|Annual Picnic||Field Day 2011||Field Day Box Score||Field Day Hall of Fame|
The RANV picnic will be on Sunday, August 7th at Kill Kare State Park in St. Albans Bay. RANV will supply park admission (be sure to tell gatekeeper you’re with RANV), soft drinks and charcoal. You bring the rest. Be sure to bring family and friends, food to eat, appropriate sporting goods and clothing and any radio stuff you would like to play with. Leave pets at home since the park doesn’t allow them, and it is too hot to leave a pet in the car.
Directions: Take I-89 North to Exit 19, St. Albans. Go past the light and down the access highway 1 mile to Route 7. Make a right and head 0.5 miles into downtown St. Albans. Look for Taylor Park (big green) on your right and then look for Lake Street and make a left. Go 3 miles on Lake Street until you see The Bayside Pavilion at your left and a Shell station at your right. Make a right turn and head north. You will pass St. Albans Town Park. Keep going!
You will only go 0.7 miles from the turn and will cross a small bridge. Right after this bridge, turn left on to Hathaway Point Road. Unfortunately, the Park sign is often missing, so pay attention. Go 3 miles to the Park entrance.
Let's have a great turnout and a great day at the picnic!
After winning it all last year – a first place 2A finish and top ten finish overall, the big question this year was “How do we top that?” My answer was simple – just do what we do each year – strive for excellence and let the score take care of itself. We were fortunate in that most of our phone and CW operators returned. CW gun Jim N2EA returned to Vermont this year and we were fortunate to have him join us.
Pre-setup – the activity in which the field gets cut and antennas, towers and heavy equipment mysteriously shows up – was a drama all in itself. As many people in Vermont were affected by flooding from high lake levels, so were we. Two of the AB-577 rocket launchers and the GOTA tent are stored on the waterfront where the facility was under a couple of feet of water. Fortunately the tent was up on a shelf, but the launchers were submerged and had to be hosed off. The trucks we use to move the trailer were parked in the flooded area and finding a working vehicle was challenging. And then Bob had a fun afternoon of cutting the field with balky equipment. Then when we tested the 3.5 KW Generator prior to loading, it didn’t start. That required an impromptu carburetor rebuild in the driveway.
By miracle or force of will, men and material were all in position by 2:30 on Friday. We were fortunate that we had an excellent supply of helpers. The weather was breezy and very comfortable – a far cry from the hot humid stinkers we usually have to work in. By 6:30, the four towers were up and in position and the main dipoles were done as well.
Wait! This was too easy. I smelled a rat. So I started testing the antennas. When I got to the CW dipole, it didn’t load and it didn’t receive anything. A quick check indicated a dead short. With no other option, I took down the tower. The connection inside the center of the dipole was shorted. It was a fairly quick fix and the whole affair took about an hour to lower the tower, fix the connection and put it all back up. Luckily we were ahead of schedule and had the time to do this Friday.
Friday evening, I continued testing antennas, and when I tested the tribander on 10 meters, the band was wide open past 10:00! This convinced me to put up the 10 meter monobander at the phone station. On Saturday, our Fast Antenna Raising Team slapped up the 10 meter yagi on a mast while I started operating on 20 meters. And 10 meters was a big player for us!
On phone, the trio of K1ZK, N1YWB and W1SJ delivered up an aggregate 118 QSO/hour rate and each produced over 100 QSO’s/hour on average without breaking much of a sweat! When it was all over 2830 QSO’s were in the log, which topped our previous record of 2801.
Not to be outdone, the CW crew smashed their previous high score by 104 QSO’s. With double points on CW, that is big! When the smoke had cleared, AA1SU, AB1T, K2MME and N2EA each operated about 6 hours and combined for 1657 QSO’s and an amazing overall CW rate of 69 QSO’s per hour. Tremendous job!
GOTA was a great party, but few showed up. Three people, Cheryl KB1VJD, Norm KB1UGM and Iain KB1UGN operated Saturday afternoon. Jeff N1YD filled in for much of Saturday night. By Sunday morning, we were 130 QSO’s shy of the maximum and no GOTA operators were in sight. Finally, I anointed Jerry KB1KPO as our Sunday GOTA operator and he eventually whipped up a 75 QSO/hour rate for his first time on HF.
On VHF, 6 meters opened wide and stayed that way both days. Great work by KB1LIF, KB1KPO, KB1FRW, K1ZK, AA1SU and several others who put 477 VHF QSO’s in the log, totally smashing the previous high of 284 VHF QSO’s.
This was one of the best Field Days ever. We executed our plans nearly flawlessly while the propagation gods smiled upon us. The result was lots and lots of contacts and a load of fun for the operators. We even managed to have everything packed up by 7PM Sunday! And we did this all despite inclement weather during much of the weekend.
When the score was counted, we had 5467 QSO’s and a total of 16320 points. To put this in perspective, our previous best was 4779 QSO’s and 14754 points. The highest score ever reported in our 2A category was 15580 points set back in 1993. It wouldn’t surprise me if other groups set records too since the great propagation inflated scores all over the place. We’ll have to wait until November to find out how it all pans out. But regardless of where the scores end up, we know that we nailed it and got the job well done – once again.
|80 CW||65||80 SSB||32|
|40 CW||357||40 SSB||438|
|20 CW||653||20 SSB||1000|
|15 CW||582||15 SSB||1176|
|10 CW||0||15 SSB||184|
|GOTA CW||0||GOTA Ph||500|
|VHF CW||1||VHF Ph||477|
|Sat CW||0||Sat Ph||2|
|Total CW||1658||Total Ph||3809|
AA1SU Paul – CW op; Equipment; Bonuses; Set up; Tear down. AB1DD Carl – GOTA Organizer; Equipment; Set up; Tear down. AB1T Doug – CW op; Equipment. K1JCM John – Set up; Tear down. K1WAL Kathi – Food; Setup. K1ZK Zack – Ph Op; VHF Op; Setup; Tear down. K2MME Howie – CW op; Setup; Tear down. KB1FRW Bob – VHF op; Equipment; GOTA Coach; Set up; Tear down. KB1KPO Jerry – VHF/GOTA op; Set up; Tear down. KB1LHB Adam – Tear down. KB1LIF Barb – VHF op. KB1LOT Jim – Tear down. KB1MDC Alan – Setup. KB1PDW Spence – Food; Setup. KB1RQX Chuck – Setup; Tear down. KB1UGM Norman – GOTA Op. KB1UGN Iain – GOTA Op. KB1VJD Cheryl – GOTA Op. KE1AZ Jim – GOTA Coach; Setup; Tear down. N1WWW Robin – Tear down. N1YD Jeff – GOTA op; Demos; Set up; Tear down. N1YWB Jeff – Phone op; Setup; Tear dn. N2EA Jim – CW Op. N6PRT Doug – Setup; Tear down. W1SJ Mitch – Chairman; Phone op; Equipment; GOTA Coach; Set up; Tear down; Results. W4YFJ Bob – GOTA Coach; Bulletins.