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ARRL Field Day 2016

HOTARC trailer in Hewitt Park

map to hewitt park

On Saturday-Sunday, June 25-26, 2016 HOTARC participated in a national annual special event sponsored by the ARRL. On Field Day ham radio operators across the country set up "emergency operations" and contact as many other stations as possible in a contest-like fashion. Folks began to arrive around 10:00 AM Saturday, and started erecting an "emergency operations center" with three radio stations capable of world-wide communications. At 1:00 PM, we began operating those stations—without commercial electricity, continuously, for 24 hours—wrapping up operations at 1 PM on Sunday.

This year we returned to our favorite location at Hewitt Park, in Hewitt, TX, to demonstrate our ham radio skills in action, enjoy food/fellowship with fellow hams, and welcome visitors and VIPs. Many youngsters were able to talk into a ham radio microphone for the first time to someone on the opposite side of the country—without a cell phone!

Since this is also a national contest event, we kept records of all our contacts and submit the data to the ARRL to see how we fared in the competition aspect of the event. Clint AE5CA greatly helped the logging effort by setting up a "Ham Mesh" wi-fi network that connected all the logging stations' laptops, permitting a real-time analysis of our scoring, not to mention connecting each station with a private-line telephone system and live video feeds between each station! Ain't technology great?!

Here's an overhead view of Hewitt Park, with the layout of our stations, antennas, and other equipment. The Field Day Rules specify all radios and antennas must lie within a 1000-foot diameter circle.


HOTARC Field Day Wrap-Up

by Rodney Baden, K5YKC

I would like to thank all that took part in supporting our 2016 Field Day, especially our FD Chairmen: Clint Anderson, AE5CA and Lynn Gustafson, KD5DZU.

Let me take this opportunity to also thank:

  1. Lea Madden of American Red Cross Disaster Services, for presenting us with a Certificate of Appreciation.
  2. Curtis McDonald KF5YPA, for bringing the Texas Medical Taskforce Trailer.
  3. David KC5UOZ and Ruth KF5PGJ Bush, for lending us the motor home for the CW Station, and providing snacks, drinks, and ice.
  4. Frank Patterson KE5MZB, Waco-McLennan County Emergency Manager and his assistant.
  5. Larry Carlson AA5LC, for getting all three generators running for Field Day.
  6. Clint Anderson AE5CA, for providing and setting up mesh network for logging and monitoring all our stations, and the CW computer.
  7. Robert Scott KC5PRG, for taking awesome photographs (see below) and bringing gas for the generators.
  8. Keith Adams KG5AWC and son, for helping set up the HOTARC trailer and CW quarter-wave vertical antenna.
  9. Bill Feltenberger KD5UEW, for picking up and delivering lunch (Subway sandwiches) and dinner (Bush's Chicken).
  10. Amy Oakley KF5PGB, for serving as our PIO, greeter, setting up our sign-up sheet, and posting to Facebook.

John Stewart KE5UBM brought his family out to field day. With help from several members, his daughter, Sara, made 20 contacts on our HF GOTA station. Because of Field Day, she plans to start working on her Technician license!

So, thanks to ALL the HOTARC members who made this red-letter weekend a great success!

And a special thanks for the mealtime foods—from Waco and Hewitt providers—it was great! We all give a BIG round of applause to Bill Feltenberger KE5UEW for coordinating the food selection and delivery to our HOTARC Field Day site. And didn't I see some pizza boxes, too? Thanks for that, too! Food is a most essential part of Field Day, and it was done GREAT!

(Click thumbnails below for full size versions. Thanks to KC5PRG and AE5CA for photos!)

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Location for our Field Day
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VHF/Mesh station brought by KD5UEW
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Raising the beam antenna for SSB station in trailer
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One of the generators
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Mobile Medical Van on site
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FOOD: an important part of Field Day!
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Raising the 40m vertical antenna for CW station
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Mounting a Mesh antenna on the CW station
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T-shirts: an important part of FD!
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T-shirts: an important part of FD!
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SSB Operator (KG5AWC)
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Visit by a served agency
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PR display set up by our PIO (KF5PGB)
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Logging software running at each station
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Visitors operate the GOTA station
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GOTA station and Mesh Central
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CW Operator (K5IMC)
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Pavilion with GOTA dipole antenna and 40m vertical


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