West Virginia Field Day 2008

posted 7/4/08


John, N5AAA arrived at the Farley Flophouse on Wednesday, June 25th.  His plan was to install Ubuntu on a spare machine of WA8ZWJ's so Keith can begin learning about Linux.

Friday morning we headed towards West Virginia via a short stop at Schmidt's Sausage Haus in German Village as we passed through Columbus.

Upon our arrive at WB8NSL's, N5AAA and WA8ZWJ enjoy a victory beer for completing the trip OK!  WB8NSL has a nap.

After Charlie woke up, we headed to Da Bear's Den to drop off some of our stuff.  After dropping off the stuff, the four of us headed to dinner.  Upon our return to Da Bear's, Dave, N8DRM and his daughter Meghan arrived.  We had Beargaritas especially prepared by Da Bear and watched some old Field Day videos.  Man, does this group know how to have fun or what?


During the course, of the evening, Zed W. Jay made a presentation to En Es El that would have been made during the Gathering in May, but Chuck did not attend the Gathering.  Keith and Don enjoy a second round of Beargaritas.  I'm not as think as your drunkel people I am.


Saturday morning arrives with no serious hangovers - thank goodness!  We are blessed with the opportunity to have KB8HEK join us for breakfast at the P&H Restaurant in Pennsboro.  He also came out to the site later and visited as well.  After breakfast we headed to Da Bear's to begin our portion of the set up procedure.  Of course, Don and Mike, KN8J had done a lot of preliminary work to facilitate our effort.  The tractor not only does a great job of raising the tower but it also acts as a great guy anchor!  The tower supports a fan dipole on 20, 40 and 80 meters.  One end of each dipole pair is supported by trees.  The other ends are supported by 2 by 4's attached to aluminum poles with duct tape.

A stake is driven into Da Ground by Da Bear and then secured to the 2 by 4 with duct tape.  It turns out, this type of installation can stand a whole lot of wind and gets the ends of the dipoles nice and high.


Our IOOK Banner is proudly displayed on the outside of "The Annex" - the area where folks hang out and chat and such that is away from the operating position so as not to bother the guys who are "On The Air".

The operating area is a screened in canopy that also has covered protection from the weather on all four sides.  As it turns out, we would need such protection from the wind and rain during Field Day 2008.

Mike had set up his laptop and interfaced it into the rig for rig control through the Navigator.  However, some problem reared it's ugly head and Mike ended up having to disconnect the fancy control software from the rig.  The logging laptop worked OK though, so, no problem occurred with that part of the set up.


As a portion of the Field Day activities, Chuck, WB8NSL checked into one of the WV traffic nets and passed our message to the SM for the 100 point bonus score.



As it has become our tradition, we had our cheeseburger and with it dinner Saturday night!


As we were preparing to copy the W1AW CW Bulletin a terrific thunderstorm with high winds came through the area.  It caught our Annex canopy and threatened to toss it over.  However, through the efforts of N5AAA, WB8NSL and WA8ZWJ we managed to keep it from becoming air born.  After attempting to tie it down, Charlie suggested that we remove the poles that support the back of the canopy and let it come to the ground on that side thereby no longer capturing the wind.  What a great idea!  So, the canopy worked in an altered fashion for the remainder of the night and we were still able to copy the W1AW message.



It is too bad that not all combinations of loggers and operators got their pictures taken.  However, a fair number of the combinations are shown throughout this web page.  As Zed W. Jay finished his CW session and was preparing to return the station to SSB, a pair of clip jumpers supplying 12 volts for the memory keyer got shorted together and the clip jumpers acted as fuses as they turned the air in the operating canopy blue!  John, N5AAA said the good part about that incident was the fact that the canopy no longer smelled like cigars from the late night CW session!  Har! 


As the end of the Field Day time period drew to a close we started tearing down the stuff that had been set up in and around the Annex.  Even Flat KBob assisted in coiling up the ladder line for the G5RV on the back up station!

Da Bear goes to great length to make our Field Day site as comfortable as possible including running water and a sink to wash up!


Below is our group picture of the gang that remained at the end of Field Day having a bit of fun with IOOK President, Flat KBob!


Below is a copy of the electronically filed summary for KN8J's Field Day effort which got us another 50 points of bonus.



Below is the post Field Day Press Release that WB8NSL submitted to the newspaper for additional Field Day information.


After tear down and showers we went to dinner and ran into an old and somewhat inactive IOOK'er, WD8BOT at the restaurant!

The next morning we ended up back at the same restaurant for breakfast and Dave, W8UI was inducted into the IOOK as Vice President!


Below is a listing of all the scores and a graph representing those scores since we began getting together for Field Day in West Virginia.  Yes, Charlie has kept all those records for all these years!  Way to go Charlie!


Our thanks go out to WB8NSL, KE8NK and KN8J for all their efforts in making this outing a successful one!  We do appreciate everything you do!

Respectfully submitted by WA8ZWJ