ARRL 2007 Field Day Logo. Used here in accordance with ARRL published policy. See : 'These logos (two versions of each offered below) may be used in club newsletters, flyers, or on club Web sites. Permission is required for any other use. To request permission to reproduce this work, send your name and contact information, along with a brief description of the intended use, to: ARRL Editorial and Production Manager, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; e-mail'

K4LRG 2007 ARRL Field Day
Another Fine Business Operation By The

Loudoun Amateur Radio Group
de Loudoun County,  Northern Virginia

SATCOM Station Captain:    Tom Dawson - WB3AKD

Tom Dawson - WB3AKD At The Controls Of His Satellite Communications Station. Photograph by Denny Boehler - KF4TJI of Leesburg, VA.

Tom Dawson - WB3AKD At The Controls Of His Satellite Communications Station

     Tom Dawson - WB3AKD of Round Hill hauled it all down from the mountain on Friday and Saturday. This was almost a full-period operation with a determined effort to make several good satellite communication QSOs. Once the tracking system and the schedules were sorted out, the first two QSOs went in the log on early Saturday night. Many stopped by throughout the day to check on Tom. He was really intent on this one.

     SATCOM attracted a lot attention and is always exciting to watch as bird comes into view first on the tracking-path predicting computer and then on the downlink, and you search for signals and then your own as you peak the pointing system for maximum signal levels. You try to keep everything peaked and look for another station to contact or call CQ FD. You play with the downlink receiver and the uplink transmitter to keep them in sync as the doppler shift slowly changes the relative values of both. In about 15-minutes it over as the bird settled below the horizon. And then, you start all over again figuring out which bird is next and it's pass times and direction. You have to good, have to be fast, have a good signal, and have a little luck. This stuff on Field Day is extra hard since everyone is on and the passbands are full of signals and the bird soon become saturated. So, the fast and strong make it through.

     Thanks to Tom, we count an extra 100-bouns points for making at least one SATCOM QSOs. A hundred points is like 50 Fone or 25 CW QSOs when you consider our 150-watt QSO multiplier. Nice work.

     And, a special thanks to Paul Dluehosh - N4PD and Denny Boehler - KF4TJI for towing several trailers back up on Tom's mountain trail.

The Multi-shetler Communications System of Tom Dawson - WB3AKD. Photograph by Meg Gentges - AI4UX of Great Falls, VA.
Have Many Trailers - Will Transmit
The Dual Comm Vans, the Mobile Tower Trailer and the Mobile Maintenance Shops

The Multi-shetler Communications System of Tom Dawson - WB3AKD. Photograph by Denny Boehler - KF4TJI of Leesburg, VA.

The Satellite Communications Assemblage By Tom Dawson - WB3AKD
A Fourth Trailer Has The 10-KW Gasoline AC Generator

The Rates On SATCOM  Well, we only need one to make the 100-point bonus. It was very nice to see Tom Dawson pull this off this year. Contacts were made with:  W9LDX in Indiana on SSB, W1BRS in Connecticut on CW, and NX2Q in Northern New Jersey on CW. Last year, Tom tried real hard but was plagued with several hardware and satellite tracking problems. In fact, the last time we were successful with SATCOM was in 2003 when we made three QSOs; we had no effort in 2004 and 2005.

        Tom Dawson reported "Sadly, we did not hear any of the International Space Station crew this year but we did make a few contacts through the linear satellites VO-52 and AO-7. Contacts were attempted on a number of passes. As usual the FM birds were saturated with high power FM signals and, although I heard my own signal on a number of passes. I obviously needed the 100-watt transmitter I used in previous years. A similar situation was found on the linear birds. Signals were much to high on AO-7 and there was much FM on all the SSB and CW signals due to the excess power in the passband. I often could hear and track my own CW signal but was generally overcome by much stronger signals from other stations. Typical Field Day chaos on the birds. In any event the hardware performed up to its capabilities and we got the 100 point bonus for the satellite contacts.  It was great fun and also good to touch base with everyone. Thanks to Doug Covert for his help in breaking down the satellite station. Also, Buddy Brewer - K4CJB gets the "Big Grunt" or possibly the "Big Hernia" award for extracting the ground rods at the shelter and the generator with nothing more than a pair of vise grips. Stout Fellow! And, thanks to Denny Boehler - KF4TJI and Paul Dluehosh - N4PD for pulling some of the trailers back to Round Hill. Finally, thanks to John Westerman - WB5ODJ of Loudoun Wireless for Internet access to provide updates on the satellite Keplerian Elements data."

The Rate Chart for SATCOM

The Runnint Total Chart for SATCOM

Jay Greeley - KI4UTB and Tom Dawson - WB3AKD
Listening To Some Down-Links

Jay Greeley - KI4UTB of Leesburg watches Tom try for a SATCOM QSO. Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.

The Prime Mover
A Ford F-350

The Prime Mover - A Ford F-350. Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.

The 10-KW AC Generator Trailer for SATCO System. Photograph by Denny Boehler - KF4TJI of Leesburg, VA.

The Fourth Trailer With AC Generator
The Other Portable Generator Is With The AMRAD VF-UHF Station

Close up of the EL-AZ 2-432 SATCOM Antenna System. Photograph by Denny Boehler - KF4TJI of Leesburg, VA.

Elevation - Azimuth Rotor With Cross-Polarization On 2-Meters and 70-cms

Ready To Roll !!!  Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.

Ready To Roll !!!
Thanks Tom For All The Hard Work And The Points

        A Site Guide for The LARG - K4LRG Field Day 2007 Report        Back To Front Page
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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.