The Ohio contingent of the Ritchie County Field Day effort went to West Virginia a day earlier than usual this year to install a surprise piece of 7/8 inch hard line on the WB8NSL UHF repeater near Pennsboro. The repeater had been using RG-8 type feed line and WA8ZWJ was convinced that installing the hard line would improve the systems' performance. The Ohio contingent arrived mid afternoon on Thursday, June 22nd, but was unable to install the hard line due to poor weather conditions. Charlie, WB8NSL was kept in the dark about the surprise that the group had for him.
As has become a tradition, the Ohio area IOOK'ers stopped by Schmidt's Sausage Haus for a buffet lunch! Mmm Mmm Good!
After breakfast Friday morning, Charlie was told about the planned task for the morning and he was very surprised. He returned to his residence to pick up a couple of weed whackers to lower the weed and grass level at the repeater site.
With the hard line surprise installed and the weeds whacked into submission, the group then headed to lunch and a local sight seeing tour. Local sight seeing has never been done before because we were always on such a tight time schedule. BTW, the "Whining" sign came from the P&H Restaurant where breakfast was eaten.
The Five and Dime store is located in Harrisville. The places seen below are located in Cairo (pronounced Karo). Both the Five and Dime and Marshall's Hardware are historic sites with lots to see!
After sight seeing, the gang headed to "Da Bear's Den" to begin set up for Field day.
Next was the tower to go up that supports the fan dipole for 80, 40 and 20.
Actually, the tractor did the most of the lifting of the tower and also provided a guy point for the tower. In the picture below you can see the red string being "fished in" that held one of the legs of the dipole set up being drug through the trees. Yes, Zed W. Jay uses a fishing pole and line with weights to find the right limb to run the string through!
Aluminum poles are attached to two by fours which are attached to a stake driven into the ground to support the ends of the dipole on the field side where there are no trees for support.
In the photo on the right below you can only see one of the three two by fours with the aluminum pipe. This one is supporting one end of the 20 meter dipole. In the bottom left photo you can see the support arm that keeps the dipole arrangement away from the tower.
Friday evening AB8CO, WA8ZWJ and WB8NSL copied the ARRL CW Bulletin and were assisted by Flat KBob. This station under the tarp is used primarily for demonstration purposes and is connected to the G5RV antenna. It also provides us with a back up station should some unfortunate circumstance deem it necessary.
The copied ARRL message appears below.
W1AW QST FD MESSAGE
QST DE W1AW SPCL CW3, PFB CW25 AND SPCL CW2 FOLLOW SPCL CW3, PFB CW25 AND SPCL CW2 FOLLOW QST DE W1AW HR SPCL CW3 FROM ARRL HQ NEWINGTON CT JUNE 23, 2006 TO ALL RADIO AMATEURS –
THOUGH MAIN STREET USA HAS CHANGED IN THE LAST CENTURY, THE MAGIC OF AMATEUR RADIO STILL EXISTS. – FIELD DAY IS THE PERFECT TIME FOR THE AMATEUR RADIO COMMUNITY TO DEMONSTRATE THAT IT IS STILL A VIABLE SERVICE IN THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY. as QST DE W1AW – RECRUITING POTENTIAL RADIO AMATEURS AND DEMONSTRATING OUR EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS CAPABILITY ARE JUST TWO OF THE CORE THEMES OF THIS ANNUAL ON THE AIR OPERATING EVENT. – THE NEW GOTA COACH FEATURE IS A GOOD WAY TO ELMER NEW OPERATORS AND HELP BUILD ENTHUSIASM. – DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP IN THE CHASE FOR POINTS DURING THIS ACTIVITY. RATHER, GET CAUGHT UP IN BRINGING THIS GREAT HOBBY TO THE NEXT GENERATION OF OPERATORS. as QST DE W1AW – PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE COULD ARIZONA WILDFIRE RELATED EMERGENCY TRAFFIC ON 40 AND 75 METERS SO BE SURE TO LISTEN BEFORE TRANSMITTING. MORE INFORMATION ON THIS IS AVAILABLE ON THE ARRL WEB. – THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF YOUR FIELD DAY REPORT IS JULY 25. – ENJOY THE WEEKEND AND LEARN SOMETHING NEW. GOOD LUCK AND 73 ar
After a successful copying of the bulletin, the gang enjoyed beer, Beargaritas and conversation. The fact was mentioned that several of our regular Field Day participants were not in attendance. Those callsigns are shown in green.
Saturday morning after breakfast the gang set up the main station. Randy set up the laptop computer used for logging and Mike set up his version of the CW station for the first operation of the Field Day Activity.
David, KC8UAW found this large mushroom (yes, that is a quarter) on his way to the blue room. :-) It must be WELL fertilized!
Below is a scenic view of the Field Day site. In the foreground you can see Da Bear's home and garage. In the field on the left you can just barely see the main operating position. The white structure behind the tree is the tarp over the dining area and demonstration station. Tent City is just to the right. Not seen in this photo is the 4H Camp that Da Bear's property is adjacent to. The 4H Camp provides us with easy public access and visitors.
As Da Bear's property is very close to Harrisville, you can see that this too is a piece of heaven.
By the way, that is what the P&H Restaurant's name stands for, Pennsboro and Harrisville, so named after the railroad that used to go between the two towns. It is not called the "Puke and Hurl".
Here are a couple of shots showing the APRS demonstration and the SSTV demonstration. On the left below you see KC8UAW, WB8NSL, KE8NK and AB8CO. Below on the right you see KC8UAW, WB8NSL, KD8CTP, AB8CO and KN8J.
Mike, KN8J arranged a special APRS demonstration. by riding his APRS active bicycle around the area.
Below are a few shots from Saturday night activities (other than operating the station).
As tradition goes, WB8NSL and WA8ZWJ maintain the graveyard shift operating CW through the early morning hours. That is undoubtedly why they always seem to need a nap after breakfast!
Below are several groups of snap shots taken of the various operators through the Field Day contest. They appear in chronological order...sort of.
There is a difference in the CW station that WA8ZWJ runs from KN8J's. ZWJ runs a memory keyer and writes and sends the working station's callsign with his right hand. KN8J also uses head phones while ZWJ prefers the Skytech tuned cavity speaker.
Here is our traditional "End Of Field Day" snap shot.
No hams were injured in the making of these snap shots or during Field Day, however, sausage was consumed as a part of the "skunk breakfast".
Below is a copy of our Field Day Press Release.
Randy Durrum, AB8CO, searches the horizon for signal from amateur radio satellite
Ritchie County Ham Radio Field Day
Saturday marked the 26th annual operation of ham radio field day in Ritchie County. This annual exercise simulates use of ham radio in emergency situations. This weekend each year radio amateurs all over the country set up temporary stations using an emergency alternate source of power and temporarily installed antennas, much as would be used in an actual emergency.
This year’s 24 hour operation was adjacent to the Ritchie County 4H Grounds.
The highlight of this year’s operation was the demonstration of the ham radio satellite station. New forms of digital communications were demonstrated along with the voice and traditional Morse code.
Amateurs from Ritchie County hosted visiting hams from Doddridge County and the Dayton, Ohio area.
For more information about this unique hobby, visit www.arrl.org or contact ARRL Headquarters at 225 Main Street, Newington, CT. 06111.
The grand total points accumulated by the group was 2844 operating 1A WV with 9 operators using the callsign of W8ED.
The pictures for this presentation were gleamed from 361 different snap shots from 5 contributors.
A special thanks to Don, KE8NK and Charlie, WB8NSL for their fantastic HOSSpitality!