SCARBOROUGH, ME – On the weekend of June 25-26, the WS1SM team participated in their 12th ARRL Field Day from Wassamki Springs Campground, in Scarborough.
Activities began Friday morning when club members helped to setup a utility trailer, tower, and antenna, that would make up the CW operating station. The station, which is the design of Rick Fickett K1OT, goes together smoothly. After assembling the antennas which consist of a 40 meter yagi and a 10/15/20m tri-bander, and tower components, the tower is pulled up by a winch, so it only needs to be guided on the way up, and when the tower is almost upright, a custom made bracket which holds the yagis, allows them to move into position and lock in place. After this was complete, the guys were tightened and the area was roped off for safety.
Rick Fickett K1OT, gets the station ready
The station consists of an Elecraft K3 that runs on a pair of deep cycle batteries. It was operated throughout Field Day by Rick K1OT, Greg W1GF, and Joe K1JB.
Unlike previous years, the SSB stations were setup on Saturday morning. One was setup in a large tent, and the other was setup in the Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency (CCEMA) communications trailer. Antennas included a 160m end fed and a Buddipole, and 40m rotatable dipole (that mounts to the trailer). The two SSB stations consisted of a Yaesu FT-857d (in the tent) and Icom IC-7300 (in the trailer), which ran on battery power throughout the event.
Waylon KC1HJN operating SSB
After final checks and updates to the logging software, we were ready to get on the air by 2:00PM!
The weather was pleasant for the entire Field Day, including setup and break down, and the band conditions seemed very good as well. 40 meters was steady throughout most of the weekend, and 20m opened up nicely late Saturday afternoon and lasted well into the evening, similar to last year, and there was also activity on 10 and 15 meters, especially on Sunday.
Waylon KC1HJN, Tim KB1HNZ, Stefania K1GJY, Eric N1RXR, Peter KC1HBM, Jim KB1SDK, Brad KC1JMH, and others, each took turns operating the SSB stations. Eric N1RXR had a really good run on 15 meters Sunday morning, and Stefania K1GJY made lots of QSOs on 40 meters throughout the event.
Eric N1RXR getting ready for a satellite pass
Our Safety Officer for 2022 ARRL Field Day was Mike N5QYQ. Mike reported that he made sure any trip hazards were marked, that fire suppression was handy, first aid was accessible, and that stations were properly grounded. We also made sure to have RF exposure reports on hand for each operating station and antenna combination.
Fellow club members, Frank KR1ZAN in Plano, TX, and Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR, in Duluth, MN, helped us copy the W1AW Field Day message, which was super helpful because many of us were setting up station equipment during the broadcast.
Tim KB1HNZ prepared radiograms for the Section Manager and several others, and Brad KC1JMH sent them via the Digital Traffic Network using VHF Packet and HF Winlink.
Eric N1RXR attempted to make a satellite contact using his IC-9700, but despite hearing a few passes really well, we weren’t unable to make a verifiable contact.
Mike N5QYQ and Steve AA1HF reprised their roles as GOTA station coaches, setting up a nice station in the Wassamki Springs Ham Shack. There were both modern and classic radios to try out. They welcomed unlicensed operators, who took turns getting on the air throughout the weekend, as well as a few newer hams.
Jim KB1SDK operates SSB from the tent
Besides the lessons learned at the GOTA station, we also offered a formal educational activity about radio direction finding. Tim KB1HNZ hid a small purpose-built transmitter and explained some of the various methods that can be used to track it down, including using doppler finder technology, attenuators, body shielding, and a directional antenna. Tim’s son, Elliot, had a fun time trying to find a hidden transmitter and eventually did!
Rick K1OT, Greg W1GF, and Joe K1JB all took turns operating the CW station from Rick’s trailer. They made nearly 1200 QSO’s, of which 502 were on 40 meters alone!
Operating as 3A (three fulltime HF stations on emergency power), and call sign W1M, 2022 ARRL Field Day was not only a fun time, but a huge success! We logged 1900 QSOs for a total of 6,210 QSO points, and nearly maxed out on all the bonus points.
Elliot makes a QSO on HF!
Be sure to check the December issue of QST for the 2022 ARRL Field Day Line Scores!
Special thanks to Chris Wheeler, and everyone at Cumberland County EMA for their support and allowing us to use the CCEMA communications trailer, and to the Hillock Family for their continued hospitality, allowing us to operate from Wassamki Springs Campground for the 12th consecutive year! We’d also like to thank Steve’s wife Marilyn, who provided us with a fantastic cookout Saturday evening and breakfast sandwiches Sunday morning!