G3VGR Field Day 2003      

ARRL Field Day - June 2003

This year, we decided to go to the excellent State of Maine for Field Day, which was a great idea as it allowed me to precede the event with some hiking and backpacking in Baxter State Park. The Field Day site was a hunting cabin located in 200 acres, near Kingman, Maine and about a 6 hour drive from the W1SRG QTH. No water or electricity was available at the cabin and frequent 70 mile round trips had to be made to Lincoln for provisions. We also discovered the excellent Blue Ox Tavern in Millinocket which serves a fine pint of Draught Guinness.

Unfortunately, due to various circumstances and commitments, none of the usual gang were able to come along for various reasons, so only Larry, AG1C and I went on the trip. The weather was extremely hot and the site was plagued with blackfly and mosquitoes. We erected 3 wire antennas: a G5RV, 80metre Doublet and 40 metre Inverted Vee. I was badly bitten by the insects during the antenna erecting, despite liberal applications of Deet and we both had to wear headnets outdoors most of the time.

We ran two stations, both using IC706mkIIGs. One rig used the G5RV via a LDG AT11MP tuner, mainly on 20 metres and the other rig used the inverted vee on 40 metres and the doublet on 80 metres. The doublet seemed to be a poor performer on most bands. Most operations were on 40 and 20 metres. The 10 metre band was completely dead and not enough was heard on 15 metres to warrant making use of that band. Both 20 and 40 metres were extremely crowded and we had to resort to Search and Pounce operation to make QSOs. This meant we had to frequently change from CW to SSB to find new stations to work.

Here are some photos of this year's epic expedition:

The official sign points the way to the Field Day site. However if anyone had the skill to navigate their way to this point, the sign would be somewhat redundant

Deep in a Maine swamp lies the hunting cabin, home of the W1SRG team, as well as home to billions of blackflies and mosquitoes

Inside our Field Day shack. The station on the front table used the Inverted Vee and 80m Doublet, the G5RV was used by the station on the rear table

The intrepid Field Day team of AG1C and G3VGR modelling a natty line in titfers

The G5RV antenna up high and in the clear. This was made up on site from an old 160m doublet and worked very well

Our Public Information Table. This was the focal point of the whole Field Day site (and worth the same number of points as 50 CW QSOs)

Attracted by the Public Information Table, an interested visitor turns up to learn about ham radio.

The visitor does a runner after G3VGR tries to enrol him for a UK Foundation License class

AG1C's tidy operating position. Looks very nice and is a credit to the hobby

Larry, AG1C cooks a hearty brunch to sustain us for the next 24 hours.

Larry, AG1C searching and pouncing on 20 metres

Dave, G3VGR sending fills on 40m CW

Larry tries his luck on 40m SSB using the Inverted Vee antenna. This gave good results working the West Coast

G3VGR tries out his new Heil microphone on 20m SSB. Unskilled with this modern technology, Dave dropped and broke the mike shortly after the picture was taken

We're running low on beer, so AG1C has to drink gasoline, syphoned from the generator.

The AG1C operating position at the end of Field Day, looking as neat as ever

We're all packed and heading for home. Time to start planning for next year's Field Day. Perhaps we can visit the natives in upstate NY?

This is kit for making a beverage antenna. The hard work of emptying the cans has already been done at Field Day
Field Day details
We made 311 CW and 137 SSB QSOs for a claimed score of 1518
Larry  -  AG1C   Dave  -  G3VGR