Monthly Newsletter Dedicated to the Advancement of Amateur Radio July, 1998

Phyllis Dillman, NØMJB

The last meeting was spent going over field day plans. I think we had a good field day. We had several visitors stop by. It gave us a chance to tell them about what we were doing and about Ham radio. Some people asked if we were storm spotting during the evening when the big cloud was up north. Can you imagine setting up all of that equipment to spot storms? A good time was had by all.

The next meeting will be on July 10 at 7:30 P.M. It will be held on the KSU Campus in room 152 Rathbone Hall. We will go over field day results and make some preliminary plans for next year. Come prepared to tell us your likes and dislikes about this one so we can make it better next year.

The August meeting will be the annual picnic at one of the shelter houses below the dam at Tuttle Lake. It will be on Saturday, August 15 from 3pm until ??. Stay tuned for more information. We also plan to have an auction in August or September but have not set the date.

Norm Dillman, NØJCC

Field Day 1998

This was the first Field Day I've participated in for three years and I really enjoyed it. It was good to see everyone working together to put up the stations and demonstrations and having fun on the air. It was also good to see people just sitting around and visiting and explaining amateur radio to visitors who dropped in and solving the world's problems. We had some communication problems of our own that we had to solve and some we didn't solve, but the majority of the activities went very well; thanks to all of the hard work and planning of the people involved. I thought the scenic overlook on K-177 south of Manhattan was a good location. We had plenty of room for everything, a good view, no power line noise, a good breeze and enough shade to keep from baking except during set-up and take-down. Everyone will have an opportunity to discuss things we might do at the next field day at the regular July meeting on Friday night. If you can't be at the meeting just pass on your comments to one of the officers or to me. We had three HF stations using Nadine's KØUHF call, a novice/tech station using NØPVU, a bicycle-powered station and some good results on 2-meter FM simplex. One HF station was totally solar powered; the others on Soldan's or Fred's generators. Kermit's portable tower held an A3 HF beam, John, 'TOK's portable tower held the KSUARC R5 vertical, the novice/tech station used a 4-element, 10-meter Yagi and I had an R7 vertical on a 40' pole plus a 250' unbalanced, dipole. These antennas and others were far enough apart that we had less trouble with interference from each other (most of the time) than I remember from earlier field days. We didn't have a 6-meter station and may have missed out on some fun. WØHLU make many contacts from his QTH all over the US and South America during field day. Perhaps we can work on the interference problems before next year.

Here are some my observations and opinions. Let us hear yours too.

1. Equipment must be tested before field day. (Example: the borrowed A4 antenna was missing a mounting plate and the coax balun lost a fight with a lawn mower last year some time). Setting up early is good on hot days and gets all stations on the air at about the same time.

2. The wind kept us cooler but was more than our awnings could handle. I think we should put most of the stations in vans or camper except one for "public display". Air-conditioned campers would be great. My minivan with the center seats out worked good and wasn't too hot. Aluminum foil taped to some of the windows would be even better.

3. There were two problems with logging:

(a) We couldn't see the lap top screens and should have used the regular computers that were offered.

(b) The logging work sheets that I made to serve as scratch sheets didn't have enough information for good records. We should always have good log sheets as back up. Computers work very well for logging at field days operations that I have visited but we still have not been totally successful. Next year!

4. Don't check antennas with an analyzer when someone is transmitting next door. It looks like a bad connection.

5. I think a foot switch and a boom mike with earphones is very important to keep both hands free. Operating is much more efficient. With this equipment it's easy for an operator to do their own logging on paper or on a computer. (I'm working on a system to send CW with my feet in the future so we have both hands free to log and tune. (see figure 1 below) Dave Soldan knows someone who can send CW with their left hand and log with their right hand.)

6. Even if you don't use the foot switch or the boom mike it's important to have earphones for all operators/loggers. An external speaker can be turned ON or OFF if other people want to listen.

7. The banners and posters were great to let people know who we are. And having "greeters" available to talk to visitors worked out very well. The publicity in many newspapers, radios, city council meetings and on Internet servers worked out very well with the except of our own Manhattan Mercury who just didn't get around to it. Ask Lenore about her experience with them.

8. Dave 'JPM had some great pictures on our web page before the sun went down the first day. Check them out.

9. It's good to have some spare equipment. The 10-meter radio and amp was causing interference on all bands but the problem was solved by just changing to another rig.

10. We weren't able to make any satellite contacts. Perhaps next year we can do more practicing in advance.

11. Using Nadine's neat 'UHF call drew attention and many jealous comments but I think a real short call like NØIN or WQØP (hint, hint) would be more effective and take less explanation.

12. The operator schedule really didn't work. I think it might be better to have a few operators agree to keep a station running when the bands are alive and encourage anyone interested to try operating for awhile.

13. The porta-john was a good investment and fortunately it didn't blow over.

I know I'm forgetting many things but perhaps this will stimulate you to add your comments or comment on mine. It would be impossible to thank all the people personally who did SO much to make the field day a success. We all appreciate your help. Phyllis and I will be on the 1999 Sunrayce during field day next year but we'll be listening for you as we mobile down the east coast.


Figure 1

Lenore Layman, NØTSN

Minutes will be read at the July meeting.

Chuck Carter, AAØRI

The news letter is a little shorter than usual this month. Several of our contributors have been busy with company, the stampede, vacations, field day, etc. The minutes and Treasurer's report will be read at the meeting and perhaps included in next month's Newsletter if there is room.

Field Day has come and gone and lots of fun was had by all. I was reading over Norm's article and pretty much concur with what he says. I don't know how a boom mike would have helped Francis and I though. Please explain Norm (ha ha).

I would like to thank everyone who furnished equipment and helped with the club efforts. Kermit's and John's portable towers and antennas were a real plus. Kermit's beam made lots of contacts in spite of the "Chuck" configuration. After battling the winds under our canopy Saturday, I sure enjoyed using Mike's air conditioned trailer Sunday.

I would also like to thank Francis and Kenny for their help as CW ops. I stuck poor Ken on 10 Meters (dead) but he sure tried to find some contacts.

73 de Chuck, AAØRI

Nadine Stueve, KØUHF
June, 1998

The treasurer's report will be made at the July meeting.

July 11PHD HamfestKansas City, MO
July 19Zero Beaters HamfestWashington, MO
August 1MO State ConventionSpringfield, MO
August 9CVARC HamfestAmana, IA
August 16CKARC HamfestSalina, KS
August 23Ak-sar-ben HamfestOmaha, NE
August 30Dubuque HamfestDubuque, IA
September 12CMRA HamfestColumbia, MO