by William Eric McFadden, WD8RIF
This year two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Mike Hansgen, AA8EB, decided to particate in the ARRL Field Day event in class 1B 2-Op Battery class. Circumstances had left Eric with the his two young children for the weekend, so the station was set up in the side-yard of Eric's QTH. The venerable and modified-for-feedline-entry orange tent was utilized for the radio station, a second tent was erected for the children to sleep in, and Mike set up his hiking tent as his own I'm-too-tired-copy-CW tent.
Mike and Eric erected a 20 meter delta loop, hanging it from a tree on the edge of the yard. For the rest of the bands, Eric's W6MMA Vertical was used. Initially, due to easy access to large batteries, operations began using Eric's IC-735 transciever set to 5-watts. However, this rig quickly depleted the large batteries--it turned out that due to a logistics error, one had been left uncharged--and the '735 was retired in favor of Eric's power-stingy QRP Plus. Logging and duping were accomplished with the aid of an ancient '286 laptop computer and version 5.00 of the WR9R Field Day Logging System. (The WR9R package is an excellent Field Day logger.) Keying was accomplished with Eric's Super CMOS II keyer. Operations began in the screen-room side of the two-room tent, but when the rains began, the equipment was moved into the other side of the tent.
Operations proceeded in a laid-back manner, with considerable time spent with the children. By the end of the Field Day period, 284 CW QSOs had been made on four bands. Contacts were harder to make this year than in previous years. The compromise antennas and poorer radio location probably contributed to the difficulty in making contacts. The location in the side-yard provided luxuries often not found at the typical Field Day site. Bathrooms with running water were just next door, as was a stocked refrigerator and a nice, large, gas grill for cooking dinner. An additional benefit of the location was the ready access to toys for the children and bedrooms if they were to experience difficulty sleeping in the tent--as one did.
QSOs per band:
Field Day 2000 results were posted in the December, 2000 QST. The SEORAT achieved a 6th out of 43 entries in class 1B 2-Op Battery with 2940 points. The 1st place effort had a steller score of 10,000 points.