KX4O 1B-Battery VA Field Day 2015

The 20m AHVD and 40m small loop antennas during KX4O 1B VA field day.

Despite a weak battery and few contacts, our 1B-Battery effort verifies a 40m small-loop and packet-radio NTS messaging using quick deploy antennas.

Virginia Summits On The Air

After some Virginians volunteered to research the mountain peaks in the Commonwealth and see which ones are sufficiently prominent to qualify for the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program, we now, as of Feb 1, 2011 have 542 peaks from which to operate a ham station.

If you are a hiker and a ham, the Summits on the Air award program is for you. Originally organized in England, SOTA has become very popular in Europe for both hikers and summit collectors. Operators in the United States have caught on; Volunteers are working feverishly to add US peaks to the growing number of valid SOTA summits.

Virginia is now proudly represented in the W4 area.

Check out the Virginia peaks right here in this web domain.

Read more

Elecraft K2 – My Favorite Field Day Station

This year our club ran 3A for the ARRL Field Day.

Radios included an Icom IC-756 Pro, TenTec Omni VII, Icom IC-746 (for the GOTA) and a Icom 7000 for VHF plus HF spare. All these radios performed quite well despite the high temperatures.

The 100 Watt Elecraft K2 stood above the others not necessarily on performance, but the elegant way the radio’s owner configured his K2, 100 Watt Amplifier and 100 Watt Matcher.

Read more

Field Day Prep

Well Field Day 2010 all started to come together pretty well. I put all the drinks and heavy items in the front to ensure good positive tongue weight. Pre-positioned the radio on that beautiful desk. Loaded up several antennas. Three masts plus stakes, etc. I even managed to figure out how to get my hex beam in there with a minimum of dis-assembly. It is quite a mess. I am sooo glad I selected that slinky wire that does not kink.

Here is a picture.

Read more

Field Day Lessons Learned and Future Requirements

Our Field Day in Virginia was pretty decent this year. We had plenty of visitors responding to our newspaper notice. Several folks took a turn at the Get On The Air (GOTA) station.

However, we always forget some obvious items every year.

The lessons learned from sunshine related issues are obvious. We forgot ways to shade them again this year because we got so busy with other preparation details.

Here are a few lessons learned from our Field Day written in the form of system requirements.

  1. The network routers shall be set to one fixed speed rather than auto-negotiate the speed to keep the network connections more seamless.
  2. The network routers should have their speed set to the minimum speed of 1 Mbps to provide the best sensitivity (this is plenty fast enough for the meager network needs with the N3FJP software).
  3. The network routers should have their RF output power set to below the maximum (250 mW for the Linksys WRT54G running DD-WRT) if the Field Day site is hot
  4. All network nodes shall use static IP addresses.
  5. Network nodes shall not use DHCP addresses.
  6. The Network shall not use domain or host names.
  7. The radios shall be protected from direct sunshine at all times.
  8. The computers shall be protected from direct sunshine at all times.

Read more