2, Issue 4
Field Day at Wassamki Springs
WS1SM Team Participates in 2nd Annual Field
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
Wireless Society of Southern Maine participated in their second annual
Field Day on the weekend of June 23rd - 24th at the Wassamki
Springs Campground, in Scarborough. Even with a few minor setbacks,
which included a broken antenna, and a two hour delay due to a severe
thunderstorm, the WS1SM team beat last year's points total and equaled
the number of QSO's!
year we maximized on bonus points," says Thom Watson W1WMG. "We were
able to handle several pieces of traffic, had site visitations from an
elected official and a served agency (the Gorham Police Department),
and also had a great public location. A special thanks goes out to the
Hillock Family of Wassamki Springs Campground."
Charlie W1CPS, works the station Sunday morning
One of the
highlights of set up was Steve K1MV's pneumatic canon, which was used
to launch the ends of the dipoles about as high up in the trees as they
could possibly go. Things would have gone perfectly, except the center
connector of the 40m dipole broke. But, this was remedied rather
By the second hour, the skies were darkening and it
became obvious that weather was on its way. Just as soon as the
antennas were lowered, the wind, rain and lightning came barreling in.
Coaxes were unplugged and operations were shut down for nearly two
hours. Just when things were improving, one funny moment came when Rory
asked, "Did somebody just take a picture?" The flash obviously didn't
come from a camera, as just a moment later there was a tremendous crack
of thunder! The break from the storm did give us an opportunity to
grill up some burgers and hot dogs and have some dinner. Roger brought
homemade baked beans, as well as homemade salsa, and Dave passed around
some of Anita's whoopie pies, which are always a big hit. Meanwhile,
Frank expertly tended the grill.
Operating began again at
around dusk, and 20 meters seemed to be the only band open at the time.
A second station, setup for 6 and 2 meters, didn't see much activity
throughout the night, or the next day for that matter, as neither band
seemed to have the usual Field Day activity. Overnight, 40 meters and
80 meters were quite active, even despite the static crashes from
nearby lightning storms. With Rory's IC-7000, equipped with an LDG
autotuner, we were able to tune up the dipole on 80 meters and it
worked awesome. Thom W1WMG, Charlie W1CPS, and myself operated
throughout the evening, and by morning had made up a lot of lost
WSSM members, Rory KB1PLY, and Tim KB1HNZ, with Sgt. Daniel Young, of the Gorham Police Department
At daybreak, Rory operated some before cooking thick
bacon slices on a campstove, (igniting a few in the process). Breakfast
was great. We were all tired, and soon Dave KB1FGF and Roger N1XP came
with provisions, including coffee. 40 meters was hopping early on, but
by late morning we were on 15 and 20. At around this time, we made use
of Charlie's home brew copper pipe J-Pole to pass traffic to the
Section Manager on 144, and handle several other pieces of traffic,
including one for overseas. Later, we were able to pass traffic on HF
to Frank KR1ZAN, in Texas. Now, being several weeks removed, I can
report that all of these found their way to their intended recipients.
we chose to set up at exactly two o'clock on Saturday, we were able to
operate for an additional three hours on Sunday afternoon. These became
important QSO's, since it was in the last hour that we closed the gap
and made a run at last year's mark. This, combined with
additional bonuses, gave us more total points than we had last year!
Good job team!!!
WS1SM Climbs to
SOTA from Mt.
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
8th, WSSM members, Thom Watson W1WMG, and myself
made the trip to the highest point in New England to activate W1/HA-001
for Summits on the Air. Using the club call, we made many contacts on
VHF while braving hurricane force wind gusts and 35 degree temps.
we arrived on the summit, the immediate change was in the temperature,
but also in the last 1/2 mile of the trek, we became completely
immersed in clouds. Winds gusted anywhere from 60-80 mph at times,
forcing us to anchor our antenna (and other equipment) to a heavy steel
picnic table just outside of the Tip Top House. At some points during
the morning, ice pellets came down horizontally, but thankfully this
didn't last, as they stung pretty bad! All the while it felt like
winter. Your hands would freeze up after just a few minutes of holding
the microphone, and drops of moisture on the VHF antenna were in fact
frozen when we went to take it down!
By late afternoon, breaks
began to open in the clouds, finally allowing views of far off
mountains and tiny specs of villages that are scattered across the
valleys in all directions. HF operating suffered from us not being able
to extend the antenna in the winds, but VHF was downright awesome. On
146.520 simplex alone, we logged dozens of QSO's in just the first
couple hours - some of these just using an HT! With the log periodic,
range was extended considerably... as far away as Southern Vermont,
New York, Massachusetts, and all parts of Maine and New Hampshire. Most of these
were folks driving around, who just happened to be monitoring .52
and heard us calling CQ!
Antenna Raising Party at KB1FGF's
Diamond CP6AD Trap
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
In early June, several club
helped Dave KB1FGF, install his new HF vertical antenna. Dave's antenna
was mounted on an eight foot galvanized steel pipe, that was driven
about four feet into the ground. Also installed was a remote antenna
most recent outdoor activities, the weather was almost perfect for
setting up Dave's Diamond CP6AD vertical. The antenna was a breeze to
put together, with the most difficult part being pounding the support
mast in the ground. Thankfully, not too long into this, Roger N1XP,
came by with a tool that made this much easier.
dug for a single length of direct-burial coax, and also a 5 position,
remote coax switch was installed, that minimizes the number of coaxes
coming into the house. The project took most of the day, but by late
afternoon, Dave was already making contacts using the new antenna!
you'll find some recent QSL's. If you received an interesting one
yourself that you'd like to show off, please send a digital image to
[email protected] and we'll be sure to publish it in an upcoming issue.
Over the next couple weeks, watch for special Olympic prefixes, (most
notably 2O, GO, and MO), as these are sure to produce some collectible
Cushcraft "Big Thunder" antenna for 20-15-10 meters. Call Gilbert
Bineua K1LMJ for pricing and details, at 207-839-4783, or contact him
by email at: [email protected]
England Division Convention -
24-26, in Boxborough, MA. Located at the Holiday Inn and Convention
Center, 242 Adams Place, Boxborough. Contact Mike Raisbeck K1TWG, for
more info: (978) 250-1235 or visit: http:// www.boxboro.org
NoBarc Hamfest 2012 -
Northern Berkshire Amateur ARC hosts an ARRL hamfest on August 12th in
Adams, Mass. For more info, please visit: http://www.nobarc.org/hamfest.htm
have any items for trade, contact one of our members to have it listed
here. Send an email to: [email protected]
with a brief
description and contact information.
you offer any ham radio related services, for example, if you repair
meters or radios, build your own transmitters, make QSL cards to order,
or rebuild microphones, you may list these services here.
there are any items you may be looking for, use this space to get the
word out. Just send an email to [email protected]
, or mention it at
an upcoming meeting.
advertisements are listed for FREE. Advertising shall pertain to
products and services which are related to amateur radio. No
advertisement may use more than 40 words. Please send a description of
items for sale, wants, or services to Thom Watson at [email protected],
or bring it to an upcoming meeting of the Wireless Society of Southern
Maine. All ads will be printed one time, unless renewed.