Thursday, June 28, 2012

Field Day 2012

Somehow, I hurt my back. Well, I say somehow, but I know how. I over-did it at karate. It's hard when a 51-year-old man tries to keep up with the teenagers. Too much jumping and kicking, and I ended up in so much pain the Thursday before Field Day that I could barely stand. 

Fortunately, I managed to get it under control by Field Day and work some stations from the Micro-shack. I started by putting the 80/40m dipole back up. A rope had frayed in two where it went over a branch. An hour's worth of work and that end was once again up in the trees. I spent some time raising the other end and managed to get it a couple of meters higher. 

I used the Elecraft K2/100. The K2 is really designed for field day. It worked out really well. I borrowed a 12v deep-cycle battery from my camping trailer to operate class 1E. I did end up getting a Low Batt indication after about 3.5 hours, but I reduced power to 50 watts and continued one.

Conditions weren't great. I found nothing on 10m, very little activity on 15, which means everything was crammed onto 20 and 40m. At one point, I could not find a clear frequency on 40m CW -- there were signals every 200-300 Hz. It almost sounded like 160m during the ARRL 160m contest.

Managed to do a bit of running, but this one was mostly S & P. I must say that field day operating technique is significantly below the standard of most contests. There were several occasions where I was calling CQ, someone called, I answered, and they disappeared. It even happened a couple of times when someone else called CQ. I guess people got key (not mic) fright.

Took one break to take my wife out to dinner. About 0300z, my back had had enough of sitting and I had to pull the plug. Maybe next time, I'll be able to stay up a bit later and work more on 80m.

Two memorable contacts. Worked W4DOC -- the Atlanta Radio Club, with whom I have done innumerable field days. Also worked W8SP -- a club which my brother Ben, NJ8J, used to join for field day in WV. I had never worked W8SP before.

Call: AA4LR
Operator(s): AA4LR
Station: AA4LR

Class: 1E LP
Operating Time (hrs): 5.5

Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Dig Qs
 80:    3            
 40:  119      5     
 20:   54     18     
 15:   10      3     
Total:  186     26      0  Total Score = 896

Club: South East Contest Club

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