Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Field Day AAR

Well, we've had better Field Days, but nobody got hurt, the food was acceptable, the weather was great, and we all had a good time.

On the flip side, due to a solar event a few days previous, propagation was downright stinky on Saturday, making things pretty dull for the guys on HF ("Shortwave").

And try as we could, we just couldn't chase Murphy away this year.

My son forgot we use Friday as a set up day, and didn't take vacation, so I got nothing done at the site on my own station.

Then he upgraded the OS in his iPhone, which nuked his address book, and lost the GPS location of my house.

He got lost, had to call me, and got here 90 minutes late, putting us waaaay off schedule for this year.

Meanwhile, back at the site....

One guy had the lifting cable in his crank-up tower snap when the tower was about 24" up from the bottom, a very good time to have it break. The antenna doesn't drop too far, and nothing was damaged.

The antenna for that station wound up being about 15~18 feet above ground, which really put a dent in how well it worked.

The next station somehow managed to kill his radio, a Kenwood TS-2000 a normally reliable radio. We got him on a spare radio one of the other guys had, at which point he started wondering about his antenna working correctly.

Considering that this particular antenna gets mediocre reviews on eHam, we erected a telescopic mast, and hung a dipole on it.

And I had some really weird "Reverse Desense" problems that I never could overcome, but I think I know what it might be. I swapped out my filters and preamps (the most likely culprits) with no effect, so I just stuck to FO-29 for the weekend.

I "only" made 22 contacts, about half of what I normally do.

And my Azimuth rotor "broke" (I think) on the ride home. It now freewheels when it should be very hard to turn by hand, so I have to look in to what happened there. I transported the mount, rotors, and antennas fully assembled, and I think I shook something a wee bit too hard on the ride back home.

And I forgot my camera, BOTH days!

Only the guys running the CW station got through the whole weekend without a single problem.

Must have been all the garlic they hung around their trailer......


  1. It seems Murphy was an optimist. Better luck next year?

  2. God willin' and the crick don't rise!


Keep it civil, please....