AA8IA Amateur Radio

Archive for June, 2012

Field Day 2012 – A Hit!


OK. So I worked FD from home as a class D station. Nothing new there. What was different is that I didn’t have a station set up at all prior to 1600z Saturday. We’ve been having a bit of work down here at the house, and as such all of my antennas were down. To add insult to injury, I didn’t have my Yaesu FT-950. (The 950 isn’t back in my hands yet)

I threw up a dipole, pulled my FT-100 out of storage and got computer control working. I had the capability to run QRP for as long as I wanted, or HP for a much shorter period of time, a battery / solar panel combination. The battery was already charged [via the solar panel]. I could have set up on my back porch and used paper logging. In my eyes, this would have been a bonafide portable operation and I could have gotten extra points per Q and been in a more favorable class, being able to work all stations. But, I wasn’t about to go through the extra hassle [and discomfort] to do this only to find out later that the ARRL didn’t agree with my “portable” operation. So I decided to go 1D instead. The upside, of course, is that I had all the creature comforts such as computer control/logging, central air, high def, etc.

I was on the air just shy of three hours total, in three sittings [twice on Saturday, once on Sunday]. I stopped at 100 Qs, well 101 Qs. Sunday is the normal family gathering day and we had some yardwork and normal summertime activities going on. On Saturday, I meant to start at 1800z but had taken a Vicodin about an hour before and [for the first time] got very sleepy. So I napped two hours before starting.

Because I hadn’t used the FT-100 in so long, it took some time to get used to the menu system again. But it worked just fine. I didn’t bother to check 10m. I may have worked a couple people on 15m, but I don’t remember. I worked 20m in the first setting. The second and third sittings I stayed on 40m. 40m was packed, all day and all night, both days. There was tons of activity.

I really hadn’t planned on working FD because I didn’t have the FT-950 and because I didn’t have any antenna up. It was at the last minute that I got motivated. Too bad. I could have easily bested any previous FD QSO tally. Despite the poor 10/15 propagation, it seemed as though there were many more stations on the air for FD this year.

I had a really enjoyable, relaxing time. No stress trying to get a particular number of QSOs. No worry about having an aching back and being nearly crippled for a day from having to sit in the chair for 18+ hours. It was a great experience this time around.

With that said, in retrospect I wish I would have put in at least 12 hours. I wish I would have played all of Saturday and into Sunday morning.

Incidentally — I think there are a number of douchebags out there falsely claiming 1E. Seriously, single op, one transmitter, from home, non-QRP, and they are going on generator power for 12-24 hours? I doubt it. The 1E class is BS because 99% of time you have to take the station at their word that they are actually using emergency power. I truly believe that most of the time they simply enter E class so they can work all stations and so they don’t have to compete against as many people. But I’m fairly certain most of em are sitting at home using AC power. Really, hams in general aren’t any more trustworthy than the average person — and the average person is rarely trustworthy these days.

If ya ask me, for home stations you shouldn’t get penalized by not being allowed to work other D stations. In my case, I set up everything at the last minute. Nothing about my setup was permanent, except that I used AC power. If i knew for sure that I could claim portable operation, I definitely would have ran QRP off the battery and logged by paper. As for setup, I did just what most do on FD (and what many don’t do on FD) — I set everything up from scratch. Also, there shouldn’t be an E class because people can’t be trusted enough to only claim it if they are using emergency power.

I’m done bitching. After all, you can’t change an unethical operator. All you can do is be legitimate yourself when you’re working a contest.

I had a fun. Hope to work some more folks next year.

Written by Mike

June 25th, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Posted in Contesting,Field Day,FT-100

Tagged with , ,

The FT-950 Lives!


My FT-950 lives, by no skill of my own. My buddy Jon fixed it. He’s a software engineer by day and [apparently] an electronics engineer by night. What a great friend!

It Lives!

Written by Mike

June 19th, 2012 at 12:29 am

Posted in FT-950,Posts