QRP-NE field day...


From: Bruce Walker (bruce@Think.COM)
Date: Mon Jun 27 1994 - 14:56:51 EDT

Mark (NX1K) is our FD captain, but he's going out of town for the next week
or so, so I'll take liberty of writing up this quick summary to the list.

Some of these guys had been coming to this site for five years or so, but
this was my first time there. It is at a small wind farm high on the SW
side of Mt. Wachusett in central MA (section WMA), about 1500' MSL. There
are 7 wind-powered generators around the site (used to be eight until one
was obliterated by lightning; we got to see some of the twisted remains in
a barn). It was quite a thrill the first time they kicked on (they are
fired up when the sustained winds reach a certain level).

Tempting as it was to use the ~100' windmill towers to hang antennas from,
we weren't supposed to and didn't. There was a line of ~45' trees on the
uphill side of our clearing, and we strung wires from them. We ran 3A
battery, focusing on 80, 40, and 20. It was foggy all day Saturday, rained
for a while Saturday night before becoming beautifully clear for late night
and Sunday.

I was band captain for 40, and I made a vertical fullwave square loop hung
from the top of the trees, with the bottom side about 8' above ground.
Since the terrain falls off rapidly, antenna height isn't a big deal there.
I was nominally in charge of 15m, too, but I just loaded up the loop for a
while on Sat afternoon. Rig was my HW-9 at 4W for most of the contest, but
used W1FMR's NorCal 40 for an hour or two on Sunday morning with equal
success. We started off very slowly on 40/15 (about 3 Qs per hour for the
first couple) until I figured out that my HW-9 was transmitting about 1khz
below where it was receiving! Oops; worked fine back in my shack, but it
must have gotten jostled out of alignment around in the car on the way
over. That's what FD is for, I guess. Adjusted the RIT to compensate, and
the Q-rate went way up! Count me in among the fans of the NorCal 40; it
got me really excited about the Sierra!

Greg (WA1JXR) was band captain for 80, and hung a ladder-line fed dipole
from an uphill tree to a downhill tree; a perfect sloper to the west. He
was running a Kenwood TS-450 and had rig PLL problems on Saturday, but the
rig started working again in time for the 80 push Saturday night. He ran
out of battery on Sunday morning (those power-hungry commercial rigs!), but
I had a spare 24AH to get him back on to load up the long dipole on 15. He
was working a great rate Sat night!

Jim (W1FMR) was band captain for 20, and he set up a delta loop on 20 and
ran a Ten-Tec Argo 509. No problems there that I know of, except that I
think his speaker was louder in the 40m station tent than in his own. He
can tell his own war stories!

In general, it was a blast. Great site. I finally got to meet several of
the people I know from this list. Dave NN1G even stopped by on Sunday.

I got the OHR Wattmeter built just in time for FD (Friday night), but with
one minor glitch: the reflected power reading always about the same as the
forward power. Oops; no time to debug it then....I'll do that this week.

--bruce WT1M

    Date: Mon, 27 Jun 1994 08:11:46 -0400
    From: swart@curry.shr.dec.com (Mark Swartwout)
    To: bruce@Think.COM, carl@mv.mv.com, mvjf@mvubr.att.com, mvwkm@mvgpk.att.com,
    Subject: New England QRP - Preliminary QSO totals for Field Day

    Here are the unchecked totals, by band, with my comments.

      Band CW Phone Comments
    ========== ===== ===== ==========================================
    160 meters 1 Worked every station we heard!
     80 meters 126 Great solo effort by WA1JXR
     40 meters 208 Super antenna and excellent effort by WT1M et al
     20 meters 146 22 Jim got hoarse running SSB before breakfast
     15 meters 71 33 Surprising propagation on this band
      2 meters 29 Thanks again to 'JXR for these Q's
                ----- -----
    Mode Totals 552 84
    Total QSOs 636

    Thanks to all who came, helped with setup and operated. The teamwork
    was great. Everyone had something to contribute.

    Don't let anyone tell you that you can't get a sunburn in the fog. The
    back of my neck is very red, and it is mostly from Saturday.

    I will be in Illinois from 28 June to 5 July. I'll get the logs checked
    and send out final results when I get back.

    Any and all comments are welcome, either suggestions for next time, or
    items to include in the QST and 72 articles. If any pictures turn out I
    would love to see them.

    Also I will check on the Wind Farm shirts and get back to you with prices.



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