West Virginia Field Day 2012

posted 6/27/12



Thursday, June 21, 2012


Here's a shot Mike - KN8J took during set up.


Here is a short YouTube video Mike - KN8J shot during set up:



Friday, June 22, 2012


Keith - WA8ZWJ catches up with John - N5AAA who has Jan - KA9VQS, Lou - N8KXM and Sandi on board.

We are Eastbound on I-70...We now have 2 in our convoy...


We stop for lunch in Columbus at Schmidt's Sausage Haus


Randy - KD8OEA joined the gang for lunch!

L-R Keith, Randy, Lou, Sandi, John and Jan


After lunch we paid a visit to the Fudge Haus neat Schmidt's


Sandi is sampling the fudge!


As we are getting neat Nelsonville, Ohio, John asked Keith and Randy to get ahead and see about parking for the camper near our rest stop at Ohio Valley Traders.

Here's a shot of Randy as Keith passes him.


Here's a shot of John as Keith passes him.


Ohio Valley has quite an assortment of items for sale.  Lou really liked this 50 caliber machine gun!


"I want one of these!"


"The inside of that barrel is as big as my little finger!"


Fast Eddie - W8ED and his daughter Kathy joined us at Ohio Valley Traders.

Now we have 4 in our caravan!


Approaching and state line on a rather new (only 2 or 3 years old) road.


Here it comes...


Almost heaven, West Virginia!


Yes, Keith's GPS maps are a bit out of date.  Here he is crossing the state line (the black triangle shows he is heading south) and there is no road shown!  Obviously this bridge and road were added after he last updated the maps!


We arrive at Da Bear's near Harrisville, West Virginia!  Here are Mike - KN8J (foreground) and Don, Da Bear - KE8NK (background)


Our first mass visit of the weekend!


Lou decides to trim some branches from above the camper.


Ah, Charlie - WB8NSL has arrived!  He has brought a gift for Keith!


Time to set up the G5RV antenna for The Annex.


No!  Zed is not fishing for flying fish!  He is trying to get a line through the limbs to pull a string to support part of the wire antenna.


Mike carefully adjusts tension on one end of the antenna.


Charlie reaches for the center insulator.


We broke a string so we try again.


Lou, Sandi and Jan enjoying the entertainment!


Fast Eddie and Mike pondering the wave form that will derive from this type of installation.


"Why am I standing here holding this string?"


Lou tried out the chair that looks SO comfortable!  And, it is!





Fast Eddie entertains the troops by playing his "air guitar"!  Don't give up your day job Ed!


Don is saying "I wonder what that contraption is?"


It will never fly!


Hmm, not really sure what John is doing under there.  Maybe changing the oil?  Ah, yes!  He is adjusting the fluxy!


Mike says "Pee Yooo!  Something really stinks about this antenna installation!"


If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!


The center support is going up again.


Charlie is pulling on the other end of the string and pulling the center support up into the tree.


Kathy and Sandi watch in amazement.  OK, maybe amazement is not the right word?


Charlie's wife, Pam and granddaughter Emma arrive!


The 12 of us head into Harrisville for dinner!

Yup!  The IOOK does travel on it's stomach!


Back at Da Bear's after dinner, Steve - KJ4CWQ and his wife Tonya and daughter Gina arrive!


John and Lou are setting up the television antenna for the camper.


It would not work properly that close to the camper so it had to moved out into the field.


This is the feed point for the G5RV for the Annex radio.


Time to copy the ARRL Field Day Bulletin from W1AW.  Here's Charlie - WB8NSL.


Randy - KD8OEA copying the Bulletin


 Keith - WA8ZWJ copying the Bulletin




After the Bulletin was copied it was time for Don to bring out the BEARGARITA's!

When Don uncapped the bottle the whole area filled with an unusual haze...


Hmm, this photo is a bit blurry - probably because the camera was becoming overcome from the fumes from the Beargaritas as Da Bear was pouring.



Cheers!  Thanks to Da Bear!


Fast Eddie and Keith are finishing off the bottom of the elixir!  It is really a great thing that neither of them have to drive!

As it was, they were having trouble standing!


Even Flat KBob enjoyed some Beargarita!


Saturday, June 23, 2012


As is our tradition, breakfast was at the P&H in Pennsboro at 8AM!


Hmm, Bill - KB8HEK is running a bit late!  No problem!  Our waitress managed to expedite his order and his food came out with ours!


IOOK group breakfast shot!  L to R - Bill - KB8HEK, Ed - W8ED, Lou - N8KXM, Randy - KD8OEA, Tonya, Gina, Steve - KJ4CWQ, Charlie - WB8NSL, Keith - WA8ZWJ, John - N5AAA, Don - KE8NK


Even though it is a bit out of focus, this shot gives you a feel for the layout of our Field Day site.



Ed is starting to set up his auxiliary station in The Annex.  The Annex is where we hang out when we are not operating.


Some like it HOT!


This is Jim.  He is a CB'er who heard about our Field Day activities and came over to check things out.

According to Steve, he wasn't very impressed.  Too many computers and not enough radios.


Wow!  Has Bob - N0BIX shown up at our West Virginia Field Day?


Ah, false alarm!  It is actually Da Bear with a new blue had made to made Bob's!  They are now two of a kind!


Flat KBob wanted to check out the N0BIXie styled hat!


Hey KBob!  If you are finished with my hat I will take it back!  Thanks!


Relaxing a bit before things get wound up...


Da Bear...


Fast Eddie continues hooking up the auxiliary station.


The guys decide to set up John's new vertical antenna (The Eagle One) like Lou has.  It is still brand new in the box!


Fast Eddie is ready to listen for now and, hopefully, play a bit of PSK-31 later.


Continuing the Eagle One vertical antenna set up.




Mike - KN8J is playing a neat Morse Code game that not only improves your CW copying skills but your keyboard skills as well!

If you are interested in trying this Morse Code game click on the link provided below to download it:



OK!  Here we have about 30 feet of tower with about a ten foot pipe on the end.  It is an end support for the G5RV antenna that will be used by the primary operating station.  The other end of the G5RV is supported by the trees in the woods on the right.


Here is a panorama shot of our Field Day area.  Starting on the far left you see the main operations screen house.  About in the middle of the shot is The Annex where we hang out when not operating.  Then as you progress to the right you see the assortment of vehicles and tents where we will lay our sleepy heads later.


Here's a close up of the screen house.


Here's The Annex from one angle...


Here's The Annex from another angle...notice - Da Bear is catching 40 winks!  :-)


This is John and Jan's camper.


Fast Eddie's tent on the left and Randy's on the right.


Charlie, John and Lou have gone to the hardware store so John can buy some wire to use for ground radials for the new vertical.  Here 'tis - all ready to go on the air - but, it needs the ground radials!



Here is a short YouTube video of the general layout of the Field Day site:



OK!  It is 2PM and W8ED is ON THE AIR with Fast Eddie - W8ED at the microphone!


Randy - KD8OEA is running the computerized logging and duplicate checking software.




A short time after Field Day begins, there is a satellite pass that Don and Mike set up to try for.


Don aims the antenna and listens for the strongest signals while Mike controls the radio and adjusts the frequency for Doppler shift.


Gina is relaxing in the reclining chair!  Very comfortable!


Fast Eddie is logging while Randy is operating.


This time the guys attempt to contact the Space Station.  They know the chances are slim because of the recent crew change but they wanted to try just in case!


Mike is telling Steve about the satellite tracking software on his laptop.

Mike uses Orbitron for satellite tracking: http://www.stoff.pl/


The guys have used a shovel stuck in the ground to secure the coax end of the main station G5RV so the ladder line does not swing in the breeze.

Hmm, looks to me like we are digging for contacts!


Looking up the ladder line at the center of the G5RV...


The guys are still trying for a satellite contact.


They roll this small utility trailer out into the clear and then roll it back under the trees to keep the sun from cooking the equipment.

L-R is the control head for the TM-D710A, a print out of this satellite pass, the radio and the battery to power the radio.



Tyler - KD8AJH and his girl friend, Missy join us!


Gina and her doll are having a good time at Field Day!


John, Gina and Steve (Dad)


Gina and Tonya (Mom)


Joe - WA8CMD has arrived!


To see a short YouTube video of Joe's arrival click on the link below.



Fast Eddie logs while Tyler operates.


To view a short YouTube video of one of Tyler's contacts click on the link below.



Fast Eddie is explaining the logging program to Missy.


Reluctantly, Missy agrees to try logging for a while.


Charlie - WB8NSL logs while Lou - N8KXM operates.


Da Bear is fixing hamburgers for dinner while the other guys assist!


Lou wants sautéed onions with his hamburger!


After dinner Randy is playing with Mike's CW Game.


To view a short YouTube video of Randy playing the CW Game click on the link below.



To see a short YouTube video of what Mike plans to do with the video clips he is making click on the link below.



Charlie checks into a net and passes his message to the SCM!  That is 100 easy points!


Here is a copy of the message he sent...


Ed - W8ED logs for Joe - WA8CMD.


Ed - W8ED logs for Don - KE8NK.


Fast Eddie takes a break from logging and is playing with the PSK.


Gina entertains the guys!


Mike - KN8J is now in uniform!


Don - KE8NK is logging while Lou - N8KXM operates.


John - N5AAA is logging while Randy - KD8OEA operates.



Don - KE8NK logging for Mike - KN8J sometime after 10PM.


Fast Eddie - W8ED now logging for Mike - KN8J sometime around midnight.



Sunday, June 24, 2012


It is 3AM and time for a shift change!  These guys have been running CW since 10PM!

Ed - W8ED logging for Mike - KN8J


The new crew is Charlie - WB8NSL and Keith - WA8ZWJ.  They will be on the air until about 7AM.


It's a little after 7AM and Da Bear is cooking up our traditional "Skunk Breakfast Al La Mexican"!



Man!  The glare from the sun is something else!  But it feels good because it got kind of chilly last night!

Lou is running PSK-31.


Tortilla being warmed on the left and Skunk Breakfast on the right!  Mmm Mmm!


Lou - N8KXM is running PSK-31 while breakfast is being served.

Yes, he managed to eat his Skunk Breakfast and operate too!


John points out the new ground radials for the Eagle One to Don.


Lou continues working PSK-31 while the next crew prepares to get back on the air in the main station.


Fast Eddie finally gets up after going to bed about 3:30AM.  He fails to properly wrap his Skunk Breakfast and some of it ends up on his shirt!


Don - KE8NK is logging for John - N5AAA


License plate on John and Jan's camper.


John - N5AAA works another AAA station...

To see a short YouTube video of John working that station click on the link below.




Joe found out that he missed Skunk Breakfast so he picked up breakfast on his way to the Field Day site.


Fast Eddie and Keith sort out the text from the W1AW ARRL Field Day Message.  They use a taped copy of the transmission to confirm the text.



Here's the Field Day Message from W1AW for 2012.


Randy - KD8OEA is logging for Lou - N8KXM.

To view a short video of the computer screen about this time of the day click on the link below.



Bill - KB8HEK arrives!  He is our local Served Agency Official!  That was an easy 100 points!

Bill is out of IOOK uniform because the laundry shrunk all of IOOK shirts.  (Yeah, right!)  He ordered a new one but Keith forgot to bring it!  Keith mailed his new on to him on Tuesday, June 26th!  :-)


Sunday R&R time...


Sunday R&R time...


Sunday R&R time...


Sunday R&R time...


Sunday R&R time...


Mike and Don make another attempt for a satellite contact.




Sadly, even though we had several close calls, we never completed an actual exchange.


Zed W. Jay is taking a siesta.  Long night last night!


Now he is racking them and stacking them!


John - N5AAA logs for Joe - WA8CMD


Tear down has begun.  No, even though it is Sunday, Da Bear is not praying.  He is helping get the air out of Randy's tent!


Charlie did not get much sleep last night.  He catches a few ZZZ's...


To view a short video of the guys agitating Mike a bit about his movies click on the link below.



It is 2PM and the Field Day event is over for 2012!

Here is our group picture for this year's West Virginia Field Day.

Not pictured are:  KB8HEK and KD8AJH


The Annex is down and all that remains are the tables.


Here is The Annex stored for another year.


Da Bear built this new "Field Day Box Trailer" with the hopes that everything would fit in it.  However, it is still not big enough for that task!


Fast Eddie and Mike check the computer logs and add in the PSK-31 contacts from this morning.


The guys help bring the tower down.  Another task completed.


Visit time continues as the time draws near to head to the shower!


More visiting...

Hey Charlie!  Your slip is showing!


Dinner this evening was at the North Bend State Park lodge.


The restaurant is in this part of the building.


This is Kirk.  He is Joe - WA8CND's son.


Group photo taken by Kirk.

L-R - WA8CND, N8KXM, Sandi, Pam, WB8NSL, Kathy, W8ED, KA9VQS, N5AAA and WA8ZWJ


After dinner Charlie and Pam took Lou and Sandi on a ride around the park.  In addition to the assorted sights they say, they also saw some deer.


After dinner Fast Eddie worked on the Field Day Summary that will be submitted and Keith worked on the Press Release.  The summary will be submitted electronically by Ed and that will add 50 easy points.  Charlie will submit the Press Release to the news paper for another easy 100 points!


Here is the Press Release...


This is a copy of the electronically submitted form.



Monday, June 25, 2012


Early morning view of Dotson Heights where a bunch of the gang stay for Sunday night.


Breakfast at the P&H!  L-R Jan, John, Sandi, Pam, Charlie


L-R Kathy, Ed, Keith, Lou, Don


After breakfast we went to the place where John and Jan had parked their camper.  Keith used John's air compressor to add some air to his front tires.


After our last Goodbye's we all parted company and went our separate ways towards home.


Here's a link to a YouTube video that Mike - KN8J made of our Field Day activities!



Many thanks to our West Virginia friends who did so much to make our Field Day a successful and fun one!

We do appreciate everything you do!


One of the items in Keith's e-mail from the weekend was this clip from Charlie - NN3V about Ham Radio in a local newspaper that appeared in print in the Thursday, June 21st edition.


Charlie gets a silent add for the IOOK while being interviewed by the local TV station.  Click on the link below:


Too cool!

Congratulations Charlie!