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2005 ARRL Field Day

06/29/2005 | W5LM Field Day is a club emergency operating and training event, not a contest, yet, we all want to do the best we can, and we want to improve our 2A effort from year to year while training new operators. Field day is also the most important event sposored by the ARRL: it is the experience and glue that bonds all members of a club together, and all clubs together via the ARRL.

Conditions were clearly worse this year, but CW produced essentially the same QSO's for at least three reasons. First, the operators were much more familiar with the logging program. Second, our two CW operators, who also had other FD duites, were pleasantly surprised when a third CW operator showed up unannounced a bit before midnight and ran CW most of the night so we had fresher operators all the way around. Finally, even though 80 was noisy, our 80 meter dipole was a killer. If we could hear them, we could work them in one or two tries. I am really intrigued looking forward to next year to learn that some clubs have used beverage receive antennas on 40 and 80!

On the PHONE side, the total QSO's were also nearly the same with a shift of a few hundred from the GOTA station, W5T, to the PHONE station. I think this largely represents band conditions and reflects the better antennas of the PHONE station - two fixed tribanders, one northeast and the other northwest. With poor conditions, having these tribanders to switch electronically instead of using a vertical or dipole gave the PHONE station a real performance edge over the GOTA postion, as it really should. I had the opportunity during the last 40 minutes to appreciate this difference when we moved the fixed tribanders to the CW station which otherwise shared the GOTA antennas. For the entire event, our average CW QSO rate was 28 per hour. For the last 40 minutes, using these two tribanders, the rate was 80 per hour! Next year we need to let the CW station use the the tribanders a bit more.

We had a very good turnout, five-star BBQ cooked by a member who competes in BBQ cookoffs, and a good turnout of visitors to the GOTA station. For a complete photo gallery, see -> Gallery -> Field Day 2005. (Higher resolution image files are also available from -- KE5C





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