Field Day 2020
Annual Event for Testing Emergency Communications
This year's Field Day was much more difficult to organize due to the COVID 19 Pandemic. Our normal venue, the Acton Park, was closed to us but club President Gary, KJ6HDZ, managed to secure the Agua Dulce Woman's Club as a venue. We took advantage of the parking lot to setup an HF antenna and their very shady porch for our control location. With temperatures well into the 90's, the porch was welcome relief from the sun.
Club VP, Dave, KK6KDU and Club Secretary, Mark, AD6TG took the lead in organizing this year's event. Dave is joined by a guest to the event, Mike, KJ6IIR. Thanks, Mike for spending most of the day with us.
Here Dave is operating his Icom all mode dual band radio looking for contacts on 2M FM and SSB. Dave also brought his 2M handheld to help monitor simplex frequencies.
Mark's operating position included an Icom 7100 HF radio, and Icom ID 51 dual band handheld for monitoring local 2-meter simplex, and an Alinco MD5 DMR handheld that was used to monitor the San Diego DMR Talkgroup. The laptop was used for digital communications and contact logging.
For David's Icom 2-meter communications we used a Comet dual 5/8 wave base antenna. The antenna is mounted on PVC pipe and was intended to slide into the hitch on the back of the RV. But we didn't have a long enough coax cable so we rigged up the mount to the porch with ropes.
A 21' fiberglass push up mast formed the high point for a 40-meter full wave Delta Loop. While hard to see, the antenna wires formed two of the tie downs for keep the mast up. Two more tie downs were achieved with nylyon rope. At the base, the antenna is about 63 feet across.
The feed point for the Delta Loop was handled by an ICOM AH-4 automatic antenna tuner. Fed at a corner, the Delta Loop had a vertical polarization. Control of the tuner is done using a 4-wire cable back to the Icom 7100 along with the coax from the tuner to the HF radio. While the antenna is cut for 40-meter, using the tuner it becomes an all band antenna.
The RV is equipped with two deep cycle batteries and 200 watts of solar panels to charge the batteries. As a backup, the RV has a 5,500 watt gas generator however the generator was not needed.
Power for the HF radio was taken from the main 12V power distribution box on the RV. This cable was terminated in Anderson Powerpole connectors making connecting the Icom 7100 very easy. The HF station ran all day with solar providing all the power needed for the station.
A screen shot of the N3FJP logging software that was used to log phone contacts throughout the event. Logging software made keeping track of contacts very easy as band data, frequency, and time was read directly from the radio to the software via a USB cable.
FT4 and FT8 digital contacts were made throughout the day using WSJT-X software. This software maintains its own list of completed contacts and all relevant information for each contact either decoded from the data stream or is read from the radio via a USB cable. Contacts were made on 7, 15, and 20-meters.