FW: [pQRP] Field Day trip report - Interesting writeup

Dan Pflugrath

Below is a post on the local pQRP yahoo group (pQRP runs the Salmoncon in
North Bend in July).

This is an interesting report on two very different field day setups.

Most of the report is about the Mike and Key club operation (K7LED). These
guys take field day very serious!

I hope all that attended our SNOVARC field day operation enjoyed themselves.
A big thanks to those who did the organization adn work and Bengt for giving
us a good show with his equipment.


-----Original Message-----
From: pQRP@... [mailto:pQRP@...]
Sent: Monday, June 26, 2017 12:18 PM
To: pQRP@...
Subject: [pQRP] Field Day trip report


I had a different kind of FD experience this year. I decided to journey
across the water to Jefferson County and observe the Jefferson County Club
event taking place at Port Townsend State park. I also observed the Mike and
Key FD at Fort Flagler State Park. Fort Flagler is about 5 miles West as
the crow flies from my QTH and is located on Marrowstone Island. It is
about 6 miles from our past K7W field days site on Whidbey Island.

The Jefferson County operation (W7JCR) was 2A LP. Two travel trailers
contained each station, one running CW and one SSB. The GOTO station was
set up in a fixed activity building and had a KX3 mounted on a wood board
feeding the Elecraft 100 watt amp.

I got there just as things were starting and they seem to be having some
issues with getting full 100 power to their SSB set up in one of the
trailers, they could only muster about 40 watts. The CW operators were
pretty efficient. They were using an IC 7000. All of their antennas were
wire and feed with ladder line in tall Doug Fir trees in the main part of
the park. Logging was done with N3FJP.

The Mike and Key club operation (K7LED) was pretty much like going to
disneyland. They were operating 6a LP. I knew they meant business when I
picked up the FD operations manual, which was about 25 pages. They had a
great signal dispersion plan, with the CW end of the operation down on the
beach while the SSB ops were up on the bluff, about 100 feet higher in
elevation and several hundred feet to the West. The views were spectacular
from the site. A good chunk of Whidbey Island to the East and both Mt.
Rainier 100 miles to the SE and Mt. Baker 60 miles to the NE were clearly

Last year K7LED managed to make 4004 contacts and was 13th overall
nationwide. Each station was staffed with shifts which were one hour off
and one hour on. I mean, there were printed rosters for manning 24 hours.
Down on the beach, there were 3 hour shifts, with each operator moving from
"off" to one K3 on one band, then to another K3 on another band. They had a
very large vertical with multiple counterpoise too numerous to count, but
sitting on the sand. They also had 3 large single band yagis for CW. The 40
meter yagi was tilted at 45 degrees horizontally to the ground. I had to
ask, and they told me: "Well it's too low on 40 for horizontal, and not
tall enough on 40 for vertical, but it works." All yagi's on the beach were
fixed, no rotors, all pointing to the East.

Back on top, they had a VHF tower with rotor and 6m, 2m, and 70cm. Don't
know if they had any sporadic-E, but they were ready. The GOTO station was
very active, with cub scout taking turns making Q's at one point. I guess
there is a 500 Q limit on the GOTO, but they were well into it by mid
Saturday afternoon, maybe about 150 or so. There was a 15 meter tower with
rotor. They were having issues with SWR, and when I was observing they were
taking the whole thing down to figure it out while the contest was going.
The 20 meter SSB station actually was operating from inside a bunker!

I was hoping to do some operating, and the only station which didn't seem to
be fully staffed was the 40 meter tent ( like, daytime not much going on
40). I volunteered to do some logging for one of the operator and did so
for several hours. The 40 meter antennas were wire yagis. I always learn
something new attending someone else's FD activity! One 40 meter wire
antenna had 6 elements and was pointed East, while another 40 m wire yagi
had 4 elements and was pointed South! These guys mean business. When I left
the tent at 6pm, they had 320 SSB Qs on 40. I could just imagine how things
would be popping when there was some actual propagation!

They had solar, they had satellite, they had everything. I noted with
great interest the satellite activity. On one pass, the serious satellite
rig in an SUV could not hear anything ( I think the antenna was an Arrow II
with 8 or so elements 70cm and 3 on 2m) , while the guy on the HT with a
long whip was copying the satellite in grand fashion, and one CA station did
return his CQ, but it was not a confirmed QSO, from a whip antenna! Learned
much about software to track satellites and how the frequency shifts to
overhead and back again finishing the pass. Great Stuff!

Logging: The two very serious CW stations on the beach were running N1MM
and everyone on top was running N3FJP, but no one was networked, so everyone
got an assigned mode and band and that was it! I was amazed how many 40
meter contacts were dupes while I was logging, seemed lots of folks were new
or not paying attention on the other end.

Overall, I had a great time visiting these two operations, and was very
impressed with K7LED. I mean they had name and call badges with positions
of responsibilities on them. Come on! The satellite thing generated much
excitement for me. All members were very friendly and welcoming. If you get
a chance, give them a visit next year!




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