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K4LRG 2007 ARRL Field Day
Another Fine Business Operation By The

Loudoun Amateur Radio Group
de Loudoun County,  Northern Virginia

Station #1 Captains:    Jay - KI4UTB,   Mark - W3ZI   &   Norm - AI2C


KI4UTB - Jay Greeley and AI2C - Norm Styer check conditions on 15M CW. Protograph by Denny Boehler - KF4TJI of Leesburg, VA.

Jay Greeley - KI4UTB and Norm Styer - AI2C Work Some CW on 15-Meters

     Our efforts on Station #1 started back at our February 24 organizational meeting. We really didn't want to miss this one. In April, Mark - W3ZI and Jay - KI4UTB joined as co-captains. Mark wanted to use his Kenwood TS-850 and ensured all that he would be up from Florida to operate. The LARG's TS-440 Transceiver was put into service as a back up in case Mark's plans got side tracked. We would operate 80M-CW and 15M-CW and explore 15M-Fone; as things developed, we also put together and deployed a 10M yagi just in case.

     During the two weeks before field day, we assembled the TS-440 and all the stuff to put it up on CW and Fone with laptop computer control through TR Log. This year we assembled two 6-volt Farmall Tractor batteries in series to directly power the IBM Think Pad. It really doesn't like voltages below about 11.75 volts. In total 6 deep-cycle batteries were brought up to full charge over the weeks before field day.

     By Friday morning "we were loaded for bear" as we rolled off of Canby Road.

Everything loaded for bear and ready to depart Canby Road. Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.

Have Trailer - Will Haul
The 15-Meter Hy-Gain BA-153 Yagi

     Since, it appeared that we might have two complete radios running at Station #1, we put together a third antenna that we could use to check 10-Meters. In May 2007, the LARG had picked up a donated 3-element 10-Meter Yagi; it was cleaned up and re-hardwared and checked out on the air. The idea was to check 15 and 10 Meters if thinks got a little slow on 80-Meters CW. Paul Dluehosh - N4PD insisted that we use a "token." It was nice to think about an 'MO2R' setup but we never got the time or operators to try it out. In the end, the GOTA station needed an antenna and got the 10-Meter yagi. We never turned on the TS-440 and on Sunday morning, it was tried as a replacement on the 20-Meter Fone station to see if it could better handle the CW QRM from the 20-Meter CW station. There was not much luck there and the best solutions proposed were to move them apart and secondary, to try a different transceiver on the 20-Meter CW setup. This is something for next year. The 20-Meter Fone fellows suffered a lot.

     Friday night set up went very well with great help from Jay Greeley - KI4UTB and Jeff Slusher - KE5APC. We can report that bows and arrows are better that sling-shots and fishing poles. We were close to being on the air by the time the dinner bell rang. After dinner, Gary Quinn - NC4S loaned us BALUN and it did the trick for our questionable 80-Meter antenna; the other BALUN went right into the garbage.

     On Saturday morning, all we had to do was crank up the 15-Meter Yagi and fire everything up. The station worked well through the weekend. And we appreciate all who help make Station #1 a success. Best Regards, Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.

Station #1 on right and 15M yagi. Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.

Duel stations were intended for 80CW or 15M operations but we never had time or man power to do a dually operation. We ended up just using the Kenwood TS-850 provided by Mark - W3ZI. Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.

Dueling Radios For 80 es 15 Never Fired Up
We Stayed With Mark Johnson's Kenwood TS-850

The Rates At Station #1  Station #1 started on 15-Meters CW but quickly went to 15-Meters Fone when the CW stuff dried up. Conditions were down from last year. We logged 17 CW and 13 FONE on 15-Meters on Saturday; not very hot. By 1700 hours local we were on 80-Meters CW for the rest of the day and night. It was a little sparse at first but we stuck with it. By sundown, more folks started showing up and the rates improved and peaked above 50 an hour and again at midnight and 0100 hours local. Mark Johnson - W3ZI took over around 2300 hours and did an outstanding job throughout the night. As sunrise closed we had 561 good QSOs in the log with 441 earned on 80M-CW over night. There was a small peak at 0700 hours on Sunday morning before we had to try 15-Meters again. This wasn't too successful - actually a struggle - and it wasn't until the last hour that we forced ourselves back onto Fone and had a nice time picking off CQ-ers for another 37 Fone QSOs. At the end, Station #1 earned 596 good CW QSOs and 59 good FONE QSOs. Or, 546 on 80M-CW, 50 on 15M-CW and 59 on 15M-Fone. Thanks to 80M-CW for keeping us in the game with a 100-plus more than last year; 15M never did work like last year. Can we blame it on solar conditions? Maybe the 'MO2R' set up would have helped with 15M in control early on Saturday and mid-morning on Sunday.

         Again this year, we had a lot of folks call in for a second and third QSO. And again, we had TR Log set to send the old 'wkd b4...' message which really burns a lot of time and more than once just confused the calling station. Next year we will switch off the dupe message stuff and just work them again. We even had a fellow call in with an OO report for key clicks which we could not hear on our co-located TS-440; he was 30 dbs over S-9 and must have been running wide open from a fixed site. This is the bottom of the cycle so next year gotta' be better.

Rate Chart at Station #1

Running Totals of QSOs Chart at Station #1

The Antennas  Station #1 operated with two antennas. The 80-Meter CW operation was on a full-size 132-foot dipole brought down from the AI2C/3 Pennsylvania site. After we replaced the BALUN it tuned up flat at 3550 kHz. We used a bow and arrow to put the ends well up in the trees and the average height was about 55-feet.  A Hy-Gain Model 153 3-element yagi was used on 15-Meters as we did last year and was mounted on 28-foot extension ladder that stands up and cranks up with a set of pulleys and cables. We will try for a three section ladder next year; higher is better.

The 80M CW dipole. Photograph by Meg - AI4UX.

The 80-Meter CW Dipole
Many Thanks To Jay - KI4UTB and Jeff - KE5APC
For Getting It In The Air

Have trailer will travel - the mobile 30-foot high 15M yagi antenna provided by Norm Styer - AI2C. Photograph by Denny Boehler - KF4TJI of Leesburg, VA.

The 15-Meter 3-Element Yagi Antenna
Hy-Gain Model BA-153

Students check out our 80M antenna. Photograph by Meg - AI4UX.

The Visiting Students Check Out The 80-Meter Antenna

     We had some super operators handle the station. Jim Banks - WØMAZ sat on 15-Meters until 80-Meters got a little hotter. Randy Sly - W4XJ did super early on Saturday night. And, Mark Johnson - W3ZI did an outstanding job with an all nighter on 80-Meters CW. Jay Greeley - KI4UTB was always there to help and we look forward to Jay getting to the code. We really appreciate everyone. And, of course, we really thank Paul Dluehosh - N4PD for his set up routine with TR Log.

Jim Banks - W0MAZ of Leesburg, VA. at the CW controls. Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.

Jim Banks - W�MAZ de Leesburg, VA.
On 15-Meters CW

KI4UTB - Jay Greeley de Leesburg, VA. and W3ZI - Mark Johnson de Ashburn, VA. listen for another call on 80-Meter CW. Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.

Jay Greeley - KI4UTB and Mark Johnson - W3ZI Listen On 80-Meters Charlie Whiskey

W4XJ - Randy Sly de Ashburn, VA on 15-Meters CW. Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.

Randy Sly - W4XJ of Potomac Falls does a little CW on 80-Meters CW on Saturday night

Norm Styer - AI2C checking the TS-440 on Friday night. Photograph by Jay Greeley - KI4UTB of Leesburg, VA.

Norm Styer - AI2C Checking The 2nd Rig on Charlie Whiskey On Friday Night
We Never Had Time To Fire It Up - We Even Loaned It Out To The 20M-Fone Operation But It Didn't Fix Their Problem

          This was a great field day for everyone. The new faces are welcomed. The stick with it attitude is welcomed. We wish to thank Jeff Crawford - KØZR, Denny Boehler - KF4TJI and Gary Quinn - NC4S for helping knock down station #1 on Sunday afternoon. We were home on Canby with everything by 1700 hours. Thanks again.

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This report is written, edited and posted to the Loudoun Amateur Radio Group's K4LRG.ORG Internet Site by Norm Styer - AI2C of Clarkes Gap, Virginia. For photographic credit place your cursor over a photograph. Non-profit use of this material is granted if the Loudoun Amateur Radio Group of Northern Virginia, its internet writers, photographers and publishers are credited. Best regards, Norm Styer - AI2C.