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2009 ARRL Field Day

06/30/2009 | W5WX The Weather Gods huffed and puffed and did a number on Amarillos Panhandle Amateur Radio Clubs 2009 Field Day event with wind and rain right after chow hounds were finishing supper Saturday, sometime around 6:30 p.m. local (2330Z). Winds were in the order of 65 MPH. Two inches of rain fell in about an hour. The streets to Southeast Park, our Field Day site, quickly turned into small rivers. The weather effectively shut Field Day down for the rest of the weekend. Our team had gotten off to a slow start, about 120 contacts, and then had a rather abrupt ending a little over 5 hours later.

We suffered some damage, such as the loss of four large solar panels belonging to Matt Carpenter, KC5CGT. A video camera belonging to Gene Bitner, WA5ETK, got water soaked, but it appears our team got out without being hurt as badly as we could have been.

We lost some of the records from our information booth, our educated guesses are that we had 36 club members, several Boy Scouts, plus their parents and some siblings, and a few other non-hams. Our dignitary list included Debra McCartt (Amarillos mayor), Perry Gilmore (Amarillos Assistant Chief of Police) who had one of his dispatchers with him.

A neat display Ham Radio Thru The Years was in the center of the FD setup. It contained several pieces that started with a 1916 Vibroplex bug and ended with an Elecraft K2 transceiver. Included were such items as a WWII Command transmitter, a WWII J-38, a 1960s Benton Harbor Lunch Box, and a few other items that conveyed changes that occurred to over the years. This display was the brainchild of Dan McCabe, WA8YYE.

There was also a Hallicrafters SX-122 and Hammarlund HQ-170 displayed from the Radio Lending Library, a program being launched to make HF receivers available to the youth of our area to let them discover the magic of HF.

Field Day 2009 was not a total loss for W5WX, we had made some changes and learned a few things during the few hours we were in operation. A really nice plus was that we had several young folks appear to check out the operation. The positives and negatives will be discussed at a later meeting to better prepare us for the next event. -- K5BZH


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