Field Day 2018

June 24th:  FD 2018 Results – Well this year’s field day, and W7P 4D AZ is in the books.  The bands were not all that great this year and so the level of activity was much less than last year.  Especially on 80 meters.  But, each of us had a few runs of contacts and working small pile ups which is always fun.  In the end I worked about 180 phone contacts which was well shy of my goal of 500, but it is what it is.  My equipment worked without issues and we performed well as a team.  Despite the slower conditions the team kept the radios going for the full 24 hours.  As it was quite slow in the middle of the night I grabbed a few hours sleep from 1am-5am and was back on the radio at 6am.  Troy/K7TJK operated my station while I got some rest.  Still tons of fun and I always learn something through the process.  Here is a snap of the 80m-10m OCF dipole I operated as the sun was setting on Saturday night.  Until next year…  73.

 

June 23rd:  The W7P Team – This year we operated as W7P, a 4D station.  Here are a few shots of the team.

   

(Note:  K7TJK/Troy not shown – he wasn’t off of work yet, bummer)

June 23rd:  Field Day station – I set my station up with all the necessary amenities.  The no-frills but effective Yaesu FT-450D, accompanied by the typical accessories and endless hot coffee in the Yeti.

June 23rd: – FD Setup – Things started bright and early Saturday morning for antenna set up before the heat hit sweltering.  We primarily put up a beam and the Titan DX.

 

June 21st:  Well, things are all unplugged and half packed up for FD.  Lots of moving parts.  The USB/Serial adapter I purchased off Amazon didnt work with my FT-450D.  I tried several configuration tweaks but in the end decided to go with another cable from Ebay that was described as specifically for the FT-450.  I received the cable today and its working like a champ for CAT control.   So, I can check that off my list with only about 48 hours to spare.   The only thing I am wishing I had at this point is a hard case for my Heil headphones… but I am going to swing by GoodWill tomorrow and see if I cant nab something suitable.

June 15th:  TGIF.  Well, I decided I didn’t want to push my luck on my current MFJ MightyLite 25amp power supply (since my FT-857 states it needs 27amps), though I have not had an issue yet, and since I have been more often operating two radios simultaneously, and because I have been meaning to do this anyway, I purchased a quick and easy TekPower 30amp power supply from Amazon.  Anderson Powerpoles up front and posts in the back.  Nothing fancy, but it does have good reviews and feedback from Hams that there is no RF noise and that the fan is not loud (fan being very loud and always on is a complaint I have with my MFJ).

June 14th:  As I get my ducks in a row for field day, the first thing I need to do is to determine what gear I will use.  Since I want to be able to operate digital/psk31 and voice, I need to ensure I have the right gear in place, and if needed, I better buy the items that are missing.

Here is the list of gear as of now that I think I will use on Field Day.  

  1. Yaesu FT-450D Radio – check
  2. Heil Proset Headphones – check
  3. Heil to Yaesu headphone adapter – check
  4. Heil footswitch – check
  5. Singnalink USB and cable –check
  6. Windows 7 Laptop with power cord: – check
    1. Running ACLog Field Day log – check
    2. Running psk31 software – check
  7. RS232 to USB cable for CAT connection of FT-450 to Windows laptop – dont have one yet! – purchasing this one.  Scratch that.  The cable from Amazon didn’t work.  Got a different one on ebay that is now working
  8. 100′ coax – check
  9. OCF Dipole (80m-10m) antenna – check
  10. Jackite pole and mount –check
  11. 12v DC Power Supply – TBD, might pick up a second 30amp…
  12. Lithium Ion 50kmah battery bank – check

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