Report: Winter Field Day 2023

On the weekend of January 28-29, 2023, members of the ACARA met at the Jim Crouse Memorial Radio Station in the Red Cross of Southeastern Ohio chapter house to participate in the annual Winter Field Day ( event in class “1I” (one transmitter, “indoors”).

Operating under the direction of Winter Field Day Captain Drew McDaniel, and using Drew’s callsign W8MHV, ACARA members Drew McDaniel, W8MHV; Eric McFadden, WD8RIF; Miles McFadden, KD8KNC; Paul Schulz, WD8SCV; and Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ, operated the station around-the-clock for twenty-four hours and succeeded in making 343 QSOs using CW, SSB, and JS8 on the 80/75, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands:

Drew McDaniel, W8MHV: 32 QSOs CW on 40 and 80m
Eric McFadden, WD8RIF: 170 QSOs CW on 10, 15, 20, and 40m
Miles McFadden, KD8KNC: 30 QSOs SSB on 40 and 75m
Paul Schulz, WD8SCV: 52 QSOs SSB and JS8 on 10, 15, 20, 40, and 80/75m
Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ: 59 QSOs SSB on 10, 15, 20, and 40m

The plan had been to operate the station’s Elecraft K3 transceiver with its newly-installed KAT3 internal automatic antenna tuner, but an intermittent problem with the K3 surfaced the week prior to Winter Field Day, so Drew made the decision to use an ICOM IC-7300 transceiver belonging to Paul Schulz, WD8SCV, instead. A benefit in using Paul’s rig and logging PC was that he had already configured these items to operate using the digital modes. The IC-7300 was set at 100-watts output, and fed the station’s roof-mounted Hustler 4-BTV vertical antenna and 40m end-fed halfwave antenna through Paul’s LDG antenna tuner.

In all, the club made 343 QSOs and earned 8,196 points including a 500-point bonus for “Away from Home”.

This was the first time the club had operated the full twenty-four hours of Winter Field Day and Drew, who chose to operate the 2am to 6am “graveyard shift” found few other Winter Field Day stations to work during these hours.

Paul Schulz, WD8SCV, operates while Bob Curtis, KD8FRQ, logs
Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ, operates while Bob Curtis, KD8FRQ, logs
Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, operates while John McCutcheon, N8XWO, logs
Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, operates with little dog Theo
Club mascot and freelance therapy-dog, Theo, rests during the operation

Sandy Shirey of the Red Cross saw the ACARA’s participation in Winter Field Day in the chapter house as an opportunity to perform an exercise in mass-care and feeding and provided the ACARA with snacks and dinner on Saturday. Thank you, Sandy!

Thanks go to Drew McDaniel, W8MHV, for serving as Winter Field Day Captain; to Paul Schulz, WD8SCV, for providing the transceiver, antenna tuner, and logging PC; to Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ, for coordinating with the Red Cross of Southeastern Ohio; and to all the operators who made this operation a success.

Eric McFadden, WD8RIF
President, Athens County Amateur Radio Association