Field Day 2016

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Field Day 2016

The club’s 2016 Field Day event saw a few of the Coon Valley ARC members gather at the north shelter house in Swan Lake State Park, just south of Carroll on Saturday June 25. Most of the guys arrived early to mid morning to get their equipment setup and ready to work those QSOs.

Braving the summertime weather to operate this year’s event were: Arnie, WAØGUD; George, KBØHVB; Mark, KØMJT; Dave, NØNAF; and Ron, WBØYCV. And we enjoyed NINE visitors this year including four members of the local Boy Scouts troop. We were also able to get the scouts and a couple of the visitors on the air to make a few contacts, which did really seem to spark some interest in our wonderful hobby and service to the area communities.

Coon Valley Amateur Radio Club -- Field Day 2016 Operator Team
Coon Valley Amateur Radio Club — Field Day 2016 Operator Team — KØMJT, Mark; WBØYCV, Ron; WAØGUD, Arnie; NØNAF, Dave; KBØHVB, George

The logging network and server were readied and running just before the start of the event due to later-than-expected arrival of some computer and networking equipment. Other than an operator error shortly into the event, and a sleep-mode networking issue on one PC, the logging equipment and networking worked great.

Arnie, WA0GUD working CW -- Mark, K0MJT waiting for his turn -- Ron, WB0YCV & Dave, N0NAF working Phone,... George, KB0HVB behind the camera
Arnie, WA0GUD working CW — Mark, K0MJT waiting for his turn — Ron, WB0YCV & Dave, N0NAF working Phone,… George, KB0HVB behind the camera

As luck would have it, George, KB0HVB arrived later than expected, but almost perfectly on-time to demonstrate one method of raising a wire dipole antenna for our Boy Scout visitors. Ron, WB0YCV, and guest (and Iowa ARES District 3 Emergency Coordinator) Jim Currie, KB0TLC joined George in setting up two antennas and connecting George’s rig and operating position. The three hams then continued to teach the scouts and their leaders some of the basics of how radio works, amateur radio, a little about emergency-preparedness, and the purpose of the Field Day exercise.

Boy Scouts Jared Craig and Dylan Gottsch of Carroll visitng with Ron, WB0YCV to learn more about operating in emergency conditions.
Boy Scouts Jared Craig and Dylan Gottsch of Carroll visitng with Ron, WB0YCV to learn more about operating in emergency conditions.

Dave and Ron got the grill fired-up for Saturday night’s supper. And after their mastery of meat-over-heat, we all took a break to enjoy the delicious vittles… well, as much as we could with the warm weather reigning-in a our appetite just a bit.

Dave, N0NAF
Dave, N0NAF

We worked on into the night a bit. The forecast called for thunderstorms to pass through late Saturday night. We never got the rain and cooler temperatures that would have been nice, but we also fortunately never received lightning from the thunderstorm that had been predicted. It seems that the storms surrounded us completely and at a distance at one point, and we could hear the QRN from the lightning off in the distance, just nothing close enough to take us off the air. We all got a nap in sometime before breakfast, but we were able to keep at least one station operating for the entire 24-hours.

George, KB0HVB and Mark, K0MJT scrambling to work some last minute QSOs before the end of Field Day.
George, KB0HVB and Mark, K0MJT scrambling to work some last minute QSOs before the end of Field Day.

Sunday morning, Ron whipped up a great, energizing breakfast for the team and then we got back to making those QSOs.

Ron, WB0YCV
Ron, WB0YCV

It was after breakfast on Sunday when we had all three stations on the air, that we started to encounter some inter-station interference. Although we had experienced a little bit of this last year, it seemed to get worse this year. Strangely enough, there had been no interference on Saturday. We started to check grounding and cables and general trouble-shooting steps to eliminate the interference, but a quick solution was not to be found.

George, KB0HVB and Dave, N0NAF
George, KB0HVB and Dave, N0NAF

The interference caused George to jump to 6 and 10 meters for a bit, to see if there was anyone there to work on those higher frequencies… and a few successful contacts were made, even on 6 meters.

Visitor Sally Riedell getting ready to try a working a station on 40-Meters.
Visitor Sally Riedell getting ready to try a working a station on 40-Meters.

Right near the end of the event, we got a couple last-minute visitors, and then all too soon, it was time to end. So we quickly shifted into tear-down mode and packed everything away for the journey home. After packing the vehicles and cleaning up any messes we may have made, we bid each other a safe drive home, popped back into the air-conditioned comfort of our chariots, and headed home — another (mostly) successful Field Day under our belts.

Dave, N0NAF and Mark, K0MJT taking down one of the antennas and the fiberglass mast after event end
Dave, N0NAF and Mark, K0MJT taking down one of the antennas and the fiberglass mast after event end
Ron, WB0YCV and George, KB0HVB coiling up a fan-dipole after the 2016 Field Day event
Ron, WB0YCV and George, KB0HVB coiling up a fan-dipole after the 2016 Field Day event

RESULTS

– CW –
– Digital –
– Phone –
Band
QSOs
Pwr
QSOs
Pwr
QSOs
Pwr
160m
80m
40m
20m
15m
10m
6m
2m
1.25
Other
Satellite
GOTA
TOTAL


49
135
11







195


100
100
100



















0













2
91
95
32
7
1





228

100
100
100
100
100
100





.

195 CW QSOs @ 2 points each gives us 390 points
228 Phone QSOs @ 1 point each gives us an additional 228 points
Our total points from QSO exchanges is 618 points

We were a portable club station with 5 operators on 3 stations, running 150 Watts or less on Commercial power. Class 3A — giving us a power multiplier of 2.

Our claimed score for the event is 1236 points, plus and additional 390 bonus points

We earned the bonus points for the following:
100 – for Media Publicity
100 – event held in a Public Location
100 – Public Information Table
40 – Youth Participation (2 youths, who made a QSO exchange)
50 – Results / Form submitted via web.

Additional Notes:

We just missed out on 100 points, because our educational “activity” wasn’t structured.

I was also hoping that we would get some bonus points for a visit from Sac County ARES EC and Iowa ARES District 3 DEC Jim Currie, KB0TLC, but it appears that he is an exemption to the Agency Representative bonus points.

Speaking of which… we did send invitations out to the Emergency Management representatives of the counties where our members live. I only received a reply from the Guthrie & Adair County EM, who was unable to attend. I’ve been collecting more contact information for the elected officials and emergency agencies, so I’ll keep adding to the list of invitees… but no bonus points for them this year.

Other bonus point opportunities were available for message handling and origination, QSO through an amateur satellite, and of course for running on emergency or alternative power… and running QRP. And I’m going to try to play with digital modes some more, to see if it’s worth going for the 2-points-per-QSO vs the 1 with phone. I plan to have some fun experimenting before next year’s Field Day, to see if we can earn some more bonus points.

One thought on “Field Day 2016

  1. Okay, I got the webform sent out early this week, and just finished emailing our supporting files (pictures and a link), dupe-list and summary. Our results have been submitted to the ARRL.

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