Sunday, June 15, 2008

Our Early Field Day

I know, I promised to post sooner than this but I have a very good excuse for waiting this long. I have been studying/cramming all week for my Extra exam. The great news is that all the cramming paid off. I went to the Knoxville Hamfest yesterday with the HAM family and took my Extra exam and passes. That's right I'm now an Extra Class. No more testing for me. Woo Hoo.

Anyway, to the good stuff. As you may or may not know, we decided to do field day early due to the fact we were going to be on vacation during field day. Our Aunt Betty has a huge hayfield up on a ridge behind her house. She lets us use the field to do our astronomy stuff and now our radio stuff too. At the very top of the field the elevation is right around 1400ft. There's nothing up there but hay and trees. There's no electrical or cable lines or anything like that to get in the way.

The view from atop the hayfield

So, on June 14th we got all of our gear packed in the jeep and on our way we went. I was quite surprised that we made it out of here on time, we were actually a few minutes early on our departure (I think that's a record or something). We were up in the field in no time and setting up.

The Field Shack

KJ4DLD in a tangled mess

Field Day Power

KU4ME takes aim.

KJ4EGJ ready for the Antenna to go skyward

We finally got everything setup thanks to the hard work of all of us. If it hadn't been for Robin staying up in the field when I went down to get the rest of the gang, we might have taken longer in getting set up. By the time we got back up there she had the shack set up and the alot of other things. The only thing we had left was to get the antenna up run the power to the generator, get everything squared away, and tune up the radio.

The Ugly Choke

The Antenna at the Feedpoint

KU4ME and KJ4DLD Tune up the radio and Antenna

Tune Up Complete

With the tuning having been completed, it was time to get on the radio and start making contacts. It appeared that the only success we were going to have was on 20 meters. We were actually quite surprised as to how long 20 meters held up. We checked around the other bands that we could tune to but nothing else was really happening so 20 meters it was. We had a blast, we contacted stations in Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, Texas, Hawaii, right here in Tennessee, and Robin even made contact with a station in Australia. One of the stations in Hawaii was the USS Missouri Amateur Radio club station on board the USS Missouri. That was a real neat contact. Anyway we talked well up to 12:30 to 1:00 in the morning before the band finally died out. Mom and Ashby made some contacts on 2 meters with their handy talkies and dad sat around helping us operate the HF rig. All in all we had a wonderful and most enjoyable time. We didn't get home until well after 3:00 in the morning and were beat.

Now for the rest of the pictures.

KJ4EGJ on the HT

KF4SSI Sittin' Pretty

AJ4IJ and KU4ME operational

AJ4IJ Working 20 Meters

Clover aka b3ene

Well that was our field day.

73 de KJ4DLD

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