|Jul 02, 2005
(an archived page, this may contain outdated or broken links)
|Field Day 2005
The Charleston Amateur Radio Society conducts their annual Field Day
exercise onboard the USS YORKTOWN.
Aircraft Carrier YORKTOWN
(CV10) now rests in Charleston Harbor as a museum ship at Patriots Point Naval &
"under the gun" these radio operators practice their emergency
communications skills, under extreme conditions.
|President Bush sends greetings to Field
Day 2005 participants
(Jun 22, 2005)
-- President George W. Bush has sent greetings from the White House to everyone
participating in ARRL
Field Day 2005.
"I send greetings to those celebrating the annual Field Day for Amateur
Radio, hosted by the American Radio Relay League. Across our country,
radio plays a vital role in relaying important information to the
public and emergency service personnel in times of need," the president
said. "By providing emergency communications at the federal, state, and
local level, licensed Amateur Radio operators help first responders and
law enforcement officials save lives and make our country safer. Your
efforts help ensure the right assistance gets to the right people at
the right time. I appreciate all ham operators who give their time and
energy to help make our citizens more secure. Your good work reflects
the spirit of America and contributes to a culture of responsibility
and citizenship that strengthens our nation. Laura and I send our best
annual exercise aimed at developing skills to meet the
challenges of emergency preparedness as well as to acquaint the general
public with the capabilities of Amateur Radio, ARRL Field Day takes
place this year on Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26. Stations throughout
the Americas may participate. [White House Photo by Eric Draper]
+ The Charleston
Amateur Radio Society (CARS)
holds Amateur Radio License WA4USN.
+ CARS meets on the second
Monday of each month at Ryan's Steak House
on Hwy 61.
+ The club currently has over 130 regular members, and a linked network
of 4x 2m voice repeaters.
+ Their website can be found with http://www.qsl.net/wa4usn.
+ You can find the
Yorktown on the map, via FindU.com, WA4USN-5.
+ Check on current
NWS radar , for the Charleston area . . .
+ CARS maintains a club station at the
very front of the ship, right under the flight deck.
+ For Field Day, the radio
equipment is taken out of this station, and deployed at other locations
on the ship. The "club room" provides a convenient place for lunch,
coffee breaks, and "beatin the heat". . .
+ We had a very enjoyable session here Saturday evening with SC Section
Manager Jim (N2ZZ) and Section
Emergency Coordinator Charlie (AE4UX),
as they stopped by on their tour of various Field Day sites in South
Carolina. Check Dr. Jim's report on http://www.arrl-sc.org/
. . .
|+ I wanted to contribute, so I pulled my
VHF/UHF station out of the house, and took it to Field Day in hopes of
making at least one satellite contact for the club.
+ Not having any 1.2GHz or 2.4GHz equipment, I was limited to 2m and
70cm operations. Fortunately, the most recently launched satellite (VO-52) has a mode that uses a UHF
uplink with a VHF downlink. I had read reports indicating that the
Space Station might be operating in voice mode, which would be VHF . .
. Unfortunately, ARISS was
+ VO-52 was quite a challenge,
as the passes are quick, the doppler is tricky - but I did manage one
confirmed exchange with W7JPI
(1D AZ) on the last available pass. Finally, a satellite bonus.
100 points !
|+ Tom (K4WJC) brought out his PSK-31 station, and we had our own
corner of the forward port-side gun platform. He and Doug (KU4OC) made a few dozen contacts
using PSK-31, on 40m, 20m, and
even on 2m . . .
+ In between satellite passes Sunday morning, I had a chance to catch
locally on 144.200 USB. One
was Skip (KH6TY)
in Mt.Pleasant, who took the time to come visit us in person.
|+ The SSB station was setup on the
same platform, just aft of the big gun. Avery (W4QYV) peddles madly to run the
bicycle-powered generator for the alternative energy bonus points.
+ Here you also see Doc (W4MUR)
who was again our Field Day Captain this year, coordinating who and
what was where and when . . . That is Bobby (W4KSD) at the mic on the QRP
rig. He was also a major operator on the big rig later on in the wee
|+ The SSB station operated around
clock, accumulating points all the way. Tracey (KG4HTW) and Ken (AF4ZV) started the evening shift,
and ran with it for quite a while.
You would hardly know that it rained most of the day. David (KI4FSC) did an excellent job with
the tarp, and we never had to adjust it. The generator
was just down the catwalk about 20 ft away, and the vertical antenna we
used, was attached to the catwalk railing up those stairs at the flight
course the "overnight-crew" didn't need the flash-poppin distraction of
a camera, so we let them operate un-interrupted.
|+ Sunday morning, the rain had
stopped. There was an eerie calm across the Cooper River. Of course the
still pounding away at the ether; calling "QRZ Field Day - from Whiskey Alpha 4 United States Navy
; WA4USN 3A SC - QRZ" .
+ This view is looking forward from our platform on the port side of
the ship. Over night, we made numerous trips over the 3 foot wide
catwalk, all the way forward to to get to the club room for coffee, or
another piece of chicken. It gets really dark out there over the
water, in the middle of the night . . . I can't imagine doing this
while "under way". My hat is off to the sailors who lived and worked
here . . .
|+ Sunday morning, once the sun got
up (and Jenny (WA4NGV) brought
around several bags of biscuits), we set Benjamin (KG4YGPjr)
at the mic, and the contacts just kept on rolling in. I think the ham
bug took a good bite into Ben, he may have to get his license
+ In retrospect, the rain on Saturday was a blessing. If it had been as
hot and humid on Saturday, as it was on Sunday - we might not have made
it. Looking back on the previous day, it wasn't so bad after all.
|+ This is the antenna used for the
satellite contact, mounted on a 15 ft fiberglass boom. Not shown would
be the manual rotator (Joe (KI4ILB)),
who made it work. I could not have done it alone. The antenna was on
loan from DuBose Middle School (W4DMS).
Thanks Alene (KG4NKD).
+ In the background you can see the new Cooper River Bridge in
front of the old bridge.