ARRL FD22 LogoRadio Club of Tacoma was back in the field this summer at our usual site:  the southeastern portion of the Western State Hospital campus, directly across from Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood (map).

In the open field we set up an antenna farm consisting of:

  • Two 50-foot AB-577 towers supporting 3-element 20M monobanders for phone and CW respectively
  • A 5-element 15M monobander supported by an extension ladder
  • An eastward-firing 3-element wire yagi (and separately-fed catenary N/S dipole) for 40M at 60 feet supported by tall firs
  • An 80M inverted vee at 80 feet also supported by fir trees

A 5-element 10M yagi did not get put together in time to catch the opening on that band, if there was one... the vertical we used instead did not gain us very many Qs.

FD2023 ant sm

All stations were housed in a 20x30-foot shelter beside the central fir tree.  We had Icom, Flex and Elecraft radios.  Logging was accomplished with N3FJP software on laptops connected via a LAN to a server system.  A GPS-conditioned NTP server kept the FT8/4 ops sync'd with the rest of the world.

FD2023 night sm

Our kitchen, eating and gathering shelter were set up in a convenient grove of smaller trees near the road.  Camp chefs Paul W7PFU and Jan K7HTU, along with Red WB7EC and other helpers, kept us well fed during the weekend.  The Saturday evening meal was POT LUCK, with the club supplying grilled entries and soft drinks.  One thoughtful participant provided this tasty dessert:

FD2023 cake sm

Results

Hopes were high for good conditions this year, with cycle 25 well underway; and although 80M was very noisy, propagation was pretty good on 40M thru 15M (15 was open well into the night).  However, we didn't beat our score of last year, partly because we made more phone and fewer digital contacts, but also because we missed out on a couple of bonuses.

QSOs by mode

QSOs

Mode

QSO points

651

CW

X2 = 1302

476

PH

X1 = 476

224

DIG

X2 = 448

1351

2226

Our effort was a great success in other respects, however, as we had over 55 participants, with 28 operators taking turns at the mic, key or keyboard.  Many were attending their first Field Day.  Special mention:

  • Dan K7MM made almost 20% of our QSOs by himself, and mostly on CW.
  • Max KK7HAY once again gained us a youthful operator bonus and made 18 QSOs.
  • Doug AB7DG got us 100 bonus points in each of three categories: formal message handling, educational activity, and safety officer’s report.
  • Andy KE7RTB valiantly attempted to make a satellite contact. Kudos to him even though it didn’t work out.

FD2023 sat sm

 

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