Winter Field Day 2013
SEE WHO PASSED
5/28/2017
SEE WHO PASSED
5/28/2017
SEE WHO PASSED
5/28/2017
SEE WHO PASSED
5/28/2017
SEE WHO PASSED
5/28/2017
SEE WHO PASSED
5/28/2017 SEE WHO PASSED
5/28/2017 SEE WHO PASSED
5/28/2017
 

 

Winter Field Day 2013

Caboose Style

Greetings again from the Flying Pigs of Clarksville.

Another Winter Field Day is in the log and a great time was had by all. As always we plan this event months in advance over coffee and snacks at our local Mc Donald's on Riverside Drive. After our last outing we decided to use the caboose again. This time during a 24 hour event. The caboose is a great place to operate from. It also has several bench seats that could double as bunks, a great plus. The caboose is located here in Clarksville and is a part of the Historical Society (http://www.mchsociety.org/Sub-Pages/Hist-TrainStation.html). It is a great place to visit and is full of information on local history. After obtaining permission to use the caboose for 24 hours we decided to meet about 0930 local time and start moving equipment and setting up antennas. We decided to use a delta loop antenna, cut for 40 meters. The lay of the land required us to put the antenna up in a rectangle configuration with a home made four to one balun on the ground near the back door of the caboose. This was out of the way of foot traffic and close enough to the rear entrance to allow our coax entry via the back door.
On the morning of the 25 th. we stopped for coffee and grub then we all drove to the train station. Terry-N5HOT, Doc-NV4T, Richard-KJ4MXI, Lewis-KF4WK, and Jim-KT4FQ all arrived safe and sound and we started putting up the antenna. Terry rolled out the antenna while I grabbed the key to the caboose from the station attendant. After opening up we started unloading tables and radios. Terry brought his K3 and KX3 radio (http://www.elecraft.com/elecraft_products_page.htm) along with assorted notebooks and clocks. This year we brought a computer to keep track of all the contacts we planned on making. As it turned out we didn't need the computer but it was nice to have as a backup tablet.
We started out on 20 meters at 1700Z and our hunt and pounce style of radio paid off at 1737Z. WA2USA-Dennis was in the log. We had warmed up to 50 degrees by this time and could almost feel the heat of his 72 degrees from the radio. Next up was N8MAI-Doug up in Michigan and his 25 degrees was just too cool for our tastes. When things slowed down we had several visitors come in and check out our operation. One gentleman brought his two children in and we were able to introduce them to CW. They even got a chance to send a little CW. Terry set the K3 into "Test" mode and the kids had a ball knocking out a few dits and dahs. When they left we got down to business and I started looking again for some contacts. After searching and not finding anyone to copy I gave up the K3 to Jim to give SSB a try. Now this is a first for our CW gang but we felt Jim should get in a little action. Also several stations were working SSB. Terry had never had his K3 on SSB so we had to do a little homework on the head phone microphone set up from Hiel headset (http://www.heilsound.com/amateur/). After many calls and no response I noticed that one of the plugs to the radio from the headphones was not plugged in. A quick adjustment to the plug and Jim had K2KR-Michael in Colorado in the log he was running a multiple operator station with 44 degrees temp. A real good signal into Tennessee. After Jim made a contact, we went back to CW and turned the radio over to Doc. In no time Doc had N4EH- the Lake Monroe Amateur Radio Society op from Longview Florida in the log. Now this was a straight key contact both ways and it took some doing by Doc. It was great watching him hammer out those dits and dahs. Now it was my turn and I searched and searched but was not able to come up with a new contact. Because we were limited on our antenna system we stuck on the bands that were working for us. It was getting late and for our group, it was almost past our bed time.. Then I decided to check 80 meters one last time. The K3 tuned up the delta rectangle loop and I found KD8BBK-Anthony in Ohio was in the log. I looked around more but didn't find anyone so we decided to chuck it in. Yep you guessed it, we threw in the towel and started breaking down the station. The bands we were on seemed to go dark so we decided to give it up and go home.
As we were loading up the gear we heard a roar of sirens and saw a flash of lights. Three of our local fire engines came rolling up into the parking lot followed by two of Clarksville's finest right behind. I knew we were having to much fun and I knew it just had to be against the law but I never thought that someone would turn us in. With hands up in the air I walked toward the fire engine and contacted the driver. Turns out someone set off a fire alarm at the warehouse right behind the caboose. With a smile on my face I walked back to the caboose and let the gang know we were in the clear. Boy what a great time. Thanks for riding along on our little trip into CW/SSB never never land. We had a great time and are looking forward to our next adventure.

So long for now from the Flying Pigs gang of Clarksville. oink oink
John, WA4PIG aka:KM6NN