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Field Day Information!

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DELARA Field Day

Even before the 1930’s, amateur radio has had as a main purpose communicating in the interest of public safety. Hams are ready- often the first to be heard from a stricken area around the world, hams have the ability to ‘get on the air’ and provide needed communication. Field Day is one way we test to make sure that we are ready!  
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Welcome to DELARA
The Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware Ohio
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DELARA Field Day 2017:  A fresh start

Field Day is a highlight of the year for DELARA members, and this year was no exception. Great help, lots of people, super food, no major radio catastrophes, and lots of operating all contributed to the success of our effort. DELARA Field Day was held at the DELARA club station in the Delaware Red Cross building.  The effort marked a  major change in category for our group- from 4A out in the park to 4F, in a recognized EOC.  The benefits were  important: very little effort to set up and tear down the additions to the site, very good radios in place at the  station, excellent facilities for operating, for the GOTA station, and for the well-attended Saturday Night Dinner.   Ironically, while we didn’t have to struggle with portable towers and such, we had one of the mildest  weekend weather patterns in years- a very comfortable, sunny weekend!   One of the greatest things about DELARA is that a LOT of people pitch in on our projects!  Field Day was  no exception. It’s impossible to single out every person, so a blanket but very sincere thank you goes out  to all!  We do need to single out Chef Tim, who works from Friday on preparing food including the  wonderful smoked hog dinner. But he doesn’t stop there- he’s busy for the entire weekend so we can  enjoy the event. Grant did a great job of “go-fer” and was a welcome point for visitors. Prez Joe was on top  of the effort, coordinating and operating. Bob, GOTA King, was in his element! The GOTA room was a great  display, and it was nice to be able to watch the station.  His report: From the GOTA station perspective, things went well. We generally had people ready to operate the station  almost all the time and it was great to be able to coach some young and nervous operators.  They all received  special DELARA Guest Operator certificates. The electrical noise was a a problem, but not a significant one for us.  QRM from our other stations was never  very loud, unless we got too close to their frequency, which we avoided then. We did work K8ES twice, once routinely as W8JK and the second time as Wheelbarrow Eight Eucaliptous  Rhodendron Dandelion, class 64A, in Southern Wisconsin section. I did not recognize who was operating, but he did not catch on to my pulling his leg. The N1MM logging program did some crazy things, resulting in a few lost QSOs, and often incorrect operator  names and modes.  I will try to sort that out; please send me the log. Tim Trombley did his usual wonderful job of feeding us all and organizing many things. PS - Other than that, the radio worked really well on SSB, Digital and CW.  The receiver did not get blasted out by our  other stations. And apparently the transmitter did not splatter onto the other stations. - Bob W8ERD For the record, Tim Trombley was able to run some PSK-31 from GOTA overnight! He made several  contacts, and that mode seemed to work well.  Two of our gang spent a lot of time so the computing infrastructure would work flawlessly: John Beal and  George spent most of the day Friday making it happen. Here’s George’s report: The network almost did me in. Way to much for this pea brain.....  John and Ken set up the MESH a month or so back so that we would have a head start. But, with the present configuration all of the inside computers networked just fine but the two external computers were a problem. We (John the brain and I the pea brain) decided that the network had to be changed. But alas, the admin password to the router had been changed and we couldn't get in to configure anything. So, we said to ourselves, let's just set the router back to its factory settings and the password would revert to "admin". Of course this wiped out everything done so far. But we could now log in and start over. But no.... We tried and tried to get in to no avail. Finally, John went to an outside computer and logged in. We could now start over. So. configure...configure....configure... we got everything in house running again but on a different IP address. So in effect we were back to were we started. Still had problems with Stan's computer. Turns out it was a firewall issue. Then to Craig's computer... No Dice. Turns out we had a bad etherrnet cable that we had been passing around. New cable and  WALA! Now to radio stuff.... It turns out that when the FT-DX5000 is set up for remote operation and N1MM the frequency bounces around when you try to tune locally but tunes fine from remote. (I believe I have this fixed and will test it out to make sure). We were depending on the remote to allow Larry to operate remotely. As it turns out Larry's laptop had a problem. He couldn't hear the contacts. I logged in remotely from my laptop and the volume was fine. This, however, knocked Larry out of the picture, just one more gotcha. I know the tech stuff effected our score. I spent lots of time fixing stuff when I should have been operating. There was a lot of times that there were no butts in the chair. Stan came in at 1:00 am and both chairs were empty so he started working CW instead of SSB since CW is worth 2 points. Thanks Stan! Side note: Craig is an animal!!!!!!! If we come close to anyone else's score it's all CRAIG!Craig and “Camo Ham” were the stalwarts of our operation!  At the rear of the lot, there wasn’t the amount of noise to fight through, and Craig did what he does best- running QSO’s at a really good rate. We continue to improve in our elusive chase for that “Satellite QSO” and related bonus. the Paul’s and Dave set up their natural power operation, with Pail working mostly six meters for 50 Q’s.  Good news is the Satellite Seekers were able to hear every pass they tried! And they were oh-so close to hearing themselves back for a Q with somebody else. They did hear other stations. So it won’t be a surprise when this team hooks up with somebody on one of the birds. We had a successful session with the Red Cross. On Saturday and Sunday, crews activated their commumications vehicle and ran several tests.  This from Alex van Gulijk, heading up the Red Cross effort: Over the ARRL Field Day weekend our team reviewed our Mobile Communications Center (MCC) procedures and capabilities while it was located at the Delaware County Red Cross Chapter. Our training included:•Mechanical overview of the truck and troubleshooting techniques•Generator use, which powers our electronic devices within the communications center, and troubleshooting processes if we encounter issues•Review of our communications capabilities and active use of our MARCS frequencies•In depth discussion about our Wi-Fi  capabilities, it's use, and how to use software to manage the network. We also conducted Wi-Fi range and connectivity testing from the MCC.We also conducted a few discussions with the public and ARRL members on Red Cross' role in a disaster, especially Disaster Services Technology's role, and reviewed when the MCC would be used and engaged.We had a total of 7 team members across both days participate in this activity which is almost 30% of our team. Probably the biggest success in addition to the facilities of the Red Cross building was the annual hog roast- one of the best tasting years from Chef Tim Trombley!  Joe Fischer reports over 70 signed up, and we suspect there were more, for the dinner. It was a wonderful succcess, a great time to just sit and fellowship! And the bad news…     20-over line noise … everywhere! This was a surprise to all!  We had been running stations for several weeks with nothing remarkable happening. Then a few days  prior, Dale and the Joe’s and Larry tested the radios against each other for interference. One thing they found was that the big  loop smashed everything!  Not sure why, but we just took the loop out of the equation for Field Day, Starting Saturday morning,  this noise was just overpowering. Some investigation was done, but we couldn’t find the exact source- a transformer, some type  of line noise, or ????   It was frustrating.  Canned Ham was moved from the west corner to the east corner of the building away from the power lines. That reduced noise  levels from +20 to about S-8.  by Sunday, Donn just decided to power through on 40 phone. So how did we do?? Our “fellowship” rate was sky high this year!!  But because of the noise, our QSO rates were, well, terrible except for Craig.  We did  very well on bonus points, missing a visit from an “elected official” though several had committed to stop by.  80 CW   91 80 SSB   648 40 CW   550                               40 SSB   187 20 CW   296                               20 SSB   566 15 CW   83 10 CW   7 GOTA CW  71        PSK   25    SSB    48 GOTA Points 160 Youth Points 80 Bonus we DID NOT get: Elected Official, Satellite,  Safety Officer <-- ONLY applies to class A Bonus points 1690 CW points 2196 Digi points    50 SSB points 1503       Raw  Score 3749       Pwr mult x2 7498 Bonus    added 1690 Submitted Score 9188 Score Commentary To classify these a bit for the curious...The big SSB numbers on 80 and 20 meters were from Craig's Camo Ham at the back of the parking lot.  75 (80) meters was clearly open.We thought Stan's Canned Ham in the front yard with a big loop would work well but the 40 SSB number shows the challenges faced instead.Clearly, 40 meter CW is where we need to put our focus.  I thought the temporary 40m dipole we put up would allow us to own the band but that was not the case.  We should have pulled in a lot more on 80m CW, like the SSB guys were doing, but we couldn't hear anybody.  Joe got us some on 15 and I found a few on 10 but I think there were more out there that were hard to hear.  The inside CW is a challenge we have work on.I'm very thrilled with the GOTA results.  We definitely need to do that setup again next year. I would really like to thank everybody who contributed to our Field Day effort no matter what you did to help.  Everybody's help mattered.  The final score is great; I guess we're a little spoiled by how we did at Scioto Park in years past.  But, now we have some experience operating a multi-op at the Red Cross and we have many smart, dedicated people to help figure out how to deal with things.Thanks everyone!  73 Joe AA8TAA

Enjoy some other K8ES Field Day Videos!

2013 Mark K6JJR hears K8ES on classic receiver   http://youtu.be/v4BKmVUzA8Y  2011 Jolly Roger: http://youtu.be/9ixU2pMQ-ws 2011 DELARA Portable tower: http://youtu.be/0kgDv2VA5qA 2011 Craig, W8CR runs 20 Phone from “Cammo Ham” http://youtu.be/Acp2Jqf43dE 2011 The DELARA “Get On the Air” station: http://youtu.be/w437RVnkBKs 2011 How we use military mast kits http://youtu.be/_GB6gUZedtA 2011 N8BHL warming up in Canned Ham http://youtu.be/rkBM7aB4OU4