Winter Field Day

Results of Winter Field Day

As we have all read on other posts, Brandon has done a wonderful job reporting on the event.  It was a great turnout for it.  As he mentioned we had probably about 10 people onsite at our peak, there was possibly even more I think.  Over the course of the day, I think we had between 25 and 50 people there.  Ham's of all levels were there and even non-ham's.  MARA members and nonmembers alike.

Of the stations on the air, Bridgit was onsite running and powering her full digital rig from her Prius using a dipole at the parking lot, Brandon was actually in a tent on the lake with his rig operating full digital as well, and I wound up in the SE corner of the lot with my heated tent and running strictly voice and the primary location of all training going on for hams.

As the stations shutdown and dispersed, I wound up staying a little while longer and trying to make contacts, playing the bands but eventually decided at 1630L to shutdown and go warm up at home.

WE really appreciate ALL that participated in both setup: Kevin Early (WL7BZ), I believe Rob one of our newly minted hams from the last test session, and forgive me I do not remember who all was there.  Last but not least, for George showing up and helping me to finish up the teardown.  Setup and teardown is the hardest part, but assistance with that was GREATLY appreciated!  My thank you to all that I have mentioned and those who were there that I did not mention - I apologize to those whom I may have omitted.

I explained to my wife (non-ham... yet!) about the satellite ham work and that really caught her interest, so she returned with me back to the site and watched and learned as did my neighbor Kevin Early about how to do AMSAT work during the first pass from 2012L to 2027L and we made enough contacts to cover both Bridgit and I operating as a team as well as for Brandon operating independently, so we got our extra 1500 points for each team for the satellite work.

After Craig had left around 2030L after the first pass, and we decided to not attempt any of the other passes at Finger Lake.  The remaining three of us left the site shortly after.  I was on my way home when another non-ham call at 2040L wondering where we were.  I had to explain that satellite contacts are only 15 minute windows.  Apparently a few others were onsite expecting to observe our operation.  We apologize to anyone who was expecting to see the satellite contacts, but based on report from Craig, we had more contacts during the first pass than he achieved at his home during the second pass.  I also apologize for not being there running the MARA equipment after dark, but temperatures we dropping and I really did not feel up to being out onsite as the temps were projected to be nearly -9F that night.

All photos are posted on the MARA Club Facebook page.

Winter Field Day MARA Slide Presentation

Parks on the Air (POTA)

I wanted to send out a reminder that AK VHF+ is doing our first Parks on the Air activation tomorrow. Some of you probably received the email earlier this week (if not, let me know and I can add you to our list).

The plan is to transmit from the Glen Alps trailhead at 1030 local. If anyone wants to stop in person to see the setup you're more than welcome. We will run FT8 on 6 meters to start. Once activity on FT8 dies down we will go over to 50.125 SSB for a little bit. Antenna polarization will be horizontal in keeping with typical usage on the weak signal sub-bands.

If you don't have a dedicated 6 meter antenna you can probably use a tuner and an HF dipole to try it out. I've done that before with good success. Don't worry about gain - the station is going to be at a very high location, signals may reflect off the snow, 6 meters has VERY good diffraction around obstructions, and FT8 has excellent weak signal performance. It's free and fun, so don't miss out.

Hope to hear you on air,

Brandon/KL7BCS