ARRL FD2014 Ham Radio

I operated Field Day from the shack (1D) this year, and exactly as planned, I put a little more than three hours into the total effort. I hoped to put 100 in the log and I ended up putting exactly 100 in the log though, I still didn’t work anyone in SC. I need an LoTW confirmation from that single state to apply for WAS CW via LoTW. I’ve got 44 printed QSL cards from South Carolina, but I’ll be danged if I can find even a single op who uses LoTW down there.

ARRL FD2014Anyway, I began the operation on 40 meter phone. A few contacts later I switched to CW. I’m not a good phone op, never have been though I won’t take all the blame. I keep running into boneheads with microphones using imaginary and “cute” phonetics. A week or so ago I was playing in a State QSO Party and a fellow with the suffix TCN kept saying “Texas Sierra Nevada” which just goes to show that even if you never bump a telegraph key with your elbow, you still need to know how to spell!

40m phone quickly turned to 40 CW and things began to percolate. The bands weren’t in terrible shape but they weren’t enhanced either. I was working stations within a 500 mile radius and that was about it. 20 meters yielded slightly better results. 2.5 hours in I was beginning to think I wouldn’t even hear a “6”. That’s odd because logs from previous Field Day operations had convinced me that there were more California hams doing FD than all the others combined.

I did finally manage to work a few stations in California along with a few in Texas, one in Oklahoma and two in Oregon. Other than that, stations west of the Mississippi were AWOL from my logbook. I did manage to work a lot of stations in the northeast including ME, RI, NH, NJ, NY, VT, CT, and MA. Far and away I worked more stations in VA than anywhere else – by a wide margin.

My effort was entirely search & pounce. I never called ‘CQ FD’ even once. I was running 100 watts to an 88-foot dipole mounted at 30 feet. The Icom IC-7100 and the AH-4 tuner performed well as I have come to expect. Logging was handled by MacloggerDX and while I haven’t assembled my entry yet, the rough details looked like this:

  • 100 stations worked
  • 87 CW and 13 phone
  • 80, 40, and 20 meters only
  • 36 unique states and 41 sections
  • 5 Canadian provinces
  • W1AW/3 and W1AW/9 worked on two bands each (CW)

Most interesting was the W1AW/3 station operating from the W3AO super-setup operating 28-Alpha.

I would much rather have been in the field with friends this weekend soaking up the camaraderie and potato salad but my schedule wouldn’t permit it. Putting in a few hours from home was better than a kick in the head and wasn’t it nice to hear the bands so full of signals?

Author: Jeff Davis