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July 2015

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DELARA News is published on the web as the monthly newsletter of the Delaware Amateur Radio Association in Delaware, Ohio. 
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delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 34  NUMBER 5
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Field Day - another success in the books

My shoes have finally dried, the trailer has been (mostly) cleaned out, and the radio’s resting at the Elecraft factory awaiting repairs.  In just a short period of time, the highlight of DELARA’s ham radio activities for the year has gone from ‘anticipated’ to ‘over’. But it was fun, and worth doing. This year may join a couple others at the top of the “Field Day from Hell” list - - the rains started after setup Friday and didn’t really end until Sunday morning. This came after one of the wettest months on record. Early forecasts said the week leading up to Field Day would be dry...but then it rained. Because of all the heavy rains, advanced scouts were dispatched during the week to check out the ground conditions at the Scioto Township Park. They weren’t bad, but then it rained. By midweek, it became obvious that the fields would not support trailers and towers. What to do? There were email flurries as Presidential Joe, K8MP, explored options. in the end, it was decided by the committee that we would locate at the park as advertised, but stay on the gravel roadways. Wise choice. But then it rained. Word got out early Friday morning that several of the Ohio efforts had decided to cancel their efforts this year. Some of the locations were under water. What did we have in store for DELARA? Joe tells us he actually was considering calling it off, but people were already on the way to the park, so our course was set. Friday setup wasn’t bad. Cloudy, warm weather allowed us to set masts and get wire in the air. Because the tower trailer was so heavy, we decided earlier that we just weren’t going to use it. We were able to get Fireman Tim’s, K8TBN, large military mast up so we did have some height.  Craig managed to pull Camo Ham through the overflowing stream of water back to its place of prominence inside the shelter house. Zach Broadway’s trailer was stationed at a high point to the rear of the access drive, and the other RV’s were clustered in front of the main shelter. We initially wondered what that would do to interference, but after on-air testing, the stations were remarkably free from major overload. But then it rained. Friday evening we took over an inch of rain in a solid downpour that turned the park roadways into waterfalls. Fortunately, there was only a little wind and no lightning. But as Craig looked out from Camo Ham, he could hardly see the rest of the camp. And how was HE going to get through several inches of water where the pond overflowed?  We promised to throw food.  But then it rained. Saturday was more pleasant with cooler temperatures, but it drizzled most of the day. And the winds came. Chef Tim, K8TAT, was hard-pressed to keep the pop-up shelters on the ground, and even re- arranged them to try to keep the wind from blowing all the food supplies away. The welcome table Bob, W8ERD, had carefully prepared was, well, blown away. What didn’t blow away was soaked. Constant attention to tarps kept them attached, if not fully functional.  Our picnic was wet and cold, but oh, the taste of that hog!! The best news was that even with the weather, DELARA members and guests did probably the best job I’ve seen to date of keeping the stations on the air!  All four were logging contacts for the entire period...none sat empty. That, kids, is the secret to compiling a good score! Sunday it DIDN’T rain- the sun came out, the weather was great, the fields were still waterlogged but there was hope!  It didn’t take long to reach the end of the event on the air- and there was a sigh of relief. Teardown was efficient as always (though to me it looked like we left Fireman Tim pretty much unassisted in removing the mast.)  RV’s were stowed, the generator was pulled and we all began to compare notes. There was some dicussion around Ohio about whether or not to make this happen. Some groups opted out (understandably). Others operated with the thought that this is an emergency preparedness event and emergencies don’t wait for nice weather. Even more reasoned that while an exercise it was ~only~ an exercise. I am glad DELARA went forward, because even with the rain, it was one more time to get everyone together, to enjoy our company, and play in the hobby we all love! -Stan, N8BHL More on Field Day on the Field Day page!
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© DELARA News, the official monthly newsletter of the Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware, OH
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