K4LRG By The Loudoun Amateur Radio Group
Cotactin Hollow Farm, Loudoun County, Virginia


Photo by Norm Styer - AI2C of Clarkes Gap

Tom Dawson - WB3AKD of Round Hill was the captain of VHF-UHF-SATCOM Station and was assisted by Bill Tincher - WB4ACC of Winchester, Dave Putman - KG4KZZ of Leesburg and Buddy Brewer - K4CJB of Round Hill. Actually, the latter group put most of the station together on Friday night and Saturday. The station made 47 6-Meter QSOs, 18 2-Meter QSOs and 5 70-CM QSOs and 3 SATCOM QSOs (100 Point Bouns) for a combined score contribution of 246 points.

VHF/UHF/SAT Ops For Field Day
de Tom Dawson, WB3AKD of Round Hill, dated Monday, June 30, 2003 10:17 AM:

The work schedule interfered quite a bit with my participation, but Buddy, K4CJB and Dave, KG4KZZ came and hauled the shelter and generator trailers to the FD site on Friday afternoon and started the setup of the VHF UHF station. Thanks to Gary, NC4S, and Tom (not sure which one) for handling the excavation/cleanup of the shelter interior and sorting out of all the cable. Bill, WB4ACC was all over the place and up and down on the top of the shelter. I guess one of my goals is to be able to move like that when I'm his age.

We found a bad cable on the VHF beam just before the start of operations and managed to get that switched out and rant the mast up just in time to start calling CQ. Tom, NA4MA took off on six meters and snagged a whole bunch of contacts early on.

After working til midnight on Friday and most of the morning and afternoon on the "Big Dish" for AO-40, I finally reached my limit and couldn't go any more without risking a major SNAFU. So after a nap, I went on over to the FD site with the 706 and got 440 up and Buddy, Bill and I worked all three bands for a couple of hours and were able to scare up a number of contacts. Bruce,KF4KKZ stayed on until 11:30/ or midnight or so on 2 m while I beat on six meters until about 1 AM and finally went home for some badly needed Z's.

Sunday, I rummaged around the station and was able to scare up enough hardware to put togrether a marginal AO-40 station, so I high-tailed it over to the site and with Tom, WB9RXJ, Dave KG4KZZ and Bill, WB4ACC's help and some spare parts from Bills his prodigious stock (I think he's got enough stuff in that van to build a 747) we got the satellite station up and running with about 90 minutes to spare.

The squint angle on the bird was pretty bad, although I was able to hear the beacon pretty well so I tuned around and after about a half hour, I could finally find my uplink signal (between frequency error on the LNB and doppler from the bird, it can be tough) just above the noise. I managed to work 3 stations in VA, IL and IN on CW. Given the marginal station and the bad squint angle, this was pretty good and we get the bonus points.

Teardown was accomplished in about 90 minutes or less thanks especially to Bill, WB4ACC's topside activities and help from all the others.

Thanks to Dave, KG4KZZ for hauling the generator back.

Lessons Learned:

(In the Navy, this term means somebody really screwed up but in this case it just means things we could have done better)

Cables: All of my cables have seen heavy use over the years and some are worse for the wear so I really need to go through them and make sure they are all up to snuff. Troubleshooting in the field is always a problem, especially in terms of time and labor.

UHF Uplink antenna: Mine needs to be overhauled as the feeds are in bad shape. Without Bill's 40 lb. box of lugs, we might not have been able to squirt the bird.

S-Band downlink antenna: The two foot dish is marginal, at best, so either the 10 foot dish on the trailer, or a three foot on the Yaesu positioner needs to be ready for next year.

VHF antenna: Feed connection broke again. My guess is that this is due to all the handling so I'll have to see if that can;t be heavied up for next year.

V/U Operating:

2 meters got a fair amount of interference from 6 meters so a high pass filter is in order there. Also, More elements on the 440 antenna and more power on the 440 radio would be a plus.

So we did pretty well, and a lot of people helped. The list that follows includes the \people I know that helped out at the V/U station./ If I missed you its because I was not there the whole time.

Gary, NC4S, Dave, KG4KZZ, Buddy, K4CJB, Bill, WB4ACC, Toim NA4MA, Tom WB9RXJ, Bruce, KF4KKZ, Bob, KF4VBM and I know there must have been others.

Also, Congrats to Larry, K3HE on the great press coverage.
73 and looking forward to next year.
Photo by Norm Styer - AI2C of Clarkes Gap

Tom Garasic - NA4MA of Haymarket and Bob Oliphant - KF4VBM of Waterford
check out some of Tom's rigs.
Photo by Norm Styer - AI2C of Clarkes Gap

Tom Dawson - WB3AKD of Round Hill assembles his new SATCOM antenna system.
Photo by Bill McCourt - WF1L of Reston

Buddy Brewer - K4CJB of Round Hill helps with the VHF - UHF antennas.
Photo by Norm Styer - AI2C of Clarkes Gap

Most of the work was finished by Saturday morning.

For Photographic Credits Just Place Cursor On Photo.