The weather was hot, the air was muggy, but it was time for the annual event known around the world to all ham radio operators as Field Day. After months of preparation, the time was at hand to sit back and see if everything would work as planned. Field Day is an annual event that is always held the last weekend in June. During the event anyone, weather licensed by the FCC or not can come in and operate a "Radio Station" and see for themselves what Ham Radio is all about. It is a nice opportunity for those who are interested.
During Field Day the stations that are operating the many different bands must run under emergency conditions and are not allowed to use any commercial power. We go out to a remote location and set the entire radio stations up as temporary and operate for 48 hours, simulating emergency conditions. It also gives us the chance to let the public come out and see what and how we serve our communities when an emergency arises.
The area we had chosen for our field day activities this year was a park just outside of downtown Tulsa Oklahoma. The park is known as Chandler Park. I don't believe we could have found a better location.
Chandler Park is high atop a hill 3 miles west of downtown that used to be owned by Chandler Building materials. They mined rock for the use of gravel in construction of all kinds. Remnants of the old rock crusher are still visible if one knows just where to look. Donated many years ago to the city of Tulsa for a park, the old rock crusher has long since been dismantled and very few remnants deserted. Now family's picnic and children run and play on the playground equipment that has replaced the old gravel mining equipment that used to operate there.
Chandler Park has lots of open space for the kids to run and plenty of shade trees for the adults to hide from the hot summer sun. A swimming pool with lifeguards on duty, Baseball fields, picnic tables as well as rest rooms and the best overlook of the downtown Tulsa area available. It's easy to see why we as a Club choose this park for our field day activities.
With the band captains chosen several months ago, the troops started planning their field day weekend even before that. Anxious Ham's started showing up early Friday evening in anticipation of rare and wonderful DX, which is usually quite abundant on this particular weekend.
The ARRL awards points for each band, each mode, the type of emergency power used, as well as for whom we get to show up. Being in a high profile area and one as popular as this beautiful park, we knew we would do well!
Our area of the park was the Baseball field which is large enough for all those operators to set their stations up so as not to interfere with one another. Spread out all over the field were Ham radio operators setting up the tools of their trade and attending to the finer details that would give them the added advantage over any other club in the country.
Comfort was also a consideration as the folks operating since they would be here until Sunday. Tents, Travel trailers, Campers or just bed roles were everywhere.
Last year at Field Day after a full evening of setting up, very tired hams went to bed for the evening preparing for the following day of activities. In the early morning hours a very severe thunderstorm system made its way through our portion of the state. Garry, N5YDH was watching the ATV radar and was able to alert all the station operators to the incoming dangers.
With a call to service to all who were still on scene, Gary was able to get folks up in time to secure all the antenna's from a violent end which would have dashed a lot of field day dreams of making a great score. It's nice to have someone on hand that watches out for everyone.
We all rested peacefully knowing Garry was on the job. Garry, N5YDH always manages to work the security end of most of the events we get involved with as a club. The TARC is lucky to have such folks on our team that are so dependable and trustworthy. I'm sure we all rested a little easier this year knowing he was on the job.
Mark, KD5DLL who set up last year's field day was the band captain for 10-meters this year. Mark ran 10-meter phone and the last time I looked in on him he was hard at it working any and all comers. For each contact we get points andwith all the contact's to be had, it adds up rather quickly, especially if the band is open in very good shape.
This year the daunting task of setting up the year 2001 Field day fell into the capable hands of Eddie, KD5JGA. Eddie is the TARC Vice President for the year 2001 and this was his first time setting up Field Day. Most of us agree that he did a fine job.
The monumental task of setting up an event of this magnitude has to be experienced to be appreciated. Countless hours and months on end of planning are needed to organize an event of this size. All the different organizations that come out and make a showing must be coordinated with to see that it all comes off without a hitch. The sheer logistics of the event is staggering to say the least!
No matter how much time and effort one puts into an activity like this the only thing that it will be remembered for is how well the event itself went. Please keep this in mind as we run across those who invested time and energy into this event and Thank Them! They truly deserve all the praise they can get.
A shinning example of the way some folks decided to set up. Ron, N5WX was the operator for the 20-meter CW portion of the band last year and operated out of his mobile. Unfortunately Ron was unable to make this year's Field Day for the club due to a previous commitment. His talents and most valuable points he always provides us with were missed greatly this year! Others set up tents and some had travel trailers. No matter what they decided to run for equipment or used as lodging, they all did fine jobs. We ran a "10 Alpha" as a club effort last year and many contacts were made in the 24-hour time limit that we ran.
This year we ran an 8 alpha. As the day of Friday, the 22nd got here Chandler Park came alive with TARC members. Tom, KB5HMZ and I got around about noon and headed up to Tulsa. I had to go by and get the communications trailer and Tom went by Tim's and picked up the TARC tower trailer. By the time we got there several people were already there. Jim, N5PMP was there with his motor home and portable tower trailer. Working at a slow steady pace I was glad to see the big HF beam being raised into the air with no problems.
Mark, KD5DLL had his HF beam laid out on the ground and was working to put it together. His mobile command unit is really looking fine, air conditioner and all. That boy has it going on. I did notice that he put a little paint on it.
Becky, KC5MXI was the first casualty of Field Day 2001. Seems she stepped in a hole and buggered up her leg a little. Her husband Tom, KB5HMZ told me he heard it pop very loudly and it frightened him as he thought she had broken it. If you remember, year before last Miss Becky was the only casualty at Field Day 1999 when she was stung by a wasp.
Eddie, KD5JGA and his wife Stephanie, KD5JMD were there bouncing around from place to place. He directed me to the location the communications trailer was to be set up and we dropped it off and moved across the field to where Tom was going to be running.
Dan, WG5Z was there in his van waiting patiently as we pulled up. Dan operated 6-meters this year and has a beautiful set up in his van. All the creature comforts can be found in his home away from home.
The day was spent putting up stations for the next day's event. The place was starting to come together and antennas were abundant. The variety of antennas was interesting to see and added a welcome site to the Amateur's up at Chandler Park. The HF bands were well represented all around the field. Tri-band beams, dipoles and G5RV's were seen. Mounted on everything from bumpers to towers. The VHF boy's were also present and had some interesting antennas in the air as well. Tom, KB5HMZ had some omni-directional "big wheels" for 2-meters and 70-cm. Gremlins were all around the place before the day was up and there was talk about finding an Indian medicine man to chase off the evil spirits. All things were worked through and things came together before the day was done.
Dinner was provided for the Hams on Friday evening and breakfast in the morning of the 23rd. Hamburgers and hot dogs for supper and biscuits and gravy for breakfast, it doesn't get any better than that. The women folks were seen slaving over the hot stove and believe me, the weather was hot enough with out this task but they did it. The hungry hams appreciated their efforts. The Friday night "TTT" net was run from "on site" again this year and had 43 check-ins and as usual was a big success. The net received many check-ins and a lot of them were up at the park at the time. Most of the folks that checked in were quite talkative on the net and Dave, W5ATV and Garry, N5YDH had the ATV pictures up and running for anyone who wanted to watch it. Both the 900-MHZ and the 70-CM machines were transmitting. At about 8:30 AM Garry gave a call to breakfast, after he got at the front of the line of course. As afternoon came and the contest got started, the bands weren't that great. Red, WB0RUF was running 20-meter phone and Stephanie, KD5JMD was seen logging for him. Her and her husband Eddie, KD5JGA would trade off with this chore as the day wore on. Red was running an Icom 745 into a Ham Stick for an antenna. The antenna was mounted on his travel trailer and seemed to do a fine job for him.
Charlie, K5TTT joined us this year and worked 40-meter phone, he got off to a slow start and later on in the day made a Satellite contact for the W5OK group effort.
Charlie is the ARRL Section Manager for our area and we were very glad he decided to join us for our efforts this year. He ran Tom, KB5HMZ's antenna array for the satellite contacts and this is what he concentrated on when the phone portion was not workable. Charlie reported some interference problems with the 40-meter CW stations off and on through the day.
Dan, WG5Z was set up on the hill and was working 6-meters this year. When I looked in on him Mike, KD5LPE was in his van trying to make a contact. Dan reported very poor band conditions through out the day.
In the past several years the 6-meter band has been wide open. This year was a disappointment on 6. The band just never did bust wide open like we had hoped.
As we all know 6-meters is a very odd band and is very difficult to predict when it will or won't be open. During most contests when 6 is open it can, and has in the past, been the main stay for the big points that can quickly be accumulated in a short period of time. Jim, N5PMP worked 15-meter phone and also ran a little PSK31. He reported decent band conditions and I have to agree, when I checked out 15-meters it was quite busy.
Jim had a very nice set up this year. He had a motor home setting under a nice shade tree. As I walked by a couple of time and peered through the window every one in side looked very comfortable as they soaked up the air conditioning. His Brother and their wives joined Jim this year. As they took turns operating and logging they didn't even break a sweat.
WN5ZAH, Fred was set up in the same location as he was last year and was working 40 meter CW. As you know Fred is a great CW operator and just sitting and watching him operate makes me envious of his talents. If you have never watched him operate I recommend that you sit beside him for 10 minutes and enjoy a watching a great CW operator
Set up in a tent and running what looked to be the same G5RV he was running last year, he reported things were going fairly well and was expected to do just fine through the day from his vantage point on the hill at the other end of the VHF gang.
Tom, KB5HMZ was not fairing as well as he had some major interference from an unknown source that was taking out his receive. It sounded like slow scan TV.
Tom had a rough start the day before as the trailer that the club has the portable tower on was found to be full of the big black and yellow bumble bees.
As you can guess this made setting the antenna system up a chore and a hazard. Tom brought some bug spray with him on Saturday and with this equalizer, made short work of the plague of pests.
As if the bumblebees weren't enough, he had a little trouble with one of his antenna's getting hung up and broken. Tom is a trooper and was not discouraged for long. Tom has the ability to adapt, over come and improvise his way around most any situation. KD5DLL, Mark was set up to run 10-meter phone this year and Rick, KD5DLM was helping him out with his efforts.
Mark has been in the process of building a first class mobile communications vehicle and I believe this is the third time he has had the opportunity to put it through it's pace's. This time when he showed up with it had some new paint on it and is really starting to look great. With a portable tower and all the gear neatly tucked away on the inside he has the ability to show up virtually any where at the drop of a hat and set up a communications command center.
When I checked in with him I found Rick, KD5DLM soaking up the air conditioner and Lori, KB5DVQ was trying to get herself into a pileup. Rick reported that 10-meter phone was in pretty good shape and they had already made about 75 contacts by 3:00 PM. As I left them they were eagerly logging contacts as quickly as Lori could make them. Dave, W5ATV showed up with his ATV gear and launched his "Blimp". It was seen flying high above the field day site providing everyone with a unique perspective of the surrounding area. Tulsa Life Flight's annual Showing to the Field Day Camp Life Flight made their annual visit and was a great attention getter. Life Flight has always been more than willing to be included in our Field day's past and is always welcome. This year was no different and after they landed the crowd began to assemble. Being heard making several Phone passes through out the day Saturday and Sunday, Astronaut Susan Helms KC7NHZ had a unique Field Day, operating from NA1SS, 1A Battery, onboard the International Space Station! The NA1SS operation is the first ever Field Day from space and will be considered in a class by itself - but it doesn't count for bonus points since the ISS isn't an Amateur Radio Satellite.
Here is a letter from the Vice President of the Club: A Thank You For A Great Field Day 2001
By Eddie Chandler, KD5JGA.
Vice President of the TARC.
We have put another great Field Day weekend in the logbook. We had an Eight Alpha Station this year. There were a lot of folks that came out to see us.
Friday's setup went pretty good as far as I know. Lurene, KB5BQB, and Carol, KD5ESM, put together a fine meal Friday night and Saturday morning. There were several other people around the cooking area to help and we want to thank them also. I am not going to try to name them all because I would leave somebody out.
I would like to give special thanks to D.J. Carter and Clifford Power Systems for the use of one of the generators we had this year. Jerry Moyer AC5JM brought out the other generator from Metrocall. Thanks Jerry.
Saturday afternoon we had a few emergency agencies come out and spend some time with us. Tulsa Life Flight flew in a helicopter and also brought out their mobile unit. Berryhill Fire Dept. brought out their trucks. Search and Rescue Dogs of Okla. came out with a few rescue dogs and did a demonstration for everyone to see. They are very interesting to watch. All of these people are great and we hope they will come out again next year.
I would like to thank all of these people and the other visitors that came to spend time with us. But most of all I would like to thank Charlie Calhoun K5TTT, ARRL Section Manager, Tom KB5HMZ, Dan WG5Z, Fred WN5ZAH, Red WB0RUF, Jim N5PMP, Mark KD5DLL and all the other operators and loggers, and those that helped with setup and taking down the stations.
Also, we would like to express our appreciation to Rick KD5DLM for hooking up the electric for us. Looking forward to seeing you all next year.
73's Eddie Chandler, KD5JGA
At the bottom of the page we see the Eddie, KD5JGA dollar that was floating around at field day this year. Speculation has it that a few folks tried to pass them off for a free meal and this is why the Tulsa Police paid us a visit. Apparently they weren't worth the paper they were printed on.
Here is the list of contacts we made this year broken down by bands and Jim, N5PMP and Eddie, KD5JGA figured the score.
80-meter CW - 11 contacts
40-meter CW - 262 contacts
40-meter phone - 112 contacts
20-meter digital - 82 contacts
20-meter phone - 300 contacts
15-meter CW - 54 contacts
15-meter phone - 203 contacts
10-meter CW - 5 contacts
10-meter phone - 179 contacts
6-meter phone 70 contacts
1.25-meter phone - 1 contact
70-CM phone - 2 contacts
Satellite - 1 contact
A total of 332 CW contacts, 82 digital contacts and a total of 903 phone contacts were made by the W5OK effort this year!
That gives us a Total contacts made of 3,462 points. Add the Bonus points we made of 1,100 points and this brings our Total score for Field Day 2001 up to 4,562 points
Over all Eddie, KD5JGA said it best when he said, "as we put another great Field Day behind us". This one goes down in the Club History as another great event put forth by the TARC group of ham's that are always ready and willing to go that extra mile. Although things didn't always go quite as smoothly as we wanted them to, we were able to adapt, over come, and improvise our way through the rough spot's. Isn't this what Field Day is all about? Going remote and having the ability to set up emergency communications under any conditions and operating for the time we are needed? There are several of the ham's in our club that have dedicated vehicles or trailers that are ready when the call to service comes that can be set up any where just about as soon as they get on scene. Most all the people that showed up are more than willing to sacrifice their time and energy for the community. This is the tradition in ham radio. We may not get recognition for it in the communities we serve, they may not even realize we are there, but we will continue to serve those communities with our communications skills.
We are hams. Over all everyone had fun and all made good contacts. All who participated are to be congratulated for their efforts this year, and for their efforts the TARC would like to say Thanks for a job well done.
73, DE W5TAZ.
Come visit the TARC on the 3rd
Tuesday of the month at the Tulsa
Technology Center at 91st and
Elwood. The Club meeting starts at 7:00 PM and you do not have to be a member, all are welcome to attend.
The Tulsa Police Department made a surprise visit.
After the first helicopter left us we were just getting back to normal and catching our breath when the Tulsa Police Department decided to pay us a visit with their state of the art helicopter. As you can see in the picture below and to the left, Garry, N5YDH was all over this one. Garry feels the club needs to get one of these for next year's Field Day so he can patrol the area a little more efficiency than he has the past 2 years as the "Head of Security". He may get one but I'm not sure George, AC5WX will let him chauffer him around in it.