K5PA, ARRL Field Day 2010
Field Day at Inspiration Hill
Looking North -- Hill Country View
The Hill Country Mountain Toppers Association (HCMTA) plans to operate amateur radio stations East of Fredericksburg at Luckenbach, TX in the annual ARRL Field Day event. They will be using the event call sign, K5PA. They will setup and operate emergency communications equipment, portable antennas, and plan to make as many contacts as possible with other radio operators around the world.
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?"
Here is a summary of how it went this year.
"Wow! It was wall to wall contesters. A lot of signals makes noise.
We made 100 contacts on voice, half on 20M and half on 40M. We made another 15 or so on CW. We also worked W1AW, the ARRL "Headquarters" call sign and managed several Hawaii and one Alaska plus most CONUS. All told, it was our personal best.
Our really cool contacts happened on Friday evening late; we worked an Islands-on-the-Air (IOTA) lighthouse on a Greek island, a Russian station, and Belgium station all on SSB, 20 M.
This year we used wire verticals with 2 tuned radials just above ground; one set for 20M and one set of 40M. They worked extremely well.
We found a couple of stray cats at the house so we called them dit and dah, fitting for a ham contest. Later we noticed dit and dah and a litter, so the kittens were given names of dit dit dit dit dit; yep there were 5 of them.
During down time, we played washers."
This is the house that we rented to operate from. You can see the vertical mast in the foreground. This is where the two verticals were supported from the top. One for 20M and the other for 40M. Both Antennas had a tuned counterpoise. In the next photo you can see the feed point using the Buddipole center connection device. The vertical element is the black wire whereas the green wires are the counterpoise.
Here are the two ops at the radio position. Well, okay, the other photo is not the operator, it is the cat that was named, dit-dah.
Caption: XYL and dit-dah, the cat
The final results 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-746 Pro from atop the Inspiration Hill complex complete with far reaching vistas of the Hill Country. Our motto this year is "If we can see 'em, we will work 'em."
Our primary operating mode technique will be voice SSB using the contest mode Search & Pounce (S&P). We will be listening on SSB frequencies on 20 M and 40 M primarily trying to work as many stations that can hear us. At times, I will break out my trusted Morse paddle and operate some CW also.
The station will log all contacts using Writelog. Writelog has been used in most of our Field Day activities making it very simple to input QSO's and check for duplicates. It also provides continual scoring. We also plan to upload our scores after the weekend into ARRL webserver URL setup for this purpose.
Planned antennas include the 40M/20M Antenna Duel. An equipment block diagram is shown below that shows all interconnections between equipment.
This Field Day 2010 was a lot of fun. We just about worked everyone we could hear.
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