For the second year in a row we had below normal temperatures for Field Day weekend, June 23 and 24. If you can ignore the last-minute excitement when a couple of antennas did not tune up as expected or a rain shower in the final hour of FD, things went pretty much as planned. The Ensor Park and Museum was once again the Santa Fe Trail Amateur Radio Club’s location of choice.
The club operated Class 3A, with a phone station, a digital station and a CW station that on occasion got converted to an additional phone station. And let’s not forget the 6 meter station that accounted for almost half of our phone-mode contact. Plus we had an additional GOTA station. N3FPJ Field Day software was again used for our logging functions. A two-element 10/15/20m beam and a five-element 6m beam were perched at a height 40-plus feet on the club’s tower. Two HF vertical antennas, a Windom antenna, a 40m dipole and an 80m horizontal loop were our skyhooks to the rest of the world.
And for the second year in a row we had an above-average number of visitors, largely thanks to Peg, KD0VQO, and Rick Nichols. Peg invited the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and other government officials. The result was a visit from the 6th District Johnson County Commissioner, Mike Brown, and his family, plus a couple of Sheriff’s Deputies (dispatchers). Rick’s article in the Gardner News drew in a number of visitors and an invitation to our 2018 ham-class students resulted in more visitors.
The food was very good, thanks to Tony and Smokey Hills Catering and the atmosphere during the weekend was generally relaxed—just the way the SFTARC likes it. We did not quite keep a station on the air all night, but we had stations on the air most of the daytime hours. The end result was 180 CW QSOs, 73 digital QSOs and 160 phone QSOs, 75 of those being on 6 meters. There were a number of additional digital QSOs made using the FT-8 mode where the other stations did not send the proper FD exchange information, so they could not be counted as valid contacts. The GOTA station logged 32 QSOs, a couple of those being made by a Sheriff’s Deputy.
For the SFTARC, FD started on Thursday evening, with Larry, KD0RIU, launching a number of ropes over the tree tops with a compound bow and a steel arrow. A larger crew showed up Friday before noon for the early setup of most of the antennas. Final setup was done Saturday morning. The club’s trailer served us well with regard to the equipment carried on board and it also provided the home for the phone and digital stations. A 6 meter station and a GOTA station were set up on the front porch of the house and the CW station was 100 feet further west, set up under some evergreen trees. Thanks to all those who participated and helped create another enjoyable SFTARC weekend event.
Field Day Contest Results
View all the Field Day Pictures