West Virginia IOOK Field Day

June, 2004

Field Day occurred over the weekend of June 26th and 27th.  WA8ZWJ, N8KXM, KC8UAW, AB8CO, N8DRM and W8ED traveled to Da Bear's Den, KE8NK's QTH near Harrisville, West Virginia.  There they were joined by KE8NK, WB8NSL, KN8J and WS8C.  Band conditions were not great when the contest started Saturday afternoon but they did pick up as the day progressed.  An impressive number of visitors came out to the site to learn more about amateur radio and emergency communications.  Also, demonstrations on APRS, PSK-31 and Slow Scan TV were offered as well!  Below is the ARRL's Field Day promotional poster

Individual ID badges were made for each of the participants.  Below is a sample of the badges.

Field Day is organized by the American Radio Relay League as an annual event to promote ham radio activity and emergency preparedness.  The object for participants is to contact as many different amateur radio stations in a 24 hour period using temporary antennas and emergency power.  Our primary antenna system consisted of a fan dipole for 20, 40 and 80 meters.  We also had a G5RV for the demonstration station.  Each of the stations were run on 12 volt car batteries.

The Ohio contingent minus Fast Eddie arrived at WB8NSL's to help him pack up his station, but, alas, he was ready this year and all the stuff was already in the pickup truck!  So we had a stand up visit session!  Top row L to R - N8DRM, AB8CO, KC8UAW, WA8ZWJ, N8KXM and WB8NSL.  Snoopy was stacking extra zzz's in preparation for FD weekend.  Since the IOOK travels on it's stomach, we headed to Alice's Restaurant...er...a Diner and had Friday night dinner.  After dinner we reassembled a portion of NSL's station to copy the W1AW CW Bulletin.

I think N8DRM must have copied in his sleep as he was imitating Snoopy!

After the W1AW CW session, we headed to Da Bear's Den where Fast Eddie joined us and after setting up camp we enjoyed a "solving the world's problems" session with Beargaritas!  During the session, WB8NSL was awarded the "Royal Order Of The Bright Blue Flash" award which was originally presented during the "Gathering of the Faithful", but, Chuck was not in attendance.

The next morning found us at the P & H Restaurant.  The P & H really stands for the Pennsboro and Harrisville Railroad but it is affectionately referred to as the "Puke and Hurl"!  At the table L to R - W8ED, Ed; N8DRM, Dave; AB8CO, Randy; KE8NK, Don (Da Bear); N8KXM, Lou; WB8NSL, Charlie; KB8ZVT, Gary; KC8ZVW, Ed; WA8ZWJ, Keith and KC8UAW, David.  As you can see, Da Bear has made a permanent improvement to the Field Day site by adding a convenient wash basin!  Pretty cool!  After all, there is no hot water.....yet.  Antenna set up began right away.  By the time ZWJ and NSL finished shopping for vittles the tower was up and progress was being made on erecting the leg supports for the fan dipole.

Notice the lavish use of Duct Tape!  We are sure the Red Green would be proud!  Of course, no WV Field Day would be complete without Da Bear wearing his famous "Heathkit" T shirt!

Finally 2PM arrives and the contest begins.  The primary station goes active right away.  The secondary station (for demonstration purposes) goes active as well.  Local visitors Jim, KC8QFH and Tyler (no call yet, but, he is studying) arrive for a tour.  Finally, Charlie, WB8NSL sends a message to the SEC/SCM for a 100 point bonus!  Yee haw!

Next is a look at the tent city erected at Da Bear's Den.  Ed makes final touches on his air mattress before moving in.  Next, NSL and ZWJ check the rule book looking for additional bonus points!  Finally, Da Bear prepares the hamburgers for our Field Day dinner!  Yes, I do believe he could receive the Fire Chef award too!

ZWJ and NSL usually take the graveyard shift and operate CW.  What KXM was doing up at 3:56 AM taking pictures, I do not know, but, he was!  A bit later, N8DRM fixed "Skunk Breakfast Mexically" for the gang!  Mmm Mmm!  You can look over David's shoulder and have a peek at the computer duping program that N8DRM has set up for the gang.  Finally, sleepy time caught up with a few of us who had burned the candle at both ends for a couple of days.

Nap time continues.  Upon the tolling of the 2PM hour, the contest was over.  It was time for our annual photos session.  This year we elected to form up at the base of the tower.  Knock down and clean up went relatively fast!  Before we knew it we were back in NSL's driveway waiting for our turn in the shower.  Man, there is nothing quite like a shower after Field Day!  Finally, Lou checks out Charlie's sun dial clock but is having difficulty reading it.  After giving up on the sun dial, Lou decides to have just one more beer!

This note is from WB8NSL as a wrap up of the Field Day info for 2004.


Dear Sirs,
Good news -bad news!   The stats in my archives show that this year's FD was our second all time best showing.  Our record year was 2002 with a 1A station and a score of 3342.  Detailed info as to number of operators present simply doesn't exist.  After some rules discussion with KE8NK, he says each nontraditional mode up to a max of three is worth 100 points each.  So, good news, we will revise the claimed score by 100.  In my estimation the real competition is merely with ourselves.  It was a definite plus to copy the W1AW CW bulletin on Friday night.  So we had a good time 1A Battery at 3184.
Thanks, Mac, WX8F, for being there to take the bonus point message to SEC/SCM.
So that's the "wrap up" from FD 2004 Ritchie County, WV, Station W8ED.   
Sincerely, Chuck,
WB8NSL-EC Ritchie County, WV.
PS:  FD 2005 will be our Quarter Century effort in an "organized?" fashion.


So, another WV Field Day has come and gone.  As always, a fun time was had and it was a learning experience.

Many thanks to WA8ZWJ and AB8CO for the collection of snap shots.  A special thank you and a tip of the hat to KE8NK and WB8NSL for their efforts and fantastic HOSSpitality!