AA8IA Amateur Radio

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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

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Field Day 2011

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I operated from home again this year, as a 1D station of course. After last years’ FD I had immediate plans to get some AGM batteries, solar panel and applicable charging system in place so that this year I’d be able to play 1E. That didn’t happen. It didn’t even occur to me until a few days prior to the weekend event.

ALL of my antenna system is portable. It is erected for every contest and taken down afterwards. Sometimes an 80m doublet is in the air; sometimes it’s a 6m Moxon; sometimes nothing. And, in the case of this weekend I had a Alpha Delta DX-EE 40-10m dipole, an 80m doublet, and the Moxon all up. The Moxon was up about 20′ on a 30′ fiberglass mast, with the top of the mast supporting the center of the inverted-V doublet.

Now on to my summary…

I started at 1812z on 10m CW. The band was very open. Lots of CW to be had. I spent nearly four hours working everything I could hear on 10m, both CW and SSB. At 2158z i went to 6m and we had propogation to New England. It was awesome. I was working W1/W2 stations left and right. W0/W4/W5 stations were answering my CQs while I was pointed towards NE. Worked some VE stations. At 0005z I switched to 10m and worked some more CW. At 0028z I went to 15m and worked some CW. 0139z I went to 40m and operated some CW. 0202z it was back to 6m for some more phone activity, this time out West. Worked some W0, W6 and W7 stations. 0240z I worked a few 15m CW on my way to 40m CW and then 80m CW.

80m was extremely noisy. There weren’t nearly the number of stations heard that I was expecting. I’m sure some of that had to do with the great conditions on the upper bands, but some of that just had to do with the very high noise level from the storms passing through OH/Wv/PA. I’m sure there were many stations on 80m that I just could hear thanks to the noise. At 0430z I went back to 40m CW for a short period. Then it was time to stop for the evening.

Had some actual “paid” work to take care of for a few hours, and then had to wind down. Eventually got to sleep only to wake up 3 hours later by the alarm clock.

At 1140z I jumped on 80m CW and then shortly thereafter switched to 40m CW, where I remained until 1341z. At that point I jumped on 15m CW for an hour. At 1438z I jumped on 6m, and it wasn’t nearly as open as it was Saturday evening. Worked mostly phone again with a smattering of CW. At 1524z I jumped on 10m and worked CW for about 25 minutes.

At that point I had enough. My back was killing me. I was suffering from lack of sleep. I got up out of the chair and could barely function. I wanted to continue on working 10/6m as it opened to different areas, but I wasn’t sure it was going to and my body was screaming for me to stop. So I ended things at 15:49, with a little over 2 hours of the “24-hour period” left.

In the end I managed 586 Qs, most of them being CW. There was plenty of CW on the lower bands. 6m activity was predominantly SSB. I had some nice runs on 6m SSB and it was a blast. 97 Qs were with 1D stations for which I got no credit. But that doesn’t bother me at all — they are all in my log and I had a great time working them. Had it not been for 6m, I would not have had nearly as much fun.

I was glad to work many stations on many bands on both CW and SSB. Thanks to everyone who worked me. Also thanks to the ARRL for such an awesome event. I only wish I had operated FD all 20 years that I’ve had my license.

ARRL Field Day
June 25-26, 2011
Call: AA8IA
Operator(s): AA8IA
Station: AA8IA

Class: 1D LP
QTH: EN90QL-Ohio
Operating Time (hrs): 14:12

Band CW Qs Ph Qs Dig Qs
80: 24
40: 93 9
20: 48
15: 87 5
10: 84 39
6: 14 86
Total: 350 139 0 Total Score = 1,678

Club: Mad River Radio Club

97 additional Qs with 1D stations. Thanks to ALL who worked me!

Written by Mike

June 27th, 2011 at 11:05 am

Posted in Contesting,Field Day

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ARRL Field Day 2010

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FD this year was great. Of course, I operated 1D from home. Ideally I would have been at some FD operation, but it wasn’t in the cards.

6m had some activity, but it didn’t appear to be nearly as “open” to Ohio as it was during the June VHF contest. Or, maybe less people were prepared/planning to operate on 6m.

10m was alright, but not spectacular. In the past month I have seen much better openings on 10m.

15m was just awesome from my perspective. I made a lot of contacts on 15m/20m CW and more SSB contacts on 15m than I have made at any other time since I obtained my ticket in 1991. 15m is my fav band, when it’s open.

I didn’t even attempt to make a digital contact. Dummy me. Although, there were so many CW stations that I wouldn’t have wanted to give up the time on CW to play on the digital modes.

My summary is below…

ARRL Field Day

Call: AA8IA
Operator(s): AA8IA
Station: AA8IA

Class: 1D LP
QTH: Toronto Ohio
Operating Time (hrs): 18

Band CW Qs Ph Qs Dig Qs
80: 22 2
40: 64
20: 97 8
15: 73 45
10: 26 18
Total: 282 73 0 Total Score = 1,274

Club: Mad River Radio Club


More fun than I’ve had in a long time. I’m beat…no stamina whatsoever.
Great conditions from my perspective. Thanks to all the stations that worked

Written by Mike

June 28th, 2010 at 7:53 pm

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IARU Region 1 Field Day 2010 – my performance

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I made 7 contacts. If I recall correctly, they were all on 40m. I really wasn’t hearing anything from Europe all weekend. 20 was deader than a doornail. Everyone I heard on 40m working this event answered my call.

I just made a few contacts because I happened to hear a few stations on, and of course i turned in my log so that those I worked can benefit from any points they’d get from me.

Written by Mike

June 6th, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Posted in Contesting

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