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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Field Day a success with W1CWA - BARC!

We had a great time up at Talcott Mountain State Park with the crew from Bloomfield Amateur Radio Club (BARC) under the call sign W1CWA.

Here are some pics courtesy of fellow ham, K1MGM - Dan:

I managed to sneak out of the house on Saturday afternoon and avoid some lawn work to make the trip up to the site on top of Talcott Mountain. The guys were very friendly, and offered me to work 40 Meters phone with one of the guys involved in the set up - who I believe is named, Dan. After we made about 25 or so contacts under very cool conditions from a beautiful perch over-looking the Valley for about 35 miles Northwest.

As Dan and I worked we heard a QSO (conversation) between a Pennsylvania Station and another station in either DC or Virginia, who had the privilege of having the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Governor of the State on the horn. While we couldn't hear the station with with the government officials, but we did hear the station acknowledging the contact, and I have to say the Ham Operator did a very nice fabulous job of representing Amateur Radio operators and talking up the purpose of Field Day.

After a couple hours of getting in some work, I was paged home to help my wife out with the young ones.

But I had such a good time that I was up early on Sunday (thanks to Precious our loud and obnoxious cat meowing away at 5:30 am). Seizing the moment, I decided to get dressed, and head back to the site for the chance at some additional ham operation. I arrived at the site at about 6:15 am. I think the guys were surprised to see me so early in morning, but they were good enough to get the generator up and running so I could operate for a few hours. We tuned up the antenna's and I worked 75-80 meter phone for 100 contacts. Most of the stations worked were in NH, PA, NJ, NY, RI, ME and a few out of Canada with an assortment of other southern stations that were out of VA, LA, and NC.

I can still hear my own voice calling, "CQ, CQ Field Day, this is W1CWA, W1CWA calling CQ Field Day and standing by." And it felt soooo good!

Sadly, by 9 am my cell phone was ringing (another call from the XYZ (wife), and by 9:30 am I was home and set to the task of packing up the kids for our excursion to Essex that we had planned for the day.

But all in all, I squeezed in Field Day and operated for six or so hours, so I can't really complain. Next year, I will have to make arrangements to camp out with the rest of the group and really enjoy Field Day to the fullest extent.

Also, a subnote, the station attracted quite a few curious visitors who took a keen interest in our operation. One of the BARC members (and I apologize for not knowing names) was asked by a visitor what that "sound" was, to which he remarked "Morse Code". Our ham was quick to astonish the visitor by identifying the location of the transmission and region by translating dits and dahs into words lickety split! Even I was surprised and smiled because the rate of code transmission was around 20 words per minute. And I couldn't have copied it if I tried. But, I was happy to know that the code is alive and well and some guys just set the standard.

The BARC crew entertained all kinds of questions about ham radio, so void of really caring about "placement" in the "Field Day contest" - they managed to represent ham radio to the public and demonstrate exactly what hams can do in times of emergency and disaster. And they managed to have a lot of fun.

Thanks the members of BARC for allowing me the opportunity to enjoy Ham Radio Operation.

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