K5PA, ARRL Field Day 2012
West of Fredericksburg
The Hill Country Mountain Toppers Association (HCMTA) operated West of Fredericksburg, TX this Field Day. This was the annual ARRL Field Day event. K5PA and XYL AD5HP operated Class 1B located 6 miles West of Fredericksburg, Texas. We setup at the Hillside Cabin operating Class 1B. Lessons learned this year were to take spare antenna elements and transceivers to recover from failures. We de-installed the HF mobile rig (Icom 7000) in order to keep the contacts going. Otherwise, it would have been a short FD. Propagation started poorly but gathered steam later in the day and evening. We both had a lot of fun and plan to participate next year.
The primary objectives are to hone skills to meet the challenges of emergency preparedness and to test our abilities using Amateur Radio. Each Field Day we seem to ask ourselves the recurring question, "What did we forget to bring this year?"
Antennas included the Optimal Buddipole and a 31 foot vertical for 40/15 meters.
This is the Buddipole vertical antenna made specifically for 20 meters. The antenna consists of the following parts (Buddipole part numbers shown in parenthesis).
1) Buddipole tripod mount (BPT),
2) Buddipole 16 foot mast (BML),
3) VersaTee interface to antenna element where guys attach (VTE),
4) 3 sections of 24" mast (XAA) plus the long telescopic whips (black) vertical fully extended (LTW),
5) 2 counterpoise guy wires cut to 16.5 feet and a third guy made from Dacron rope.
Captions: Optimal Buddipole on Mast and Broken Element.
The final results (Claimed Score 272; 50 Bonus; Total = 322) for Field Day are summarized as follows:
Planning for this year's event started in April as a two operator, one radio station. The OM, is Gene (K5PA), and his XYL, Carolyn (AD5HP), plan on setting up an ICOM-746Pro from the Hillside Cabin.
Our primary operating mode technique was voice SSB using the contest mode Search & Pounce (S&P). We listened on SSB frequencies on 15 M, 20 M and 40 M primarily trying to work as many stations that can hear us. At times, I broke out my trusted Morse twin paddle and operated CW.
The station logged all contacts using N1MM Logger. N1MM is our new logger proram for our Ham Radio and Field Day activities making it very simple to input QSO's and check for duplicates. It also provides continual scoring.
Planned antenna farm included the 40M/20M Antenna Duel. The Optimal Buddipole Vertical and the S9 Antenna vertical that is 31 feet tall with only 5 radials.. An equipment block diagram is shown below that shows all interconnections between equipment.
Field Day 2012 was a lot of fun and we look forward to next year.
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