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
July 18, 2014
Ascension Lutheran Church 1220 West Magee Road, Tucson, AZ
Presented by Tom, W8TK
Our chief Elmer and FD Chairman, Tom, W8TK, will provide directions for building a simple dipole antenna.
Radiosport – Like No Other
Presented by Rob Brownstein, K6RB
Rob’s presentation will answer the question “why bother?” And, his answers make for a compelling set of reasons to give radiosport a try. Whether your mode preference is phone, CW or RTTY; and your spectrum preference is HF or VHF, there are radiosport events that will suit your preferences.
Rob has been an active amateur for over 56 years, now, having gotten his first license in June 1958. In those days, cycle 19 was just beginning to peak and all the youngsters operating their crystal-controlled CW transmitters on the 15 meter novice band could work long distances with wires hanging out of second-floor windows. They all thought “this is how it’s always going to be.” Then, by 1963, they found out otherwise.
For his first 23 years of ham radio, Rob had low-power HF stations and wire antennas. Yet, his operation included such radiosport events as ARRL’s Sweepstakes CW and Novice Roundup. But, mostly, Rob enjoyed working DX and engaging in ragchews, nearly all on CW.
In 1973, while operating as K2UMU/4X, Rob took part in Israel’s first Holy Land contest, celebrating its first 25 years. And, the radiosport ‘bug’ hit home. Even after returning to the US and continuing to operate with low-power and wires, Rob’s radiosport operations widened to include state QSO parties, and DX contests. Finally, by 1981, Rob got his first amplifier and tri-band yagi. It opened a whole new vista with regard to radiosport. Suddenly, Rob could hold a frequency and ‘run’ stations instead of perpetually searching and pouncing. In short order, Rob made up for lost time and got his WAC, WAS, and DXCC achievement awards. From that point until the present, contesting and ragchewing are Rob’s favorite on-air pursuits.
Rob joined the Northern California Contest Club back in 1997 and became a team player in the club’s team endeavors. Over the last 17 years, Rob has honed his radiosport skills to world class levels. In 2010, Rob and 14 others founded a new club – the CW Operators club (CWops) – and Rob began helping hams, old and new, to attain and improve their CW skills. The club inaugurated its CW Academy in May 2011. As part of its training program, CW students improve their callsign and number copying skills by participating in the weekly CWT on-air events sponsored by CWops. From his own personal experience, Rob believes that hams can markedly improve their operating skills by participating in radiosport.