Our club, KYARCS, participated in the 2021 ARRL Field Day exercise on June 26th and 27th .† We setup four stations at the Oil Springs Fire Station #2 near Paintsville Lake State Park.† I canít say that everything went smoothly, but we did get to operate and make some contacts.†
††††† We first had trouble with our rotatable dipole setup.† The pole it was mounted on was just too flimsy and bent drastically when we propped it up.† So, we reduced the height by 10 feet and got it up, but it was still leaning at a pretty good angle. But the important thing was that it worked.† Then we setup a fan dipole for 160 through 10 meters.† Checking the SWR on it yielded numbers so high that no tuner would correct it.† Ross Leedy then discovered that the coax on the center insulator was no longer connected.† Coax alone does not make for a very good antenna.† But he fixed the connection and we were off to start making contacts.† Or so we thought.† One more big problem was our computers were not connecting through our network.† A few us fiddled with settings in Windows (of which there are many), but no luck. The computers are needed so that each station can tell if a contact has been worked by one of our other stations.† But Ross and Ken Robinson, finally set down with two of the computers and went through all the settings they could find and it finally started working.† After that all the computers could connect.† The only problem is, they donít know exactly what they did to make it work.
†††† So finally, we can start making contacts.† But on, Saturday, especially, the bands were not in very good shape.† So, most of the contacts were made with FT-8 and CW, which seem to do better with poor band conditions.† Starting Sunday morning, the bands started perking up and we did much better.†† I think we made at least one contact on all bands between 80 and 6 meters.† We worked every state and a few DX stations in the Caribbean.†
We made 413 total contacts and earned 783 points.† The breakdown of points are as follows:
270 Digital contacts† (FT8)
43† Phone contacts
100 CW contacts
As you can see, the FT8 contacts helped us quite a bit and we would like to thank TJ Hoover (KV4AJ) and Rich Salisbury (KO4BVP) for sticking to that mode.
I was very pleased with the amount of people that came to our outing.† I didnít make a list of everyone there (even though I should have), but it was far more than I had seen at any of our Field Days.† We had some new hams, and hams from Ashland and a few hams that have not been active for years.†