Radio W4KAZ

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Field Day 2009 as N4PY

2009 FD was an expedition out to the Western NC Appalachians. N4YDU, N4PY, K4CZ and myself operated under N4PY’s call in Stone Mountain State Park. NC, not GA. Not at all the same as Stone Mountain in Georgia, as our own ancient granite lava dome does not sport the bas relief artwork.

The WX here turned out very well. Saturday was on the warm side, but Sunday was cooler, and rain was not a problem. Not a cloud in the sky. Happened to also spend Monday and Tuesday in Boone, and the WX was the sort the chamber of commerce there uses for advertising – it was that pretty.

The shelter reserved for the FD purpose was perfect for a 2A setup, which was fortunate for our planned 2A operation. We were able to mount all of the planned antennas, and were able to find a suitable spot on a down hill slope for the generator.

This year’s score was down from last year’s 3A effort, and we had only four operators this year. We wound up with about five hours of downtime of the 48 hours of time available(24 hours on each station). That allowed us to log 1946 QSO’s(including dupes), which came out to be 6564 Qso points. With bonus points we should have a final score of around 7200. Not too shabby for just four guys.

Everything seemed to go smoothly from set up through tear down. We had about 500 CW QSO’s on both 40m and 20m, but for my own part, the 40m Q’s were much more difficult due to high noise on the 40m antennas.

The Good:

The Stone Mountain site was perfect. Set up went smoothly. WX Conditions were good. Radio conditions were fair to good, which means much better than 2007 and 2008. No bear vistits, slithery reptiles with noisy tails, or two-legged snakes. Very few biting bugs.

The Bad:

Long drive to the site(except for N4PY). Campground was nearly full early Friday. Bugs really seem to prefer CFL lighting – perhaps its a correlation to their communist hive mentality at work. Big scary spiders…Augh! Lost track of the baluns, needed one of them on site.

The Ugly:

High noise levels on 40m. This was unusual, as the 80m noise was not as high. The noise on the E/W antenna was S7+ and was S5 on the N/S antenna. The N/S antenna was plagued by RF feedback (I somehow misplaced the baluns during packing/repacking). If I were to do it again I think I’d give the 25KV utility hub a good scan with an AM radio to verify it as the source of the QRN, then see how the antenna placement might be improved. Perhaps the high band antennas could be placed nearer to the utility box(i.e. where the 40m antennas were). 20m up might be more resistant to the RFI.

Packing Notes:

  1. Missing the baluns.
  2. Didn’t need the filters.
  3. No more CFL light bulbs for FD – bug magnets!!!!
  4. Need extra lightweight cords for the FD lighting

2 comments to Field Day 2009 as N4PY

  • Sounds like you had a good time.
    I noticed that 6m was cooperating this year.

  • We didn’t have a lot of activity on 6m, but there were a couple of short openings. We made a few Q’s with WI, MN, and IA on Sunday morning. Heard an NE, but he couldn’t hear us. Also snagged PR early Saturday afternoon.

    Its interesting how short some of the openings were. Not a shock for the 6m fans, but I’m new to 6m, so the curiosity factor was higher.

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