Saturday, June 10, 2023

Field Day Countdown

I used to spend one day packing before ARRL Field Day, and that was it. This year I am getting a head start. Rick NZ2I and I plan to operate callsign N4KGL, Class B Battery, two-person, two transmitter station at Eastbank Campground on the Georgia side of Lake Seminole.  I chose campsite 33 because it has bonus green space. There is room for the Buddihex hex beam and a MyAntennas 130-foot Endfed. I know because I used campsite 33 for this year's Winter Field Day.

This is Campsite 33 we used for last Winter Field Day. It is just the ticket with bonus green space for antennas. We will be operating in the shelter next to the camper. Of course, the panels will be removed to help with the heat,

To QRP or QRO? ARRL is very generous with the QRP Battery multiplier. In simple terms, two QRP CW Contacts equals five 100W CW Contacts or ten 100W phone Contacts. One hundred CW contacts yield a decent score. The rigs are an Icom 705 and an Icom 7100. Note, the Icom 7100 does take eight amps on transmit even with five watts RF output. 

We are using two 40 amp-hour Bioenno LiFEPO4 batteries for the power source. I have a solar panel for each, one 100-watt panel and one 60-watt panel. I am very impressed with the Bioenno 60-watt lite panel for its portability.

I tested N1MM Logger + networking with two Toughbook laptops. The two laptops are tied together with an ethernet crossover cable.

We plan to use a Quadplexer to operate both transmitters simultaneously on the same antenna. The Buddihex deserves to be shared. Hopefully, it will make five watts roar.

Networking N1MM Logger + for two stations is a new challenge. It is easier than I thought. N1MM does take a bit of configuration for digital modes like FT-8 and PSK-31. 

A nice satellite station, the Icom 9700, Arrow antenna, and CSN S.A.T box.

But what about bonus points? The satellite bonus is always elusive. I do have the gear. Chris VA3ECO snagged a bonus sat contact with it at last Winter Field Day. So I had better practice. The sat station has an Icom 9700, Arrow dual yagi, and an S.A.T box. The S.A. T. box does much work, but it still takes some operator savvy to point the antenna and pull off a contact. I may go for the message bonus too. WinLink is a great choice; more prep and practice are needed.

What could be better than a view of the Buddihex at sunset over Lake Seminole?

Hey, does this sound like a lot of effort? It is worth it; However, the effort can be reduced by participating with your local club. The Panama City, FL, and Dothan, AL clubs have planned great group field days.

Rick, NZ2I

Rick NZ2I  and I expect to have a great time despite the heat. We are long-time friends.

Good luck at Field Day,

Greg N4KGL