2012 Field Day

Field Day is always a great opportunity for the Leadership to be out and about in the community visiting with folks and seeing how great the Division Amateurs come together to operate in collective force.  Several of the Division Leadership members tendered Field Day reports. See below.

Director Woolweaver spent the weekend in Oklahoma, exploring eight (8) Field Day sites with OK SM Kevin O’Dell, N0IRW.  Starting off in the Oklahoma City area, they first visited with the Edmond ARS members who were preparing to try out a new and interesting HF antenna.

Driving to the West, Woolweaver and O’Dell visited with the Aeronautical Center ARC and found the FAA group starting their day by providing their set-up team with a full belly of biscuits and gravy!  Numerous activities followed and their day was a great success.

In Norman, they found that the South Canadian Amateur Radio Society (SCARS) had secured amazing support from the OK Department of Health who had donated the use of a large tent, complete with air conditioning!  Hoisting multiple antennas and having a great array of radios, SCARS was out to make some serious contacts during Field Day, setting up radios both inside and outside of the tent.   The club also planned a club fellowship dinner on Saturday night.

New clubs are always fun to visit and the new Mid-Del ARC in Midwest City was exuding real ham radio soul in their first Field Day adventure.  Aided by the OK STC Mark Hamblin, AE5MH and operating throughout the weekend in the heat, Mid-Del secured an impressive total of over 1,600 contacts!

Taking the turnpike, K5RAV and N0IRW found a small but happy group of Oklahoma City Autopatch Association members in Shawnee.   The group was actively pursuing contacts on 20 meters and enjoying the Field Day experience.

Making their way to Tulsa, Woolweaver and O’Dell found the Tulsa Repeater Organization/Tulsa ARC operating in full force at Chandler Park.  The club brought their new ARRL provided HF Go Kit to insure it was ready to go in the event of emergency.  Always a great crowd, TRO/TARC, had a large number of operators actively making contacts.

The Broken Arrow ARC put in a lot of hard work and even organized a group BBQ for Saturday night.  They had prepared a schedule to have someone working all bands throughout the event.  There was a lot of space for antennas and individual stations which made for a nice comfortable atmosphere.

At the end of the day, a stop at Osage Hills State Park to visit with the Bartlesville ARC was planned.  Unfortunately, by the time Woolweaver and O’Dell arrived, the club had finished dinner and had closed their station.

Vice Director Stratton visited multiple clubs in North and Central Texas over the course of the weekend.  Starting off on Saturday in McKinney, which was one of two NTX clubs who were forced to move their locations on Field Day.  Due to a permitting mix up, McKinney had to switch locations at the last minute and began setting up at 1:00 p.m. at the Pole Barn at Myer’s Park, but was in full operation in short order, including having its well-known communications trailer set up.  The last minute move did not dampen participation as McKinney had 72 total visitors and participants.

Plano assembled at the Russell Creek Park pavilion with an impressive antenna farm for its 4A effort. Participation was excellent with approximately 40 participants and between 15-20 visitors, including Plano’s Mayor.

Garland set up at the Winters Park Soccer Fields with 16 participants and managed to contact all but 3 of the ARRL Sections during FD. Ten visitors, including 4 children, one of whom enthusiastically made contacts, added to the fun.

Sachse, a new NTX Club – just 9 months old – held an outstanding first Field Day with 23 of the 24 Club members participating. The home-cooked BBQ made the heat bearable. The Mayor and the entire City Council came out on Saturday and participated in building their own CW keys and learned to transmit their names in Morse code.

Dallas again operated at its famous Flag Pole Hill location, but due to a city booking mistake had to initially set up on the Water Pump Station lawn and then move its entire operation, a station at a time, to the Pavilion starting about 5:30 p.m. – managing to never go off the air during the move.  Dallas, as usual, had an excellent turnout with 68 people in its logbook, including representatives of the Dallas County Commissioners Office, Dallas County Chief Deputy Sheriff Foster, and a City of Dallas Police Sergeant. Like McKinney, Dallas also operated its mobile communications trailer, using it to run its TechNet on Saturday evening.

Irving operated from the Heritage Park headquarters’ building in the center of downtown Irving with an excellent turnout.

Arlington was graciously permitted by the City of Arlington to operate from inside the Arlington Human Service Center. Thirty-one Hams – over half of AARC’s members participated and 24 visitors attended.  Arlington, due to the skills of one of its members maintained a Wi-Fi link and continuously posted its operating scores to its website.

Bedford operated from outside the Bedford Law Enforcement Center with 21 Club members – over half its membership – participating and a total of 46 visitors, including the Mayor, 5 of the 6 City Council members, representatives from multiple Bedford served agencies and 8 Bedford CERT members. In addition to its Field Day operations, BARC simultaneously conducted a radio operations training class for CERT, which included an introduction to Amateur Radio. Further proof that Amateur Radio, in an age of cell phones and computers, still appeals to the young, was BARC’s newest member (licensed only 2 weeks), Greg Heartsfield, KF5QMG, who was so enthusiastic about Amateur Radio that he built an Elecraft before he was even licensed and volunteered to serve as BARC’s IT Section Chief for Field Day.

Heart O’ Texas, operating from Hewitt Park with 46 participants and visitors, had the distinction of having John Curry, K5IMC, as its primary CW operator. John is believed to hold the current ARRL record for the most continuous Field Day participations at 56.  K5IMC made a total of 794 CW contacts, just missing his target of 800.

Congratulations, John!! State Representative “Doc” Anderson, the City of McGregor’s Mayor, the City of Robinson Chief of Police and representatives from the Salvation Army and the Waco/McLennan County Emergency Management gave HOTARC a broad response from government and agency representatives.

John regrets not being able to get to all of the Field Day locations that he had planned to attend and extends his apologies to those clubs that he missed.

Rounding out the Division Field Day reports, Assistant Directors John (AE5B) and Carla (K5RLA) Dyer traveled a little over 800 miles, visiting the Lubbock ARC and the Panhandle ARC in Amarillo.  John and Carla enjoyed visiting for about three hours with the Lubbock crowd, who had brought out their trailer and unloaded enough ham equipment to challenge the generator that accompanied them.

The Panhandle Amateurs had things running smoothly when John and Carla stopped by Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch to visit.  Picturesque surroundings and lots of shade provided for a great time had by all.  John even discovered a new Field Day food…grilled jalapenos stuff with peanut butter.  Noting that he was reluctant at first, John admits to going back for more!

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