Field Day Kick-off meeting recap

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    David Merchant


    A handful of club members met this past Sunday at the Nashua library to have a field day 2017 kick-off meeting.  In the interested of keeping everyone informed, I’d like to summarize what was discussed, and provide insight into some of the open items. 

    First and foremost, we’re hoping to have broad participation in field day this year.  There’s plenty of work to do for everyone, and we we do everything in our power to make it a safe, friendly and enjoyable learning experience for all.

    With this in mind, here is a brief summary of what was discussed, along with some preliminary team chairperson assignments.

    1. The first item of discussion was concerns about the condition of our Big Orange Box (BOB) storage container and the club equipment.  Dave Michaels agreed to arrange a BOB party weekend in April to inventory and re-organize the trailer.  We will set aside 2-days for this exercise (Sat/Sun), but hope to wrap it up on Saturday.  It was suggested that we take a quick peek in the trailer between now and then to better understand what we’re up against.  Dave is also making several wall pegs to bring equipment up off the floor.  Mike Ryan agreed to create a budget for new foot lockers, and will send this to Fred.  Mike will also bring a grinder to the BOB party to grind the anchor stakes to a point.
    2. We also wanted to remove a few items from BOB for testing and maintenance.  This includes the club generator, which needs preventative maintenance and a new fuel level gauge.  Mike Rush agreed to perform this service (oil, filters, plugs, coolant, etc).  Secondly, we need to sweep the club bandpass filters to ensure they are operational.
    3. With regards to power, we are going to try a new arrangement this year.  Instead of a centralized power plant, we will use portable Honda EU2000i generators.  Fred and I each have 2 (total of 4), and Mike Ryan indicated that he had one as well.  We need to determine if we have extended run fuel tanks available for all the units.  We also discussed potentially using the existing club generator to run part of FD for comparison purposes.
    4. Get on the Air Station – Last year, the GOTA station created a lot of interference to the 20m working station.  As a result, both stations couldn’t operate simultaneously.  Fred suggested that we combine our GOTA station and Satellite station this year.  Potentially, we will use my portable Hex Beam so we have another directional antenna for the GOTA station.
    5. We spent time discussing potential sites for the event.  My objective is to select a primary and backup site by 3-19-17, and begin discussions with the site owners to secure rights to use it.  The site will determine how much room we have for Antennas.  The ideal site will have in/out access for vehicles, a north/south or NW / SE orientation, Unobstructed / High AGL (Above Ground Level), public access, and low RF noise levels.  A site selection committee has been established, chaired by myself, with participation from Fred Kemmerer (AB1OC), Matt Sapienza (N1ZGN), and Jeff Millar (WA1HCO).
    6. Fred Kemmerer and Mike Rush (KU1V) have agreed to chair the wire antenna / V-Beam / 80m construction crew.  In preparation, Fred agreed to explore ways to build a more effective 80m antenna.  One of the ideas was to assemble a phased array using two verticals made from extra antenna tower sections with an elevated ground plane.
    7. Mike Ryan (K1WVO) agreed to lead the falling derrick tower construction crew.  We are considering the addition of a third tower this year to be used for digital modes.  We are missing the derrick pole / winch to build a third tower, but Mike also agreed to fabricate one.  Mike will provide Fred with a budget for the necessary parts.
    8. Anita Kemmerer (AB1QB) has agreed to be scoring chairman again this year.  Thanks Anita!
    9. Jeff Millar (WA1HCO) has agreed to be the 6-meter station master.
    10. Need to assign team leads for station masters, safety officer, and food.  Also need to identify CW ops.
    11. The next Field Day meeting is scheduled for Sunday, March 26th  from 1 – 3 PM in the Hunt Room at the Nashua Public Library.  

    All are welcome to attend.
    Additional details will be forthcoming.

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