The Loudoun Amateur Radio Group Of Northern Virginia & Its Radio Station K4LRG

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Comm Support For The Riders Of The Reston Century 2007

Photographed by Gary Quinn - NC4S, Denny Boehler - KF4TJI and Norm Styer - AI2C. For photo credit, place cursor over image. Reported by Norm Styer - AI2C

The LOGO of the Loudoun Amateur Radio Group of Northern Virginia.   Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia     The LOGO of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service - An organization of the American Radio Relay League.

(Purcellville, VA. October 29, 2007.)  The Reston Bicycle Club conducted its 25th Running of the Reston Century on the trails and roads of Loudoun County in Northern Virginia on Sunday, August 26, 2007. It was a great event with almost 1200 riders passing through the historic and scenic towns of Hamilton, Purcellville, Round Hill, Hillsboro, Lovettsville, Taylorstown, and Waterford.

Thirty members of the Loudoun County Amateur Radio Emergency Service and the Loudoun Amateur Radio Group provide supporting communications for this operation. Rest stops throughout the county and SAG and Route Riders were provided amateur radio operator assistance.

Gary Quinn - NC4S, an Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Loudoun County ARES organized this operation.

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia
2-Meters and 70-cm radio nets and 2-Meters Automatic Position Reporting System networks were operated through Loudoun County.

The Loudoun ARES - LARG Reston Century 2007 Communications Operation Plan is available here. Take time to read it.

This was one of the greatest rides
with riders enjoying 34, 65, 102, and 125 miles
routes across Loudoun County.

Get Map Here:

2007 Double-Metric & Century Route Map
2007 Double-Metric & Century Final Mileage Chart

Thirty amateur radio operators sign-on to this operation:

Amateur Operator
Amateur Operator
KF4TJI Dennis Boehler Waterford   WD4KHP Ed Krom Hillsboro
KF4TJJ Carol Boehler Waterford   KF4TNX Tom Martin Hillsboro
N4OPN Pam Bozzi Ashburn     Maria Martin Hillsboro
K4CJB Buddy Brewer SAG  #  3   WF1L Bill McCourt Net Control
K8SYH Bill Buchholz Hamilton   AI1V Rick Miller Reston Cross Band Repeater
WB3AKD Tom Dawson Emergency Coordinator   K4ARP Dave Mullins SAG  #  4
N4PD Paul Dluehosh Waterford   KE4S Dave Putman APRS & Net Control
W3EMH Bill Frisbie Hamilton   NC4S Gary Quinn Asst Emergency Coordinator
KT9N Chris Fristad Stand-By Shadow   KI4FWB Kurt Reber SAG  #  2
N5TCI Boyd Garrett Net Control   KB3EMT Grant Russell Ashburn
KI4IEO Chuck Graham Ashburn   KI4CTR Mark Schutt Bike  #  1
KI4UTB Jay Greeley Hamilton   KE5APC Jeff Slusher Reston Town Center
KS1G Steve Greene Bike  #  2   KE4FYL Allon Stern Digi-Repeater Leesburg
KI4TXP Jason Ives Ashburn   AI2C Norm Styer Hamilton
KG4QXF Bob Kennedy SAG  #  1   K2BFY Henry Weidman Reston Town Center

Reston Town Center Pavilion - The Start - Finish Line

Photograph by Gary Quinn - NC4S de Lovettsville, VA.

Henry Weidman - K2BFY and Jeff Slusher - KE5APC

Photograph by Gary Quinn - NC4S de Lovettsville, VA.

Equipment Summary
Reston Town Center
Main rig:
Kenwood TH-D700 running low power (5 watts) to mag-mount dual band whip on card table.  Second channel copying APRS.
51AH AGM battery, fully charged, RigRunner power panel.  Battery still at nominal voltage at end of day.
All staff had dual band HT's - 2 Yaesu VX-6, 1 Yaesu VX-5, and 1 Kenwood. Note: all HT's were sufficient to work the cross-band repeater on UHF.
Cross-band Repeater at 12119 Kinsley Place, Reston, Virginia
(approx 0.46 miles from Town Center station)
Kenwood TM-732 running crossband with PL tone squelch on both inputs.  Power out: 50 watts VHF, 35 watts UHF.  Configured UHF as control receiver and had ability to enable/disable repeater, enable disable VHF PL, and change VHF power level remotely using DTMF.
Cushcraft AR-470 vertical for VHF.  4 element vertically polarized beam for UHF, pointed at Town Center.  Used UHF port on Diawa 2 port diplexer to reduce desense from VHF channel.  VHF antenna fed directly from radio.  Antennas mounted on the same mast at about 40 feet AGL.
51AH AGM battery.  Accidentally turned off AC supply so ran entire day on battery.

Things start early out east. Riders are very eager to get out on the trails. Reston Bicycle Club support members and volunteer ARES communications personnel arrive well before sunrise and put in a very long day. The Reston Town Center is a great place for the start-finish line and the after ride activities. It's the last site to close.

Rick Miller - AI1V was the site captain at Reston. He was assisted by Henry Weidman - K2BFY and Jeff slusher - KE5APC. Rick also established a 70cm-2m cross-band repeater from the Reston area that permitted easy hand-held radio communications out of the floor of the Reston Town Center to all areas of Loudoun County.

Reston Town Center Station Log
Filed By Rick Miller - AI1V
Arrived at site and began setup with KE5APC
On the air using 445.925 Mhz (pl 100) uplink to 147.48 Mhz via cross-band repeater at AI1V home QTH
Completed radio checks with net control and rest stops:  Net Control-full quieting; Ashburn-solid copy; Hamilton-no copy; Hillsboro-50% copy; Waterford-not on the air yet
Waterford on the air - solid copy
Passed information to local RBC rep that Waterford had portapotty problems and no-one at site with keys
Informed Waterford to await arrival of RBC person and that key should be taped to unit.  Waterford reported that they had solved the problem locally
Ashburn reported that father had been separated from 14 yr old son and father wanted other stations to be on the lookout for him.  He was riding a gray mountain bike and wearing a green and yellow shirt.
Waterford reported that 14 yr old boy had been re-united with father.
Hillsboro requested extra Century Ride cue sheets.  RBC contact provided extra sheets and gave to SAG-2 for transport.
Last rider on 60 mi route is woman in blue blazer (?) just leaving Hamilton
Hamilton secured
Ashburn reported one rider down with apparent heat exhaustion (tag number 11315).  Paramedics summoned locally.
Sag 1 dropped off 2 riders at Reston and headed back to Ashburn
Sag 1 radio operator at Reston trying to rendezvous with driver
Sag 1 driver arrived at Ashburn and will wait there for radio operator
Bike 2 arrived at Reston
Sag 4 (no radio) arrived at Reston.  NCS advised that he should standby here.
Reston, AI1V assumed net control from NC4S.
Sag 1 reported inbound from Ashburn with one passenger
Ashburn reported that about 8 riders were there, several were bypassing the stop.
Contacted John Shea (SAG coordinator) to ensure that sufficient resources were available at Ashburn.  He will remain there to ensure last riders are taken care of.
Ashburn reported being informed of about 25 riders remaining between Waterford and Ashburn and only a few were trickling through
SAG 1 back at Reston
Released Ashburn
Secured net, checked out with RBC rep, and broke equipment down

Ashburn - The First and Last Rest Stop

Riders get to Ashburn very quickly and most everyone goes through there twice. It's a busy place and the last out station to take net control as riders close just before 5:30 PM.

Grant Russell - KB3EMT was the station captain at Ashburn and was assisted by Chuck Graham - KI4IEO and Jay Ives - KI4TXP. Their 2-Meter FM station could be heard well through Loudoun County. Jay carried his Yaesu FT-60 handheld transceiver and also had a mag-mount antenna and a 79 amp-hour battery as back up to the main station.

Grant reports, "We used a Yaesu FT-8900 Quad band powered by a 105 amp, 12 volt battery with a Diamond X3200A tri-band antenna on a 24-foot mast. We had good a transmit signal and reception with this set up, but we later learned, on braking down our station, we had better transmit/reception capabilities with just Jay's mobile rig and antenna. I think by having our antenna so high, we were getting interference from the high voltage lines on 2 sides of us, and the cell/microwave tower behind us."

"We had plenty of gear at our location for back up if we had any kind of failure."

"Things worked great for us at our location. It was nice having the Fire Department next door. We called them to assist a couple of riders. "

Photograph by Gary Quinn - NC4S de Lovettsville, VA.

Chuck Graham - KI4IEO
Photograph by Gary Quinn - NC4S de Lovettsville, VA.

Chuck Graham - KI4IEO On Duty at the Ashburn Rest Stop's Communications Station

Hamilton - The Heart and Soul of Old Western Loudoun County

The Early Morning at Hamilton with Hamilton's Finest

The Hamilton Community Park is a cool place. Everyone wants to hang out there. So, it's natural that the old timers, well warned warriors, and world wide travelers volunteered to man the communications here. The first rider arrives around 8 AM and activity peaks by 10:30 AM. By noon most have moved on and Hamilton was closed by about an hour or so later. Not much happen and the gang just sat around and traded war stories and good old lies.

Norm Styer - AI2C was the station captain and was assisted by Bill Frisbie - W3EMH, Bill Buchholz - K8SYH and Jay Greeley - KI4UTB. They were on the air by 7 AM. The 2-Meter voice station was a dual-band 50-watt mobile transceiver provided by Bill Frisbie and a Cushcraft 5-element dual-band yagi antenna on the 16-foot Radio Shack TV mast. An APRS station was also deployed and consisted of a Kenwood TM-7V dual-band FM mobile unit, an MFJ 1278 multi-mode TNC, a IBM ThinkPad laptop with UI-View and a Diamond dual-band 6-bd gain co-linear vertical antenna on a 16-foot telescoping mast. The antennas were affixed to opposite ends of the park's shelter. Three Die-Hard Group 28 deep-cycle 12-volt batteries powered all equipment. All operators also carried their personnel hand-held transceivers. Norm Styer's F-150 pickup was also equipped with APRS and FM voice equipment in case someone was called out onto the routes.

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.

The Hamilton Station
Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.
Bill Frisbie - W3EMH

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.
Bill Buchholz - K8SYH

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.
Jay Greeley - KI4UTB

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.

The Reston Bicycle Club Volunteers Prepare For The Herd

The First Rider Appears Around 8 AM

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.

Hamilton's Finest

They Patch Up a Couple Scratches - Thanks .

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.

Not Much Happening But We Heard Everyone Well

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.

An Old Service Trick - Rest When You Can

Hamilton Is Busy by Mid-Morning But Empty
Right After Noontime

Hillsboro - A Welcomed Sight To All Riders

The rest stop at the Elementary School in Hillsboro is a welcomed sight to all. They know they are half-way on the big route and feel like they need a good rest. Many throw in the towel here or at Waterford and ask for a SAG ride back to Ashburn or Reston. The good riders start arriving by 9:30 or 10 AM; the others straggle in until well after lunch. We know the event is starting to close when they release Hillsboro by 2:30 PM.

Tom Martin - KF4TNX of Slanesville, WV and Clark County ARES provided mutual support to Loudoun County ARES and was the station captain. Tom single-handedly manned Hillsboro. Ed Krom - WD4KHP, of Berryville and Clark County ARES, and Tom's wife Maria both came down with something and could not make it. We really appreciate Tom's effort.

Tom dismounted several FM voice mobile radios from his communications van and was well heard through Loudoun County.

Photograph by Gary Quinn - NC4S de Lovettsville, VA.

Tom Martin - KF4TNX - Clark County ARES

Photograph by Gary Quinn - NC4S de Lovettsville, VA.

Tom Martin - KF4TNX with his well equipped Communications Van

Waterford - It's All Down Hill From Here

Hey, I Made It!  Just Fix My Bicycle and I'll Coast On In To Reston

Those riders who reach the Waterford Elementary School know they are in "tall cotton." Their bike didn't break down and they didn't give into a SAG ride. These are the good guys and gals. They are happy. The SAGs sorta hung out here knowing this is where the weak throw in the towel. After the SAGs sweep the routes back to Hamilton and Hillsboro several times and declare all is clear, Waterford is closed around 5 PM and the network's K4LRG NCS function at NC4S is transfer to the Ashburn and Reston stations.

Paul Dluehosh - N4PD was the station captain at Waterford and was assisted by Carol - KF4TJJ and Denny - KF4TJI Boehler.They established two 2-Meter FM stations with their own antenna systems. Everything was battery powered.

Photograph by Denny Boehler - KF4TJI of Leesburg, VA.

Carol Boehler - KF4TJJ
Photograph by Denny Boehler - KF4TJI of Leesburg, VA.

Paul Dluehosh - N4PD
Photograph by Denny Boehler - KF4TJI of Leesburg, VA.

The Waterford Communications Stations

By Paul Dluehosh - N4PD


Carol - KF4TJJ and Denny - KF4TJI Boehler

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.

Waterford Comm Station Operators: Carol Boehler - KF4TJJ, Denny Boehler - KF4TJI and Paul Dluehosh - N4PD

Photograph by Denny Boehler - KF4TJI of Leesburg, VA.

Topping Off For The Final Run
Photograph by Denny Boehler - KF4TJI of Leesburg, VA.

Anyone Want To Trade Up For A New One ?

         Out Of The Routes - They Are There To Help

The real action is "Where Rubber Meets The Road." There were four SAGs equipped with ARES communications shotguns: SAG 1 Bob Kennedy - KG4QXF, SAG 1 Kurt Reber - KI4FWB, SAG 3 Buddy Brewer - K4CJB and SAG 4 David Mullins - K4ARP. Out on the trails were Route Riders Mark Schutt - KI4CTR, and Steve Greene - KS1G. Most of these stations were also equipped with GPS-ARPS stations that were tracked by others and the K4LRG-APRS station at NCS. These guys provided super coverage by reporting conditions, identifying riders needing assistance and supporting repair or providing rides for disabled riders. As the day closed, the SAGs were in high demand as the less able needed assistance to reach Ashburn or Reston. The communications network made coordination a "piece of cake."

Steve - KS1G reported, "I operated as one of the bike mobile stations."


   -  Yaesu VX5 HT strapped to handlebars
   -  Pryme boom mike with PTT switch
   -  Coaxial dipole tye-wrapped to a bike flagpole
      making me easily spotable and probably the
      only bike on the century ride with one.
   -  Spare ht antenna strapped to frame, spare batteries in bike bag."

"5W was usually sufficient to get into the net or one of the base stations. However, there are some relatively dead areas, especially the southern and northern extremes of the route, where I might be able to hear only net control and the closest rest stop or SAG. Relays would have been sufficient but were not needed. If I was just covering a portion of the route less accessible to SAGs (say the W&OD between Dry Mill and Belmont Ridge Rd), I would be willing to carry more weight for a larger battery and run higher power."

"Adding GPS would be interesting but not sure how helpful it would be or if I want to carry the additional weight for a stand alone tracker and antenna; and the 500mW units might not have usable coverage. A Mic-E unit that sends location after voice transmissions would be easier, but would require a base station to decode the Mic-E data and insert it into the APRS network."

"Operationally, I feel a little guilty that I am helping (bike mobile) but not doing more than making one sweep of the course. I did offer to call SAG when I encountered someone with a problem, but was never asked to do so this year."

Overall, I thought the 2007 event came off quite well."

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.

The Reston Bicycle Club
Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.

Mark Schutt - KI4CTR
Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.

Steve Greene - KS1G

Photograph by Gary Quinn - NC4S de Lovettsville, VA.

Grant Russell - KB3EMT, Bob Kennedy - KG4QXF and Chris Fristad - KT9N Discuss the Finer Points of Mobile Antennas

Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.

SAG 1 with Kurt Reber - KI4FWB as ShotGun
Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.

SAG ShotGuns Kurt Reber - KI4FWB
and Buddy Brewer - K4CJB

Net Control - K4LRG de NC4S

The Loudoun Amateur Radio Group operated its radio station - K4LRG from the fine business station and location of Gary Quinn's NC4S station on the hills northwest of Waterford. No one had trouble copying this station. NCS was up on the air at 6:30 AM and quickly brought up all stations onto the network. Manning the station and assisting Gary were Bill McCourt - WF1L, Boyd Garrett - N5CTI, and Dave Putman - KE4S. Dave also established his portable K4LRG-6 APRS station and digi repeater at this location. UI-View software allowed Dave to track everyone equipped with APRS stations.

Another APRS Digi-Repeater operated in Leesburg by Allon Stern - KE4FLY was very useful. .His home station is an MFJ-1270-B TNC-2 Modem with a UIDIGI EEPROM, an Alinco DR-150T transceiver with 20-watts output and feeding a Cushcraft Ringo AR-2 antenna on the roof. It's powered by a Astron SL-11A Power Supply..

Photograph by Gary Quinn - NC4S de Lovettsville, VA.

Boyd Garrett - N5CTI on the Voice Network

 alt="Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia."

The Net Control Crew: Gary Quinn - NC4S, Boyd Garrett - N5CTI, Bill McCourt - WF1L and Dave Putman - KE4S

  Photograph by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, Virginia.

The K4LRG-6 Portable APRS Digi of Dave Putman - KE4S
  Photograph by Gary Quinn - NC4S de Lovettsville, VA.

Dave - KE4S Checks His Route Map Board
A Nice Day, A Nice Ride, and A Nice Operation

The Reston Century 2007 event was a great success. The communications worked very well and everyone worked hard to make it happen. There were no real emergencies out on the trails and all were pleased to only fix a tire or chain or give a rider an assist to the next rest stop. This was the eight year that the Loudoun Amateur Radio Group supported this operation. Many thanks to all.

It was nice riding with you all. Best Regards, Norm Styer - AI2C de Canby - Clarkes Gap - Loudoun - Northern Virginia

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