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2004 ARRL Field Day

07/29/2004 | W5ZDN The Heart O Texas Amateur Radio Club (HOTARC) located in Waco, TX made it through FD 2004 thanks to the hip waders. Well, maybe it wasn't quite that bad, but we were almost prepared for that. Central Texas was under flood warnings as we received over four inches of rain Saturday morning and early afternoon. We normally run 2A, but were considering dropping to 1A due to the weather. But then someone pointed out: Emergencies dont always happen on bright, sunny days! So we pressed on with setting up our two stations: one in our nice dry and cool Club trailer with a triband beam atop the 40-foot crank-up tower; the second under the Hewitt Park pavilion. For station #2, we had planned to erect a 40-meter quarter-wave vertical made from electrical conduit atop the pavilions metal roof (a terrific ground plane!!), but decided thatdue to the heavy rain and threatening stormssafety was more important than high scores. So, we enacted Plan B (Hint: always have a "Plan B"): we lashed a multiband vertical to the side of the pavilion.

In summary, the wet conditions only served to make us more determined than ever to succeed. We successfully operated the whole 24 hours, proving to ourselves that the threatening weather was not going to prevent us from fulfilling our demonstration of emergency preparedness. We finished the wet weekend with almost as good a total score as the last couple years (when we were first in 2A NTX). Were hoping for a similar outcome this year! Were watching for the official results! -- AC5CV