July 9, 2019
I hope everyone had a chance to participate in Field Day, and in last week’s Thirteen Colonies event! The Thirteen Colonies was very interesting. Propagation was challenging, of course, but many people locally made a clean sweep of all colonies and the bonus stations. Many worked 40m during the day, too. Of course, there were digital modes like JT and PSK, and CW, all of which were easier than phone, but still, I spoke with a couple of operators who not only did a clean sweep but did multiple sweeps on different bands and modes!
I had to laugh. One OM told me that he tuned up and down 15m for a half hour and didn’t hear anything. He was very sad. So, he put his call sign out and within a minute had a pileup. I guess everyone else was tuning up and down the band just listening, too! He said that the spotter networks he checked also had little to no activity. It just goes to show. If everyone is listening and no one is talking, it’s the operators who are dead, not necessarily the band!
Play Day is this Saturday. I believe Steve KD5YPB will be helping you get your Winlink going. It should be fun! You can run Winlink packet using a TNC (they are super cheap at ham fests and online used) or a software TNC emulator on your notebook computer using the built-in or external (preferred) sound card. I recommend the sound card approach because the software TNCs are actually better, and once you have it connected and adjusted you can use other cool modes like Fldigi. However, you do it, plan to be at the Josey Ranch Library on Saturday after Hams & Eggs.
We are starting our new fiscal year this month. JJ Henry, N5IMS, is our new Treasurer. A heartfelt THANK YOU for Annie Ackors-Bruce, KG5OVU, for her two years of supporting MARS as Treasurer. Dave Lewis, AC5DL, is our new Director, replacing Steve Darrah, KD5YPB, who was term-limited.
Steve will continue to lead the Carrollton-Farmers Branch-Addison ARES/RACES group. Steve has been an invaluable member of the Board of Directors and past President of MARS and led our Field Day efforts this year.
Speaking of Field Day, everyone who came had a great time. We had several different kinds of antennas set up. Dave Gilpin, K5GIL, worked 50 MHz and up weak signal and logged a number of contacts using a rotator and multi-band Yagi antenna. We had an inverted V, a couple of Chameleon multi-band wire antennas up at different times, and some Transworld verticals covering 40m and 10-15-20m. Several people brought their own rigs including rigs for other operators to use, and we operated around the clock. Andy Parcel, KE5KOF, handled the food service and everyone ate well. Andy and I brought our just-purchased-and-almost-working awesome antenna trailer. It works at 20 ft or so but doesn’t go all the way to 48 ft yet. Steve brought his well-equipped trailer—aka “go box on wheels.”
I am puzzled about the turnout, though. We didn’t have very many club members come to operate, or even visit. If you didn’t, please drop me an email at email@example.com and let me know why. Were you working Field Day with another club? From your own home or site? Did you have some other conflict? Remember, we were there nearly 30 hours including setup and teardown. We want to start planning for Winter Field Day and next year’s ARRL Field Day, and we want to make it an event that is meaningful across the spectrum of our members.
Which leads me to my final point. We are planning for the coming year—July to June. That includes meeting topics, Play Days, public service opportunities, ham fests and national and global events. Do you have an idea of what you would like to see or do? Do you have a topic we can find an expert to present? Would you like to present something interesting that you are doing? Just let Andy know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, see you on the air!
73 Kevin N5KRG President