2015 Field Day Summary

2015 Field Day Last Men Standing

The highlight of ARRL Field Day for South Jersey Radio Association for 2015 was the masterful and delicious cooking of Dom KD2EPM who dished out cold water, delicious pasta, and great burgers from 8:30 on Friday until late on Sunday afternoon.

Chris Enjoys Doms FoodTwenty-eight SJRA members and twenty-one guests (including Chris KC2GNQ at right; Dom is bending over preparing food) enjoyed Dom's cooking and a chance to learn something about amateur radio during the 3-day event. Although rain during Saturday evening and Sunday morning may have dampened some spirits, attenuated a few signals, and cost some QSO points, the turnout eclipsed member and visitor participation last year.

KC2TN, W2JAZ, WA4GNG Prepare for Satellite ContactWhile Dom was simmering his culinary delights, many others were busy earning theirs by tending to communications tasks at hand. Joe KC2TN assisted by Rick W2JAZ and Bob WA4GNG carried out his accustomed and important satellite contact with K2QS. Joe said he was mostly pleased by the convenient 4 pm overhead pass of the satellite on Saturday unlike other years that saw the satellite crew seeking their contact at 3 or 4 am. Jon W2MC clicked off 6 solar powered contacts in the space 10 minutes to earn a quick 100 bonus points for SJRA. Bob KE2D sent eleven NTS messages (one a report to Skip N2EI, SNJ section manager) to a Burlington County traffic net to grab 200 bonus points for SJRA. Bob and Rick W2JAZ responded to an urgent Friday night request to receive the W1AW Field Day message by digital means after it became apparent there was no hope by phone or CW, and they garnered another 100 bonus points for the club. Most notably Ken K2WB, Al N3AVT, Ray N3RG, and Bob N2SCJ earned a total of 600 bonus points by keeping four emergency generators running throughout the 24-hour period, supplying the power for the six primary transmitters (and four primary air conditioners). An estimated twenty-five operators performed the nitty, gritty work of grinding out 3248 radio contacts for 9952 QSO points.

Band CW QSOs Points SSB QSOs Points Total
2015 Field Day Contact Summary
80 m   254 1016   232   464 1480
40 m   969 3876   771 1542 5418
20 m   320 1280   450   900 2180
15 m   185   740     13     26   766
VHF/UHF       0       0     24     48     48
Total 1728 6912 1520 3040 9952

The table at the left summarizes the contact and QSO point totals for the six main stations and VHF and GOTA. The six main stations were 80/15m CW, 80/15m SSB, 40m CW, 40m SSB, 20m CW, and 20m SSB.  The total number of contacts is less by about 1000 from the previous year; an electromagnetic storm just prior to Field Day, less agressive recruitment of operators, and reduced propagation of 20, 15, and 10 m are all possible causes. This does proclaim an opening for any members or guests to jump in next year and operate a station.  Even the vaunted 40 m SSB station was left unattended for an hour early Saturday morning by exhausted operators.

2015 Field Day Gin Pole PowerAlong the lines of technology, we saw the introduction of a gin pole used to hoist large antennas to the height of about 9 feet onto the AB-577 towers. This replaced the Huculean efforts in previous years of our tallest members standing on step ladders. The gin pole, designed specifically for use with the towers by Ken K2WB, did a marvelous job on four antennas. In its last ultimate act of sacrifice the gin pole failed on the fifth antenna due to opeator error, giving several lessons for the construction of Gin Pole II! But on the other side of Savich Field was heard the murmur, "We don't need no gin pole helper!" as Jon W2MC, arms raised with antenna boom in hand, trod up an 8-foot step ladder. More on the gin pole next year.

The number of bonus points scored by K2AA was 1810, slightly more than last year, due mostly to a better NTS message effort by Bob KE2D and better elected official recruitment by Ken K2WB. It is clear that we could use bigger efforts to recruit more youth operators and more occasional operators for GOTA. We left 1460 possible GOTA points and 80 youth operator points on the table for lack of operators. This means there is a great opportunity for occasional and youth operators for next year!

The K2AA total score for 2015 of 11762 points is a sharp drop of about 1700 points from the previous three years. It remains to be seen if this was due to conditions (magnetic storm, rain, sunspot cycle) or due to reduced effort. Comparison to other stations' scores will tell when results are published by ARRL.