ARRL Field Day 2005 - Long message

Iain McFadyen mcfadyenusa at
Sat Jun 11 00:50:32 CDT 2005

ARRL Field Day will be held June 25-26, 2005. 
After discussions at a recent Board meeting, and after several discussions with Club members, it has been proposed that AMRAD should join forces with Vienna Wireless Society, to participate in this year's event. 
AMRAD brings some very desirable resources to the table. One being the AMRAD van and its tower. This asset perfectly fills a shortfall in the VWS Field Day preparations, as they have traditionally had no suitable skyhooks on which to raise any VHF/UHF antennas. 
So, we'd like to invite the AMRAD membership to join in and enjoy the tradition of Amateur Radio at its finest: Field Day is a fantastic event, not only because of the 'contest' aspects, but also because it gives us the opportunity to publicly demonstrate Amateur Radio to both the general public, and to served agencies and first responders in the emergency organisations, who are invited to come and see what Amateur Radio has to offer. There are bonus points for operating/demonstrating non-traditional modes, such as Packet, APRS, ATV and SSTV. Perhaps AMRAD members could contribute to these?
As in the past, there are other bonus points too: Operating using alternate power, copying the W1AW bulletin, being visited by a government elected official or representative of an agency served by ARES, making a contact via Amateur Satellite, and many many more! The general rules can be found at .
Vienna Wireless Society have a reserved area at Burke Lake Park for this event. Enter Burke Lake Park from Route 123, (don't enter the Golf entrance: go just a few hundred yards further South on Rt123 and take the MAIN entrance. As soon as you turn off Rt123, look for an immediate LEFT turn, 50 yards before the gatehouse. If you get to the gatehouse, you have gone too far. This left turn takes you North, towards the Golf parking area, but there will be a locked gate at the northern end, preventing access from the Golf area.  Here is the VWS web page for Field Day:
Together, VWS and AMRAD will establish eight stations: 5 on HF (one of which is digital), 1 on VHF/UHF, 1 on Satellites, and 1 as a "Get-on-the-Air" station. We get bonus points for operating a station where non-Hams can operate, and even more bonus points if we get under-18-year-olds to operate the GOTA station, so bring your kids, or invite neighbour's kids to drop in at the event too!
There will be a number of people visiting the site on Friday, 24 June, with spud launchers, bow&arrow, and catapult devices to launch ropes over various trees, in preparation for raising the HF wire antennas. Come along and see this spectacle!! Some of the tents will be erected Friday evening too. I believe there will be some overnight campers taking care of our assets on Friday night.
Saturday morning will continue with the setup. Contest starts at 2pm local clock time, and we will be operating till 2pm Sunday.
I have been nominated to be "Satellite Station Captain". Serves me right for standing up at a VWS meeting and announcing that a new satellite had been successfully launched back in April!. Another member immediately nominated me as the Sat Station Captain. 
For the satellite station, we have been promised the use of an FT-847, and as of today, I have been promised the use of a pre-built Az/El rotor system on a tripod, with computer control! So the only things left to sort out are the antennas for 2m and 70cm. I hope to be able to get circular-polarised beams working on both bands. There are 12 passes by FM satellites (AO-51 and SO-50), and at least 12 passes by SSB satellites (VO-52 and FO-29). 
The satellite station will share the AMRAD van with the VHF/UHF station. Matthew, KB1EXM is the VHF/UHF station captain, and is putting a lot of energy into getting his station together. 
There are station captains nominated for each of the five HF stations, plus GOTA. Operating schedules are not strictly mandated by VWS. However, I'll send out a list of station captains later in the week, so that if any AMRAD members want to take to the key or the mic, they can discuss schedules with the station captains ahead of time. **I know that overnight operators are particlarly being sought. **
VWS have arranged a food tent, and have a schedule to provide Saturday lunch and dinner, and Sunday breakfast and I believe lunch also. Water, Ice, and Sodas are already planned too. I have not yet addressed the issue of how AMRAD can contribute to provisions for the food, but I do know that **Cooks and kitchen Helper volunteers are being sought**
At last count, there will be seven tents. plus the AMRAD van, occupied by operating stations. If we are likely to have a good showing of AMRAD members, it may be necessary to set up additional awnings and/or tents, to ensure that all attendees have somewhere convenient to sit, meet, eat, and generally congregate, so it would be good to have some AMRAD-supplied living area supplied. 
I'm open to suggestions regarding how much detail you all consider is necessary to collect from potential attendees:  As a start, I'd welcome a quick 3-line reply from all AMRAD members, indicating in the broadest fashion:
Name: ??
Expected time onsite: (Broken down into the broadest elements, eg Sat evening, Sun all day, etc.) ??
Desired operating areas: (HF CW only.... HF digital,... Sat,... VHF) ??
For example, mine will read:
Name: Iain McFadyen   KI4HLV
Onsite: Sat 10am - Sun 4pm continuous.
Operating: Satellite station during Sat passes. VHF/UHF overnight.
Most of the VWS/AMRAD stations will be connected together using a Wireless LAN, and a sophisticated logging program, which allows stations to send messages to each other, see what frequencies the other stations are on, and check the other station logs to see if a station has been worked.
If any AMRAD member has any suggestions for non-traditional mode setups, or any offers of help, or any suggestions, feel free to contact me by return. 
I hope you will all come out and operate on one of the stations. Or at least, come and give us all some moral support. But also please consider helping out during setup/teardown too! 
We are all bound to have a great time. Come and join us!
Best wishes,
Iain McFadyen    KI4HLV     McLean, VA    FM18jw.

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