanks go to Steve Darrah, KD5YPB, for securing the Veterans Pavilion at the park, and to Ron for handling the Field Day submission.
Click the gallery to enlarge and see more information.