LARC-FARL 2016 Field Day in Review - K8UTT

LARC-FARL 2018 Field Day in Review David Treharne N8HKU September 13, 2018 2018 Field Day Facts Co-hosted with the Livonia Amateur Radio Club LARC Field Day Chair: Mike Rudzki (N8MR) FARL Field Day Chair: David Treharne (N8HKU) June 23-24th, 2018 4A plus a Get On The Air station Operated the full 24 hours this year from the former Webster Elementary School site on Lyndon in Livonia The Results 40m was the workhorse band for the event again, with 20m coming in a respectable 2nd place. 80m was was well down from last year, due to no SSB activity on this band. The FARL SSB station stayed on 20m throughout the evening A good showing on 15m, and even some contacts on 10m this year. 1 satellite contact The GOTA contacts were way down from 61 last year to 4 this year. Sunspot number for the month: 15.9, with 13.2 the month before. Sunspots

dropped again in July down to 1.6 Band ---- CW -80 40 20 15 10 6 SAT -Total Phone ----157 388 68 91 46 0 0 ----- 0 1,061 923 20 5 25 1 --- 750

Dig --- Total ----0 12 33 10 6 0 0 ----2,035 % --- 157 1,461 1,024 121 57 25 1 6 51 36 4 2 1 0 2,846 100

--61 Summary versus prior years 2018 2017 Band CW PhoneDig Total % ---- ----- ----- -- --- 80 157 0 40 388 1,061 0 2016

--- 157 6 12 1,461 51 33 1,024 36 20 68 923 15 91 20 10 121 4 10 46

5 6 57 2 6 0 25 0 25 1 0 1 0 1 0 SAT -Total ----- ---

750 2,035 ----- --61 2,846 100 Band CW ---- -80 40 20 15 10 6 SAT -----Total Phone ----33 127 183 72 43 2 0 Dig --279 796 372 53 18 42 2 Total

----- % --- 0 312 14 17 940 43 112 667 31 18 143 7 0 61 3 0 44 2 0 2 0 ------- --460 1,562 147 2,169 100 Band CW Phone Dig Total % ----

-- ----- ----- --- 80 292 323 0 615 27 40 352 859 50 1,261 55 20 53 278

20 351 15 15 39 0 1 40 2 10 4 0 0 4 0 6 0 7

0 7 0 0 1 0 1 0 2,279 100 SAT -Total --- ----- --740 ----1,468 --71 CW contacts were back up this year, as the antenna issue from last year was resolved. Phone contacts way up, with 40m and 20m way up over prior years. Digital contacts were not as good, down by from last year. Scoring: Big rise over 2017

Description 100% Emergency power Media Publicity Public Location Public Information Table NTS message to ARRL SM/SEC W1AW Field Day Message Formal NTS messages handled No.=10 Satellite QSO completed Natural power QSOs completed Site Visit by invited served agency official Youth participation Youth operators=1 Youth participants=1 GOTA Bonus Submitted via the Web Educational activity Social media Safety officer Total Bonus Points 400 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 20

0 50 100 100 100 1,670 Total QSOs 750 Total Points 1500 8,992 Public Location 100 Formal message to ARRL SM/SEC 100 Formal messages handled - No.=10 100 Satellite QSO completed Phone Total 61 2039

122 2039 100 Natural power QSOs completed 100 Site Visit by invited served agency official 100 GOTA Bonus 40 Submitted via the Web Social media Total Bonus Points 50 100 1,190

Score Summary: Digital 400 100% Emergency power Best Score Ever! Beats 2014 score by 552 points! 100 CW Bonus Points: Score Summary: Total Score: 2017 Bonus points

Points CW Digital Phone Total QSOs 460 147 1599 Total Points Score = 5,626 920 294 1599 *****Total: 6,816******* 3661 Claimed Score = 7,322

2018 Score: 8,992 points vs. 2017 Score: 6816 points 32% rise in 2018. 40% increase in Bonus points, +30% contact points Total 2813 Claimed Site Layout- 2018 Edition Porta potty The food tent is a white tent shelter, solid sides, can enclose the ends. Nearby are two picnic tables RV Trailer Digital Station antenna Food Digital GOTA (LARC) SSB2 Digital and GOTA Station antenna (Vertical) LARC SSB2 Antenna Red Lines are the antennas -

N SSB1FARL FARL SSB1 Antenna CW CW Station Antenna: 80m quad Our SSB Set-up Airstream Trailer from Tom Bray, W8TJB Club Yaesu FT-991 HF Radio kit Club G5RV antenna Tom Brays 6m setup Generator Bill Boyke, N8OZV Solar power and battery back-up from David, N8HKU LARC SSB LARC SSB: Tent again this year Ran a G5RV antenna, only used 40m SSB The CW Station setup Screen tent, side tarps, as needed Full wave 80m Loop antenna, with 120 feet of 300 ohm ladder line The GOTA Station setup RV Trailer(shared with digital station) Alpha FMJ, a multi-band, based matched vertical antenna mounted on a tripod LARC Radio Only 4 contacts this year, but 2 were made by an under 18 year old amateur.

Digital Set-up Put together at the last moment by Chuck Reti, WV8A. Using an FT897D radio and his Macintosh laptop Started using an end-fed wire, but got better results sharing time on the Alpha FMJ vertical with the GOTA Station Satellite Set-up 2 Eggbeater Antennas, on each end of the canopy, one on 70cm, the other on 2m. Using an HT radio Worked K2AA in SNJ, Southern New Jersey Section Coverage 80 out of 83 sections worked Not Worked: Hawaii Alaska Northwest Territories All three of these sections were not worked last year as well. (75 of 83 sections worked last year) Most Sections worked (SSB and CW) Eastern PA (163) Virginia (150) Ohio (138) North Carolina (120) Maryland/DC (113) Contacts per Hour Graphic Peak: 267 contacts per hour at 8pm (00:00 UTC) Green: SSB. Blue: CW, White:

Digital Red: 40m, Green: 20m, Blue, 80m Notice all of the Green: 20m was alive until well after midnight The ARRL Bulletin QST de W1AW Special Bulletin 11 ARLX011 From ARRL Headquarters Newington CT June 22, 2018 To all radio amateurs SB SPCL ARL ARLX011 ARLX011 2018 W1AW Field Day Bulletin Don't let absent sunspots dictate your Field Day 2018 fun. It's time to quickly push the envelope and learn new skills. You do not need a 59 signal. Digital technologies, such as FT8, PSK31, MFSK, and RTTY offer opportunities to learn something, whether you have been licensed 1 month or 40 years. There is no more effective tool for spreading the word about Amateur Radio than to use social media. Today almost everyone has a social media footprint. The use of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms is an easy way to let people know Amateur Radio is alive and well. Just use social media to promote your FD operations and earn bonus points. Refer to Field Day rule 7.3.16 for more details and use #ARRLFD . Experience all the tools at your disposal and you will discover

Field Day can be new a new zenith no matter how many times you have participated. Good luck and 73! NNNN What went Right 1. We had good weather this Field Day. We had some rain, but it was mostly Saturday evening, and we did not need to use the air conditioner. 2. AirStream shelter for the SSB1 station: Tom Bray, W8TJB, was back this year with the shelter for us, and the 6m station. Dave brought a 6 ft table to run the HF station from, and that fit well, giving us plenty of space to operate and log from. 3. Food: Thanks for all the food. We had both meat and vegetarian options, and both went well. We had plenty of water. 4. No Network issues, as we did not run a network. We did have problems with the SSB laptop supplied by Dave, N8HKU, but everyone was able to log. 5. Generator: Bill Boyke's generator ran well the entire weekend, using about 15 gal of fuel over 24 hours, with just radios, computers, lights, and fans. No A/C was needed. 6. Bonus Points: Much better Bonuss point coverage this year. 7. Educational Presentation: David, N8HKU, put together an educational bonus this year. A link is on the FARL club website at: http://www.k8utt.org/2018_field_day.htm What went Right- page 2 8. Teardown time: Everything went very smoothly in teardown. The Airstream was the last to leave at 4pm or so. 9. 20m band: It did not shut down at night, even though we are at the bottom of the sunspot cycle. The SSB1 team made a lot of contacts before 2am. 10.Satellite contacts: We managed a single satellite contact, using the two eggbeater antennas, one for 2m, one for 70cm. These are not the best for a crowded Field Day experience on the satellites, but they worked. . 11.Message traffic: The NTS message traffic did occur, with maximum bonus points of 10 messages plus one to the Section Manager. 12.Youth participation: 2 contacts on the GOTA station were made by Luke Schwinn, KE8JOK. 13.Field Day Bulletin: We missed the bulletin on Saturday night, but got it copied on Sunday on both SSB1 and the Digital station. 14.SSB1 Speakers with the USB isolation: The USB isolator did a very good job keeping interference out of the speakers, a dramatic improvement over last year. 15.Headset isolation transformer: The isolation transformer on the headset kept out the feedback from RF.

16.New operator: Carl, KB4CWG, worked 20 contacts at the FARL SSB station and may now have the contesting bug. Congratulations! What Can be Improved 1. The FARL SSB computer had issues and needed to restart the program several times in order to log or to get the computer to radio interface working again. 1. Still had ground loop problems, even with the USB isolator. But, isolating the computer power supply ground from the radio ground did help, and the system was more stable after that. 2. Scott, N3FJP, did not hear other reports that a computer would have file problems when stored to its local hard drive, so he had no help. I do suspect RF issues, as the problems appeared to go away after the computer ground was isolated from the radio ground. 2. The lack of network prevented the 40m station from working another band when 40m dried up on Sunday morning. 1. Perhaps we might tie in the two SSB stations in the future with a standard WiFi connection. At least these stations can connect. Need to figure out how to eliminate problems with file storage, of course. 3. GOTA station: Using a vertical antenna is not recommended for a GOTA, and sharing the antenna with the digital station did not work well. Recommend to eliminate the GOTA and invite operators to an existing station to operate. 4. Digital Station: The last minute set-up plus the use of the vertical antenna (which was much better than the end feed wire) did not result in very many contacts. Recommend using a G5RV like was done in 2017. What Can be Improved 5. Did not try the 80m/160m as a Marconi: 20m was open past midnight through 2am, so the evening crew operated there. The experiment to try the G5RV as a Marconi for 80m and 160m was not done, although a nice ground radial system was deployed. By the time Dave, N8HKU, arrived in the morning and served breakfast, 80m was done, so there was no chance to try this out. 1. The result did make 20m a top band this year, but it left 100's of 80 contacts from being attempted. 2016 had 323 SSB contacts on 80m, and 2017 had 279 contacts. When 20m and 40m had no new contacts to be made on Sunday, there was no chance to operate on 80m. 2. Recommendation: Try to have more operators available on the overnight or early morning shift. It is recommended to try the Marconi set up for next year and see what can be done, as the sunspot cycle will still be low in its conversion from Cycle 24 to Cycle 25.

6. Digital station contacts did not merge with the rest of the contacts. The digital station used a Mac, so another program was used. The ADIF file did not assign the Section correctly, so that information is missing from the master log. This was not needed for Field Day submission, but needed to be hand added post-event. It is best for all stations to run the N3FJP software. 7. The GOTA station ran a manual log, no computer. While they only had 4 contacts, the paper log did not include operator information, so the youth participation had to be figured out afterwards. Recommendations for Next Year 1. See if we can find a workable wireless router to use to connect the two SSB stations together. It would allow more flexibility. 2. Investigate a club generator: As mentioned in the June pre-Field Day report, competitive inverter generators in the 2kW to 2.2kW range are now available for under $600. That would be quieter than the generator we used, and lighter. Many thanks to Bill Boyke for bringing it out, but he is retiring this year from Ford, so fortune may take him elsewhere. Other Pictures from the Event Tom, W8TJB, and Carl, KB4CWG, at the 6m station Educational Presentation on Ground Loops The Food Tent 73 until next year!! The Evening sky over the FARL SSB station, showing the Moon and Jupiter.

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