2022 ARRL Field Day Review

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!

Pre Field Day EMA Work Detail

There will be no ECT Training Net this evening. Take the time to get your gear ready and rest up for Field Day, which takes place this weekend, June 25-26 at Wassamki Springs Campground, (56 Saco Street, in Scarborough, ME).

We will be having a work detail at the Cumberland County EMA (CCEMA) bunker, located at 22 High Street, Windham, starting at 6:00PM this evening. The focus will be to clean out and load the communications trailer for Field Day. If you’d like to help out, feel free to stop by.

The next ECT Training Net will take place Thursday, July 28th at 7:00 PM on the W1QUI 147.090 (+ / 100) repeater.

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

2022 ARRL Field Day Schedule

Please join us this weekend, June 25-26, at Wassamki Springs Campground, (located at 56 Saco Street, Scarborough, ME) for ARRL Field Day!

We will be operating in the 3A category (club station with 3 full time HF transmitters), plus we’ll also be active on 6 meters, VHF, and satellite throughout the event.

Please follow all campground rules! All visitors must check in at the main gate and park where they are directed to by the attendant. No campfires are allowed, no swimming, and no pets.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY – 10:00 AM – Setup for the CW tower/trailer [Contact: Rick K1OT at (207) 939-9333].

SATURDAY – 10:00 AM – Setup for the other HF stations, including tents, antennas, and small items such as the table display.

SATURDAY – 2:00 PM – On-air activities begin.

SUNDAY – 2:00 PM – On-air activities end, followed by breakdown of equipment and site cleanup.

GOTA STATION

The public is encouraged to attend, and there will also be a Get on the Air (GOTA) station available for anyone who’d like to try out ham radio! Here’s the preliminary schedule for the GOTA station:

Setup: SATURDAY 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Operating hours: SATURDAY: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM & 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Operating hours: SUNDAY: 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM & 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM

TEMPORARY RULE WAVER

Similar to last year’s Field Day, a temporary rule waiver allows participants from any Class to optionally include a single club name with their submitted results. This means that if you’d prefer to operate from home, using your own call sign, and would like to contribute to our club aggregate score, you may do so. Please include the full club name: Wireless Society of Southern Maine with your entry.

Click here to review the complete 2022 Field Day rules.

FIELD DAY BULLETIN

Since quite a few of us will be involved with setup, we could use some help copying the Field Day bulletin. Click here to view the 2022 ARRL Field Day Bulletin schedule, including times, frequencies, and modes.

See you there!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

Wassamki Springs Campground is located at: 56 Saco Street, Scarborough, ME 04074.

Talk-in on 146.580 FM Simplex.

Wireless Society Returns to Wassamki Springs Campground for Ham Radio Field Day

ARRL Field Day at Wassamki Springs

Members of the Wireless Society of Southern Maine (WSSM) are set to participate in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise June 25-26 at Wassamki Springs Campground, 56 Saco Street, Scarborough.

The public is encouraged to attend on Saturday, June 25, from 2p.m. to 8 p.m.

For more than 100 years, amateur radio – sometimes called ham radio – has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster. Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network. More than 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated in Field Day last year.

“Field Day is part emergency communications exercise, and part competition, where we accumulate points and test our operating skills against other clubs and individuals around the U.S. and Canada,” says club President, Brad Brown, Jr., of North Waterboro, ME.

During the event, participants will try to earn points by meeting specific goals as outlined by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). Some of these include handling and delivering messages, hosting educational activities, and making contacts with other amateurs through various methods, such as voice, telegraphy, satellites, and digital modes.

“This is a fun event that gives us an opportunity to share our passion with the community and to improve our operating skills, all while getting everyone out there and on the air,” says Brown.

Field Day, which has taken place annually since 1933, is designed to test radio operators’ ability to quickly setup and operate portable stations in emergency conditions.

“The entire operation will exclusively use emergency power sources like batteries, or solar energy, in order to simulate how things would be during a catastrophic event,” adds club Vice President, Peter Hatem, of Scarborough. “The public should be aware that in the event of an emergency, we’re ready to assist in any way that we can. While people may have the impression that cell phones and other technologies are good enough, we stand by as a trained pool of experienced radio operators to provide the vital communication services others may not. Hams have provided emergency communications during hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, floods, blackouts, and other disasters, where more complex and fragile communications systems, such as cell networks, have failed or become overloaded.”

The Wireless Society of Southern Maine’s Emergency Communications Team provides auxiliary communications support to the Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency and members are also active in supporting the National Weather Service’s SKYWARN program in Gray, ME.

“Last year, the Wireless Society of Southern Maine, using call sign WS1SM, recorded the highest Field Day score in Maine and we hope to do well again this year,” says Brown. “The public is welcome to attend the event and if anyone is interested in learning more about the hobby, we’ll be glad to help.”

Anyone can become a licensed amateur radio operator. There are more than 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 5 and as old as 100. The Wireless Society of Southern Maine is ready to help anyone get involved and licensed right here in Scarborough. The club meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month at the Scarborough Public Safety Building, located at 275 U.S. Route 1.

For more information about Field Day, and amateur radio in general, please visit: http://www.mainehamradio.com

2021 ARRL Field Day from Wassamki Springs – a Huge Success!

SCARBOROUGH, ME – On the weekend of June 26-27, the WS1SM team participated in their 11th ARRL Field Day from Wassamki Springs Campground, in Scarborough.

Information table near the main entrance at Wassamki Springs Campground

Activities began Friday morning when a handful of club members helped to setup a utility trailer, tower, and antenna, that would make up the CW station. The station, which is the design of Rick Fickett K1OT, goes together smoothly, as it’s nothing short of an engineering masterpiece. After assembling the antennas which consist of a 40 meter yagi and a 10/15/20m tribander, 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. The station consisted of an Elecraft K3 that runs on a pair of deep cycle batteries. The station was operated throughout Field Day by Rick K1OT and Greg W1GF.

Overnight CW ops

Later in the afternoon, another team helped setup a tent that would make up one of the SSB stations, and more antennas, including a DX Commander vertical and a Buddipole (in an NVIS configuration). The team also setup radios in the CCEMA communications trailer, and installed a 40m rotatable dipole atop the trailer. The two SSB stations consisted of a Yaesu FT-857d (in the tent) and Icom IC-7300 (in the trailer), which would run on battery power throughout the event.

Waylon KC1HJN operating 20m SSB

With the stations already setup, all that was needed Saturday morning was to check SWR, update the logging software, and help folks who were camping overnight setup their tents. By 2:00 PM we were ready to get on the air!

The weather was pleasant for the entire Field Day, including setup and break down, although temperatures were approaching 90 by Sunday afternoon. 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. One of the highlights was making contacts with Australia, Hawaii, and New Zealand at around 11:30 Saturday night – on 20 meters! We also made lots of contacts on 10 and 15 meters.

Overnight SSB ops

Jason W1SFS, Waylon KC1HJN, Tim KB1HNZ, CJ W1CJC, and Dylan KC1PDS (who just earned his ham radio license), 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 Sunday morning and early afternoon. Brad KC1JMH and Josh KC1KTX, took turns operating the 40m station and also exchanged lots of messages on Packet and Winlink.

Our Safety Officers for 2021 ARRL Field Day were Mike N5QYQ and Eric N1RXR. Eric reported that he made sure any trip hazards were marked, that fire suppression was handy, and first aid was accessible. We also made sure to have RF exposure reports on hand for each operating station and antenna combination.

The kids watching cartoons Saturday night

Fellow club members, Frank KR1ZAN in Plano, TX, Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR, in Duluth, MN, and Brad Bown Jr., KC1JMH, helped us copy the W1AW Field Day message, which was super helpful because many of us were setting up antennas during the broadcast.

Tim KB1HNZ sent radiograms to the Section Manager and several others by way of the Digital Traffic Network via our Packet station on VHF.

A few times throughout the weekend, Eric N1RXR attempted to make a satellite contact, but although hearing a few passes really well, was unable to make a contact.

Stefania operates 20m SSB Saturday

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 three operators Nick KC1MSR, Waylon KC1HJN, and Dylan KC1PDS, who took turns getting on the air throughout the weekend, and Dylan and Nick operated at both the GOTA station and the 40m SSB station in the main field.

Steve AA1HF with the “modern” GOTA setup

The GOTA station was a good opportunity to learn about different aspects of the hobby, and Mike and Steve were great teachers. Mike N1QYQ explained the operation and function of the Kenwood TS-520S transceiver and related components and compared this older technology with the newest technology (ICOM IC-7300). Mike also explained basic HF propagation and its relation to the sunspot cycle. Mike helped Dillon troubleshoot and solve an issue with his straight key and his TS-850S. Mike also explained the basic operation of the Hy-Gain 18AVQ trap vertical antenna. He used the Kenwood SM-220 monitor scope to show transmitted waveforms and how the scope was used to monitor output of the transceiver to ensure the transmitted audio signal was not clipping and that the RF emissions from the transceiver were “clean.”

The “classic” GOTA station setup in the ham shack

Steve AA1HF explained the tracking of weather balloons using one he “caught” and its features and process for tracking and reporting the unit to the sender. Steve also explained the features and operation of his (Steve’s) ICOM IC-7300 and ICOM 9700 software defined multiband radios and the basics of calling and answering “CQ Field Day” and how to log the contacts.

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. Brad’s son, Jordan, had a fun time trying to find the transmitter and eventually did!

The Yaesu FT857d setup in the tent

Operating as 3A (three fulltime HF stations on emergency power), 2021 ARRL Field Day was not only a fun time, but a huge success! We logged 1776 QSOs for a total of 2,958 QSO points, and nearly maxed out on all the bonus points.

Our final point tally of 7,422, places us 1st in the 3A Category for Maine, 1st in Maine in All Categories, and 15th in the 3A category Worldwide!

Click here to download the December 2021 QST Article, showing club scores including individual (home station entries).

Click here to download the 2021 ARRL Field Day Line Scores.

Operating overnight in the CW trailer

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 11th 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!

Click here to see more pictures from 2021 ARRL Field Day.

MEETING REMINDER – Tonight at 7:00 PM

Please join us this Thursday, July 8th, from 7:00 PM-9:00 PM, at Wassamki Springs Campground, for our monthly business meeting. If the weather is nice, we’ll be meeting outside near the former camp store. Please bring a lawn chair as there may not be a picnic table available near the site.

For those who haven’t been there before, the camp store is located near the back of the camping area. Turn right after checking in at the office, follow the road past the lake, and take the next left. Follow that road almost to the end, where you’ll see a small white building with a porch. Its important to DRIVE SLOW and follow all campground rules when present on the property. We are guests!

On the agenda, we’ll be reviewing ARRL Field Day, which took place the weekend of June 26-27 this year, and we’ll finalize plans for our Parks on the Air (POTA) outing to Mt. Blue State Park.

If you’d like to join us remotely, here’s the dial-in instructions:
(Last month we found that cell coverage at the campground was spotty, so we’ll do the best we can).

Dial-in number (US): (425) 436-6366
Access code: 2618168#
International dial-in numbers: https://fccdl.in/i/kb1hnz
Online meeting ID: kb1hnz
Join the online meeting: https://join.freeconferencecall.com/kb1hnz

For additional assistance connecting to the meeting, text ‘Call Me’ to the Dial-in number above and you will be called into the conference. Message and data rates may apply.

See you there!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

2021 ARRL Field Day at Wassamki Springs June26-27

Please join us this weekend, June 26-27, at Wassamki Springs Campground, (located at 56 Saco Street, Scarborough, ME) for ARRL Field Day!

We will be operating in the 3A category (club station with 3 full time HF transmitters), plus we’ll also be active on 6 meters, VHF, and satellite throughout the event.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY – 10:00 AM – Setup for the CW tower/trailer.

FRIDAY – 6:00 PM – Setup for the other HF stations, including tents and antennas.

SATURDAY – 11:00 AM – Final prep and small items such as the table display, will be setup.

SATURDAY – 2:00 PM – On-air activities begin.

SUNDAY – 2:00 PM – On-air activities end, followed by breakdown of equipment and site cleanup.

GOTA STATION

The public is encouraged to attend, and there will also be a Get on the Air (GOTA) station available for anyone who’d like to try out ham radio! Here’s the preliminary schedule for the GOTA station:

Setup: SATURDAY 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Operating hours: SATURDAY: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM & 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Operating hours: SUNDAY: 8:00 AM – 11:30 AM & 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM

TEMPORARY RULE WAVER

Similar to last year’s Field Day, a temporary rule waiver allows participants from any Class to optionally include a single club name with their submitted results. This means that if you’d prefer to operate from home, using your own call sign, and would like to contribute to our club aggregate score, you may do so. Please include the full club name: Wireless Society of Southern Maine with your entry.

Click here to review the complete 2021 Field Day rules.

FIELD DAY BULLETIN

Since quite a few of us will be setting up on Friday evening, we could use some help copying the Field Day bulletin. Click here to view the 2021 ARRL Field Day Bulletin schedule, including times, frequencies, and modes.

See you there!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

Wassamki Springs Campground is located at: 56 Saco Street, Scarborough, ME 04074.

Talk-in on 146.580 FM Simplex.

Meeting Reminder – Thursday from 7PM-9PM at Wassamki Springs Campground

Please join us this Thursday, June 10th, from 7:00 PM-9:00 PM, at Wassamki Springs Campground, for our monthly business meeting. If the weather is nice, as expected, we’ll be meeting outside near the former camp store. Please bring a lawn chair as there may not be a picnic table available near the site.

For those who haven’t been there before, the camp store is located near the back of the camping area. Turn right after checking in at the office, follow the road past the lake, and take the next left. Follow that road almost to the end, where you’ll see a small white building with a porch. Its important to DRIVE SLOW and follow all campground rules when present on the property. We are guests!

On the agenda, we’ll be talking about ARRL Field Day, which takes place the weekend of June 26-27 this year! If we have a chance, we may take a walk down and scope out the area where we’ll be setting up.

If you’d like to join us remotely, here’s the dial-in instructions:

Dial-in number (US): (425) 436-6366
Access code: 2618168#
International dial-in numbers: https://fccdl.in/i/kb1hnz
Online meeting ID: kb1hnz
Join the online meeting: https://join.freeconferencecall.com/kb1hnz

For additional assistance connecting to the meeting, text ‘Call Me’ to the Dial-in number above and you will be called into the conference. Message and data rates may apply.

See you there!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

Wireless Society to Return to Wassamki Springs for Ham Radio Field Day

Members of the Wireless Society of Southern Maine are set to participate in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise June 26-27 at Wassamki Springs Campground, 56 Saco Street, Scarborough.

The public is encouraged to attend on Saturday, June 26, from 2p.m. to 8 p.m.

“After the pandemic limited us to a much smaller operation last year, with very little public participation, it will be great to have a more traditional Field Day,” said WSSM President, Tim Watson, of Saco. “Field Day is part emergency communications exercise, and part competition, where we accumulate points and test our operating skills against other clubs and individuals around the U.S. and Canada.”

During the event, participants try to earn points by meeting specific goals as outlined by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). Some of these include handling and delivering messages, hosting educational activities, and making contacts with other amateurs through various methods, such as voice, telegraphy, satellites, and digital technology.

“This is a fun event that gives us an opportunity to share our passion with the community and to improve our operating skills, all while getting everyone out there and on the air,” says Watson.

Field Day, which has taken place annually since 1933, is designed to test radio operators’ ability to quickly setup and operate portable stations in emergency conditions.

“The entire operation will exclusively use emergency power sources like batteries, or solar energy, in order to simulate how things would be during a catastrophic event,” Watson explained. “The public should be aware that in the event of an emergency, we’re ready to assist in any way that we can. While people may have the impression that cell phones and other technologies are good enough, we stand by as a trained pool of experienced radio operators to provide the vital communication services others may not. Hams have provided emergency communications during hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, floods, blackouts, and other disasters, where more complex and fragile communications systems, such as cell networks, have failed or become overloaded.”

The Wireless Society of Southern Maine’s Emergency Communications Team provides communications support to the Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency and members also support the National Weather Service’s SKYWARN operations in Gray, ME.

“Since 2014, the Wireless Society of Southern Maine, using call sign WS1SM, has recorded the highest club Field Day score in Maine and hopes to finish on top again in 2021,” says Watson. “The public is welcome to attend the event and if anyone is interested in learning more about amateur radio, we’ll be glad to help.”

Anyone can become a licensed amateur radio operator. There are more than 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 5 and as old as 100. The Wireless Society of Southern Maine is ready to help anyone get involved and licensed right here in Scarborough. For more information about Field Day, and amateur radio in general, please visit: http://www.mainehamradio.com

“We’d like to thank the Hillock family, owners of Wassamki Springs Campground, for being such great hosts and providing us with an exceptional facility to setup for Field Day at for meetings throughout the summer.” Please visit: https://wassamkisprings.com/ to find out more about this wonderful campground, located in Scarborough, ME.