Field Day 2003


Field Day 2004 will be held on June 26th and 27th.  Mark your calendar.


Summary Report

The Hillsdale County Amateur Radio Club (HCARC) held Field Day 2003 exercises at the Hillsdale County Fair Grounds Agricultural Education Exhibit building (a.k.a. the 'Log Cabin').  This location provided a central, public location for members and visitors.  Building rental of $50 was paid from club funds.  The club operated as a class 3A station using the club call sign K8HRC.  A total of 16 club members participated and there were 22 visitors.


Antenna Set-Up

 Field Day 2003 activities started at 10 AM local time (1400 UTC) on Saturday, June 28th.  The first order of business was setting up antennas.  Much of the initial effort was to get up the 10 meter beam on the 30 foot trailer tower.  Other antennas that involved less effort to erect were raised as personnel allowed.  In all, 5 antennas were erected by 2 PM.


Antenna Summary

Band Type Height Mounting Comments
10 Meters 3 Element Beam 32 feet Trailer and tower  
    29 feet Portable Tower WiFi Demo and Internet
2 Meters Beam 15 feet Pole Homemade
  GAP Vertical 30 feet Secured to fence post County Owned
  G5RV 20 feet Pole Wire Dipold


Inside Set-Up

Inside set-up started at 2 PM after completion of the antenna set-up.  Initially the plan was to set up tables along the perimeter of the building so that operators could sit with their backs to the walls facing the center of the room.  It was soon suggested that it might be better if the operators sat facing the walls with their backs to the center of the room.  This provided several benefits.

Computers were set up next to each radio station for logging.  Two additional computers were set up, one to front end the Internet WiFi connection and the other running Linux for demonstration purposes.  All computers were networked utilizing a hub.  The club utilized N3FJP's Field Day Log 1.7 (network version) program for logging.  This program worked well after some initial problems getting it running on all of the logging computers.  Useful program features included automatic duplicate stations notification and a map function that allowed easy viewing of the states and provinces worked.  A fee of $10 was paid from club funds for licensing of the program.  Inside set-up was compete at 1600.



Radio operations commenced at 4 PM after inside set-up was complete, two hours later than contest rules allowed.  Band conditions were poor throughout the contest.  At approximately 5 PM stormy weather forced operations to shut down for three hours.  Radios and computers were shutdown and unplugged, and antennas disconnected.  Members took shelter in the 'Log Cabin' and during this time and enjoyed a nice meal courtesy of Brenda Sprow.  Having a sturdy building available turned out to be a real plus.  Severe storms passed just north of the Fairgrounds, with Litchfield and Homer both losing power.


Operations continued at 8 PM after the storms.  All contacts were made on 20, 40 and 80 meters.  The club received a Advisory Notice card from an ARRL Official Observer for operating out of band. Operations continued until 2 PM on Sunday, June 29th.  Equipment was disassembled and the site vacated by 3:30 PM.


Contact Summary

Band Phone CW Digital Total
20 Meters 23     23
40 Meters 56     56
80 Meters 40   12 52
Total 119 0 12



Summary Of Things That Went Well

Summary Of Things That Need Improvement

Scoring Summary



QSO Points



Phone Contacts (119 at 1 point each)



CW Contacts (0 at 2 points each)



Digital Contacts (12 at 2 points each)


Subtotal (131 total contacts)



Power Multiplier (all contacts made using 150 watts or less, multiplier is 2) 2

Total QSO Points

Bonus Points  
  100% Emergency Power (100 points) 0
  Media Publicity (100 points) 100
  Public Location (100 points) 100
  Public Information Table (100 points) 100
  Message Origination to Section Manager (100 points) 0
  Message Handling (10 points each, up to 100 points) 0
  Satellite QSO (100 points) 0
  Alternate Power (100 points) 0
  W1AW Bulletin (100 points) 100
  Non-Traditional Mode Demonstrations (100 points each, up to 300 points) 100
  Site Visitation by an Elected Governmental Official (100 points) 100
  Site Visitation by a Representative of an Agency (100 points) 100
  GOTA Maximum Achieved (100 points) 0
Total Bonus Points 700
Total Field Day Points 986




Click on thumbnail to view full size picture in new window.

2003-06-28-P001.JPG (64438 bytes)

Joe Johnson, Dan Sprow, Mark Seevers and Jason Knapp setting up the 30 foot tower.

2003-06-28-P002.JPG (104748 bytes)

Mark Seevers.

2003-06-28-P003.JPG (68239 bytes)

Mark Seevers and Joe Johnson.

2003-06-28-P004.JPG (72944 bytes)

Jason Knapp, Mark Seevers and Joe Johnson.

2003-06-28-P005.JPG (59430 bytes)

Hillsdale County Sheriff Stan Burchardt, Emergency Services Director Doug Sanford and Undersheriff Jeremiah Hodshire visit Field Day.

2003-06-28-P006.JPG (87581 bytes)

Dan Sprow, Mark Seevers, Joe Johnson and Milt Bowers while Peter Cromwell brings up the tail end in the background.

2003-06-28-P007.JPG (76533 bytes)

Mark Seevers, Milt Bowers, Dan Sprow and Joe Johnson.

2003-06-28-P008.JPG (75732 bytes)

Mike Murray, Milt Bowers, Dan Sprow, Doug Sanford, Wayne Jones, Joe Johnson and Peter Cromwell.

2003-06-28-P009.JPG (102551 bytes)

Mike Murray, Doug Sanford, Milt Bowers, Wayne Jones, Dan Sprow and Joe Johnson.

2003-06-28-P010.JPG (103038 bytes)

Wayne Jones, Milt Bowers, Mike Murray, Doug Sanford and Dan Sprow.

2003-06-28-P011.JPG (115498 bytes)

Wayne Jones, Doug Sanford, Mike Murray, Milt Bowers, Dan Sprow and Joe Johnson.

2003-06-28-P012.JPG (53856 bytes)

Peter Cromwell, Wayne Jones, Mike Murray, Joe Johnson, Dan Sprow and Charlie Hinkle.

2003-06-28-P013.JPG (52472 bytes)

Joe Johnson, Dan Sprow, Wayne Jones, Mark Seevers, Mike Murray, Charlie Hinkle and Peter Cromwell.

2003-06-28-P014.JPG (30151 bytes)

Joe Johnson watches as Peter Cromwell prepares to shoot a line.

2003-06-28-P015.JPG (42731 bytes)

And where it goes, nobody knows!

2003-06-28-P016.JPG (67375 bytes)

Joe Johnson is ready to make some contacts.

2003-06-28-P017.JPG (28505 bytes)

Jeff King's 'barbecue grill' brought the Internet to our Field Day site.

2003-06-28-P018.JPG (19705 bytes)

Jeff King's 'barbecue grill' brought the Internet to our Field Day site.

2003-06-28-P019.JPG (48011 bytes)

Joe Johnson and Dan Sprow work the radio.

2003-06-28-P020.JPG (55026 bytes)

Old Glory and Michigan's flag stand guard near the Field Day site.

2003-06-28-P024.JPG (53553 bytes)

Dan Sprow's grandkid getting into the action.

2003-06-28-P025.JPG (63903 bytes)

Brenda Sprow brought food and it was great!!!  She served dinner Saturday night, then breakfast and lunch on Sunday.  Thanks Brenda.  (Jeff King and Jason Knapp in background.)

2003-06-28-P029.JPG (88009 bytes)

Charlie Hinkle and Milt Bowers decode the W1AW Field Day Bulletin.

MVC-004S.jpg (122577 bytes)

Our antenna farm.


rainbow80211b.jpg (71208 bytes)

Rainbow forms after storms rolled through Saturday afternoon.




Preparation Information

ARRL Field Day officially starts on Saturday, June 28th, 2003 at 2 PM and ends 27 hours later at 5 PM Sunday.  If you are interested in participating please contact the club president or secretary/treasurer.  The more...the merrier.


Governor Granholm has proclaimed Field Day week as Amateur Radio Awareness Week in conjuction with Field Day.


2003proclamation.jpg (292518 bytes)


Field Day t-shirts and pins are in.  Contact Pete to arrange delivery or pick up at the ham breakfast or club meeting.


Click here to view the ARRL Field Day Package.


Contest rules allow us to start setting up early as long as we do not work for more than 24 hours ending 2 PM Sunday.  The plan is to meet at Sigman's Restaurant (map) at 8 AM Saturday morning for breakfast, then migrate over to the Fair Grounds to set up.  Contesting will start at 2 PM.


We will be setting up at the Hillsdale County Fairgrounds (map to fairgrounds) Agricultural Education Exhibit (aka the Log Cabin) (#13 on map of fairgrounds).



Equipment Update


Antennas: At this time we have a ten meter beam, two G5RV's, and a two meter beam.  Dan is also wondering if anybody would like to operate off of a long wire?  Let him know!


Radios: We have four HF radios lined up so far. 


Power: We are going to use commercial power.


Tuners: Pete, Mike and Joe.


Coax: The club is going to buy coax to be used for Field Day and sell some off to our members as needed.


Tower, pipe, and rotor: Dan has a tower, pipe, and rotor we can use for the 10M beam.



Other Items


Jeff King has been working hard on putting together a WiFi demo.  Possible applications include EchoLink, DX Cluster and APRS Mapping.  For more information about VoIP programs such as EchoLink, see the article "VoIP and Amateur Radio" from QST for February, 2003, page 44 (PDF format, get Acrobat Reader).


$50 fee for cabin rental to be paid by the club.  Donations are going to be welcome to defray food costs etc.


Trailer: Dan is going to take his 29ft Coachmen travel trailer into the fairgrounds for sleeping, eating, or just R&R.


So, what does this leave?  Well.....!  CW, Packet, PSK31, GOTA station......?  Let Dan know what your interests are.  Dan is going to contact the ARRL and get a public information packet from them which will give us some brochures to hand out to the general public.  This gives us points for doing so.  Also try to take the time now and check your schedule for that weekend for those of you interested in participating.  Any help is welcome.  Even if all you wanted to do is help set up antennas, just do logging, and to some people make food runs if necessary.  Whatever the case, we anticipate a lot of fun to be had by all.



Field Day Will Be Held At The 'Log Cabin'

2003-05-04-P002.JPG (68009 bytes)



Pictures From Field Day 2002

Pict0001.JPG (129138 bytes)

Pete, Milt and Dan ham it up.

Pict0002.JPG (140844 bytes)

Put some long pants on!

Pict0003.JPG (107739 bytes)

Pete holds up the antenna.


Send comments and suggestions to the webmaster.

HCARC Home Page