Field Day

Field Day

Field Day is held every year the last full weekend in June. Clubs and amateurs from around the country set stations up in the “field” to exhibit the hobby to the public. The Spa Amateur Radio Association (WB5SPA) here in Hot Springs has set up on the front lawn of the city air port in previous years. The communications trailer is borrowed from the county and serves as the hub of operations. This year (June 22-23, 2013) they will set up outside the Garland County Department of Emergency Management office.

Here are some pictures from Field Day 2010
(Click on small images for full size)

Field Day 2011
It was another ridiculously hot June day. The setup went smoothly and we had just gotten to where we were tuning the radios up and made one packet content when the generator kicked off. We could get it restarted but it wouldn’t run for more than a couple of minutes. It was acting like it was overheating. We found out later it was a temperature sensor and the generator wasn’t actually over heating. For a few hours we tried to get a backup generator running and we were successful but the backup generator wasn’t quite enough to run the air conditioning. The trailer quickly turned into an oven. We ended up calling it quits due to the heat and tore everything down. I went fishing all night instead. Below are the pictures I took during the setup phase.

Field Day 2012
After the disappointing aborted field day of 2011 and another hot day the enthusiasm started out low. As a result I didn’t take very many pictures. Not much changes from year to year so you can get a pretty good idea by looking at past years. As badly as it went the year before it was the opposite. We had a very good turn out. Many people stopped by to check out the operations. The bands were in fairly good shape and got quite good as the night progressed. The station stayed in operation until daybreak on Sunday. The few pictures from that day are below.

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Sabbatical away from the Whack-a-Mole of technology

So many things have broken over the last six months that there is very little left intact. Since spring there have been a long string of power surges, lightning strikes, wind damage, and magic smoke leaving nearly every device. By the time one thing was fixed and operation another event would break three more things. As if there were not enough issues, a fallen tree took out the antennas for the shack. The last of the base radios failed early this fall.

I’ve removed the blown up equipment and supporting wiring. I lack the time and energy to rebuild what was a decade in the making. I’m going quiet for a while. I may well be back at some point, but that is far enough down the road not to be in sight.

Due to aging hardware and software in the data center this site cannot be upgraded without a complete start from scratch, and an upgrade is required to get it to run on modern software. As bad as the whack-a-mole with the radio and power systems was, the digital side of things has been an even bigger handful.

I am going to archive this site into cold storage for another day where I might be able to pull a magic rabbit with a quick fix, but don’t look for it soon. If you want anything that is on the site I’d suggest downloading it very soon. Nothing will be erased, and it may even return sometime between later and when pigs take flight.

In the ways that matter things are fine, so don’t worry be happy… I’m also shutting down the last of the online projects as soon as a graceful exit presents. It is time for a long sabbatical to examine the insides of my eyelids and recharge.

de w5mz QRT

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