The Mountain ARC held a joint Field Day and club picnic at the Yosemite High School on June 26th & 27th.
The weather couldn't have been better, no major problems were encountered and everyone attending had a great time. We had a good turnout and many were able to renew old acquaintances. It's estimated that over 70 people showed up during field day. A few of these were non-hams and we were able to give them a demonstration of amateur radio in action. A big thank you goes to Sam Craig KG6KEA, Sharon Craig, Del Bodwell KE6RVD, Lupe Thompson and the many other volunteers who worked together to provide delicious food for all the attendees. During the evening meal, numerous raffle prizes were given away, including a Kenwood 2m transceiver which was won by Shawn KG6SEW.
On Friday evening over 14 people came by to help set up tents, and put up the 2 G5RVs that we pretended were antennas. Murphy showed up to help us, and the arrow we were using to shoot the antenna rope over the tree branch was snagged and lost. And as luck would have it we were only to the second leg of our first antenna. All hope for a successful field day was not lost thanks to Gary Sconce KG6CDY's pitching arm. Gary was able to throw a rock with string attached over the rest of the limbs needed for antenna supports. Earlier in the week Gary had also setup the tables, chairs & tent provided by the high school and then put them away for us afterward.
Station A was used for phone operations and utilized Dick W6RFR's Kenwood TS-930 transceiver. We were unable to keep the station on the air for the whole 24 hours due to a lack of operators. It was too bad that even with our location being in the middle of town and having such easy access that we could not get enough operators to staff the station. Diane KF6MNK made one of the biggest sacrifices of all by driving all the way from Mariposa to operate the 11PM to 2AM shift overnight. Thanks also go to Dan KD6OJD, Dave WA6ZIS, Chuck KC6UEW & Michael K6MAO who operated the last 2 shifts of field day and are responsible for making over 1/4 of all the phone contacts.
Station B was dedicated to running only digital modes. This consisted mostly of CW & PSK31. The station was able to stay active on the air for the entire 24 hours thanks to the efforts of 3 operators Jonathan K6JJO, Jeff KF6CNV and Scott K6IX. We would also like to thank Scott for providing all the equipment we used on the digital station. This station consisted of an Icom IC-736, Laptop, interface and cabling. Scott even took the time to hand wrap all the wires around ferrite loops to cut down on any interference.
For the first time in 1996, this club did something unconscionable; we broke with traditional paper logging and, horror of horrors, actually used computers for that task. We seem to have lived through that ordeal, and have continued to use computer logging every year since. Now 8 years later, we have come up with one of our highest scores by dedicating one station to only running digital modes. This year also marks the first time that the digital station made more contacts than the phone station. This is worth celebrating, as each one of those contacts counted for 2 points. We also switched to using only laptops for logging to cut down on some of the interference.
This year we had grandiose plans for the VHF station: setting up operations on 6M, 2M, 220 and 440 using all modes. This project was headed up by Skip W6PAJ who brought down a complete and portable VHF contesting station. However, after in-depth on-the-air testing and diagnostics we decided that the receiver was dead in the Yaesu FT-736 we were using. By Sunday morning we had setup Scott K6IX's IC-706 and were able to make 1 six meter contact with Mike Staal K6MYC of M2 fame. We then learned that 6m was wide open across much of the country while we were busy attempting to get the FT-736 on the air. Oh well, next year we will be ready.
Mike KF6KDA, an old hand at contesting, drove up from Fresno to help us out on 40-meters Saturday evening. This was a big boost for us since the short wave stations can make it almost impossible to hear anything 40M at night. Mike also spent quite a bit of time answering questions and explaining the different facets of amateur radio to some out-of-town visitors. Hopefully, due to his efforts, we will be getting some new hams.
Field day was a lot of fun this year; I certainly enjoyed myself. The club really came together to put on a great event and I would like to thank everyone who attended and supported us. Because of you, this field day was a great success.
73 Jeff KF6CNV
With the 2 times multiplier received for running less than 150 watts we came out with 1436 points.
Bonus points were made for the following:
These come out to a total of 850 bonus points