Winter Field Day 2021

The ACARA participated in Winter Field Day 2021 as a group in the Jim Crouse Memorial Radio Station at the Red Cross of Southeastern Ohio on Saturday, January 30, 2021. This was the first day of the two-day, 24-hour, event.

On the Wednesday prior to the event, several members of the ACARA had gathered at the Red Cross to repair and redeploy the club’s Hustler 5-BTV 10/15/20/40/80m roof-mounted vertical antenna and to reinstall the club’s Elecraft K3 transceiver at the station. Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ; Kirk Groeneveld, KC8JRV; Lance Groeneveld, KD8KMZ; and Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed the work and the repaired 5-BTV with ten radials now performs well on all the bands.

On the Saturday of the event only two ACARA members made Winter Field Day QSOs but several other members visited the operation. Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ, operated SSB on 40m and Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, operated CW on on 20m, 40m, and 80m. In all, eighty-three QSOs were made for a calculated score of 1,104 points.

Jeff and Eric arrived at the Red Cross at 1pm on Saturday, about an hour before the start of the event, to verify proper operation of the K3 transceiver, the LDG AT-100ProII antenna tuner, and the N1MM Logger+ software. During this period, Jeff and Eric were joined by Nick Arnold, KD8FKB, who, unfortunately wasn’t able to stay after the contest started. Shortly after the event started, John McCutcheon, N8XWO, and Kirk Groeneveld, KC8JRV, arrived. Kirk was unable to stay long but John stayed for the entire operation.

Eric operated CW on 20 and 40m for a bit more than two hours before relinquishing the rig to Jeff. Jeff operated SSB on 40m for about 2-1/4 hours. Eric then took the rig for about half an hour in order to make some 80m CW QSOs. Because of the need to socially-distance due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, each operator also logged his own contacts and everyone who wasn’t speaking into a microphone remained masked.

Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ, operates SSB on 40m
Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ, operates SSB on 40m

Here is a break-down of operation:
80m CW: 17 QSOs
40m CW: 31 QSOs
40m SSB: 28 QSOs
20m CW: 7 QSOs

Because of an approaching winter storm, the group decided to shut down about 7:30pm, for a total on-air time of about 5-1/2 hours.

Those who participated in Winter Field Day in the Jim Crouse Memorial Radio Station seemed to have a good time. It is to be hoped that by the time Winter Field Day 2022 arrives, COVID-19 will be less of a concern and more members will be able to participate.

Eric McFadden, WD8RIF
President, Athens County Amateur Radio Association