Field Day 2012 and the Flying Pigs of Clarksville TN

Greetings to All hams young and old, also to any want to be ham taking the time to read this little story.

We are the North Central Flying Pigs QRP Club International of Clarksville TN. This year we had the privilege of working our club call WA4PIG as a 1A multiple operator station here in Clarksville TN from the motor home parked on my lawn. One of the bad things was that the AC went out just before field day and we had to use fans to keep cool. Now that is a big word because it was never cool until the middle of the night. This operation was a continuing event that our pig group has adopted for the great fun it gives us and the good time we have talking with other hams about ham radio.

This year Lewis-KF4WK, Doc-NV4T, Terry-N5HOT, Donnie-KK4KKE, Jim-KT4FQ, and I (John)-KM6NN set out to better our last years score and have more fun than is legal..... LOL

Our radio this year was Terry's K3 and two antennas. My Cushcraft A4 with a 40 meter add on and our Magic Antenna.

The heat caused a lot of problems right off. We kept getting the paperwork wet and when more than three people were inside the 27 foot motor  home the body heat caused the air temp to rise to an almost unbearable level. So we rotated everyone who was not operating to the outside under the shade of our pop up that Lewis was kind enough to bring along. We even set up a fan outside to keep the gang cool. Water and assorted cool drinks were great to have on hand and all and all it was not that bad. At least the thunder storms left us alone this year. We started out on 20 meters and man was it hopping. Everyone was on calling CQ FD..... Now it is our style to hunt and pounce the bands and it was working great. First was K4FC out of North Florida. They were a 7A station and booming into TN. For the next 63 contacts we stayed on 20 moving up and down the band. The K3 is such a good radio that I was able to get three or four contacts on the same frequency by just using the filters then tuning them in. We noticed that a lot of people were working off frequency while trying to make contacts. Boy the zero beat feature on the K3 really makes a difference on that contact. When you use 5 watts total power you have to use all your skill to bring in that contact. 

During the day the guys started falling out and going other places.... like sitting in their vehicles with the AC on. Some just went to their cool homes and said they would come back during the night. Good luck on that.  But we were having so much fun we didn't notice that they were really getting way too hot. It was not a problem and we knew they would be back..... Around 8 or 9 pm local time it started cooling off a bit. It was still 102 in the motor home so the fans stayed on the whole time we operated. Around 12 pm Terry stated sending a J for the 1 in our report. I gave him a hard time so he corrected the mistake then turned over the radio to me. Well about two contacts later he started laughing. Yea you guessed it, I started doing the same thing. So we agreed we would take some time off and come back in the early morning of Sunday. When we shut down we had 64 contacts and 20 was still hopping. Boy we could use some more CW ops around here.... LOL

After a shower and a bite to eat I hit the hay and as always I got up at 6 am. I tried to get back to sleep but all I could think about was those contacts I was missing. So up I go and after making coffee I set about making contacts. 

I changed the band to 40 meters because it was jumping and the other bands were full of static. Right away I started making contacts and K8DF- from West Virginia was in the log. They were a 3A and were strong on 40 meters. We kept working all during the day with heat as or only enemy. The bands were open and the signals were many. Not what we expected in the days before field day. In our pictures you can see Terry-N5HOT giving out a shout as he passed our old record from last years field day. Man we were on a roll..... We worked as many as we could in our remaining time and between stepping outside for a walk about we dealt with temps inside up to 104 degrees. Sure was glad we had those fans going. As the time came to a close our thoughts seemed to be getting a cool shower and taking a nap. At least that was my plan. After it was all said and done we made 156 QSO's. We closed the log book and broke down the station and said our goodbyes. Now off to the shower and that long awaited nap..... If this is your first time reading our story thanks for stopping by. If you want more of the Flying Pigs of Clarksville then check out our local clubs web site at and click on the picture of the Pig..... Thanks again and 72.... for now