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Field Day weather/results



Frank Grossman wrote:

...avoid being foiled by the little-known Rule 10.0  "If there is
no measurable precipitation at your FD site, multiply your score by 0 (Zero)
to compute your final score."

Wayne replies:

Darn, I guess my Sat field day operation doesn't count.  The weather was
PERFECT!  High temperatures of about 80F (27C), and lows around 58F (15C).
Light winds, lots of blue sky, low humidity.  I was set up in a screen tent
because the weather was so nice.  The operators of stations in trailers
seemed kind of jealous.

I ran the satellite station for K9KM 2A IL.  The K9KM satellite station was
a 1-man operation (me) for supplying equipment, setup, operation, and
tear-down.  I also did a 3 hour shift operating an HF CW station.  The
satellite operation was very successful, thanks to great weather, no
equipment malfunctions, good food, and good satellite performance, including
a nice AO10 perigee pass.  By the ARRL rules I made 52 contacts - 42 phone
and 10 CW.  By AMSAT rules I made 59 contacts - 49 phone and 10 CW. I didn't
even try the FM satellites.  I made contacts on FO20, FO29, RS12, and AO10
plus my very first contact with ISS. The contacts were very evenly
distributed among FO-20, FO29, RS12, and AO10.  I typically made 3 to 5
contacts per LEO pass.

The Fuji satellites worked great, and it was wonderful to hear so much
activity on them.  The 70cm downlink is nice because it's not plagued by
terrestrial noise as much as 2m.  Signal strength varies dramatically during
a pass with my RHCP antennas, but I could hear well about 3/4 of the time
when the satellite was above 10 degrees.  I was using InstantTune to handle
the Doppler tuning.  That makes a huge difference for me.  I find the Fuji
satellites to be extremely difficult to use without auto Doppler tuning.

RS-12 was surprisingly good because 10m ionospheric propagation was poor
during field day.  I had excellent 10m reception from an inverted Vee with
the apex at 12 feet (3/8 wavelength high).  I'm glad I didn't bother with my
10m turnstile.  The only problem was that I would sometimes forget to steer
the 2m transmit antenna because I could hear so well on the 10m inverted
Vee.  I also got QRM when a nearby HF station transmitted on 15m.  Their
antenna was only 50 feet away from mine.  I guess I need a 10m bandpass
filter for the next field day.

I made 12 contacts on the AO10 perigee pass Sunday morning.  I couldn't hear
when it rose to the west because of an S5 noise level on the western
horizon.  The noise level was fine when AO10 rose above 30 degrees with
about 40 minutes remaining in the perigee pass.  At first, signals would
disappear for about 20 seconds at the bottom of each fade.  But by the time
AO10 set at my location it was only about 6000 km away and I could hear
stations even at the bottom of the fades (with a 14-el RHCP yagi and SSB
preamp).

When setting up the satellite station, several people asked if I could
contact the Space Station.  I had never tried before, and didn't even have
the ISS frequencies with me.  One of the club members went home and looked
up the frequencies on the web.  He came back about 5 minutes before an ISS
pass.  I got through to Susan Helms NA1SS on the third call.  I had to
repeat my class and section because Susan said I got "stomped on".  That's
surprising because I was running about 500W ERP.  The ISS contact was
definitely the highlight of this year's excellent Field Day.  I don't think
Susan had the correct class for her station, though.  She said "1A Battery",
but I don't think "A" is correct for battery power.  And I know her ARRL
section isn't "battery".  I wonder if there is an ARRL section for "space"?

My vote for most-active sat stations that seemed to be everywhere all the
time:
K4BFT (5A AL)
W4IY (9A VA)
K7EFA (2A MT)

I want to thank all the other sat operators for making the contacts
possible. I apologize if I stepped on a few people inadvertently.  In the
heat of the action I was busy making contacts, not adjusting my power
control.  Especially on the Fuji satellites where I get random deep fades
with my RHCP antennas.  I'm already psyched up for next year's Field Day.
It should be great with AO40's long access times and wide bandwidth.

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA
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