The repeater is up and operational at full power on the high gain antenna. The gateway computer and its connection still remain non-operational, but it is expected that it will also be working by the end of next week. Initial coverage reports indicate great coverage from North of Saddlebrooke, South to Sahuarita, North to Pinal Air Park, and West to the Tucson Mountains. Other coverage area surveys will be taken soon.
Field Day 2014 Success
OVARC Field Day during the past weekend was a great success, with a final score of 6,510 points, eclipsing the 2013 score by almost 500 points (6,510 in 2014 vs 6,036 in 2013). In case you missed it, I'll recount some highlights:
- CW contacts accounted for 68% of total QSO points, digital contacts 17%, and phone contacts 15%. Morse is alive and well!
- Setup on Friday morning took 2 hours of antenna work: two 40 ft poles supporting inverted vee antennas for 40 and 80 meters and a KT7AZ-designed-and-built 28 ft mast for the tribander. Outdoor work was finished before the big heat arrived.
- Chuck, KB7OGE, again served as our greeter, welcoming all members and visitors attending. Chuck even signed up a visitor as a new club member.
- Bob, KA7VPR, our club president, convinced WalMart management to donate $50 for Field Day, supplying coffee, doughnuts, and bagels for the club. Bob also delivered a presentation and demonstration of DMR (Digital Mobile Radio). It's an interesting alternative to D-Star, and might make a good program for a regular OVARC meeting.
- Bob, AF9W, managed to handle most of the paperwork, including press releases and website maintenance, from his remote location in the soggy northwest. He participated in FD with a group there but his heart was in Oro Valley.
- Doug, W7AAA, spent hours putting together an information table. His poster was spectacular and detailed the importance of ham radio for emergency communication. Many visitors took home the printed info that Doug provided, including a flyer about OVARC.
- Scott, K7ADX, volunteered to send the bonus message to ARRL SM for Arizona, even though he had never done any NTS work in the past. His hours of study and practice paid off, earning us another 100 bonus points.
- Ron, W7HD, accomplished a satellite QSO after years of trying. There are about 2,500 groups participating in FD every year and most of them are trying to make that one contact during the few minutes a satellite is in range. Ron succeeded this year and everyone shared his excitement.
- Chef Dave, N7AKC, again provided the high point of FD by preparing and serving a wonderful steak dinner. Every year Dave devotes hours to shopping, preparing, cooking, serving, and cleanup not only to feed the hungry group but provide a nice social gathering for hams and spouses.
- Tom, W8TK, copied the ARRL FD CW bulletin for 100 point bonus.
- Steve, N7AZT, once again served as official photographer. He was able to put together a slide show of antenna setup which played continuously at the info table and he provided me with photos for submission of logs to ARRL to document bonus point claims. And he will provide photos for the website so everyone can experience FD even if they could not participate.
Thanks to all who did participated. Next year's FD (June 27,28) will be even better.
Tom Kravec, W8TK
OVARC FD Chairman