On Saturday, June 10 a crew of 10 members gathered at the CSCC to do a dry run setup of the Antenna trailer and its antennas: a 3 element beam for 20, 15 and 10 meters and a fan dipole for 80 and 40 meters.
As expected, Murphy showed up and threw a couple of curve balls. The crew managed to handle these with a bit of ham ingenuity and bits and pieces from the club’s Junk Box. Scheduling the practice session was brilliant; otherwise, the surprises we encountered would have interfered with getting on the air at 12:00 sharp when the event begins on Saturday. Thanks Jim, Ameer and Jerry for organizing the practice and to the rest who took part.
The Beam tuning was bang on, thanks to previous crews having marked all the element pieces with black electrical tape to make it easy to re-install them correctly. The fan dipole was too long (by design) so it took a couple of adjustments to get both of them resonant where they need to be. Four sections of surplus 42” military mast were used to provide the two end supports for the Fan Dipole. This gets the 40-meter dipole up near a half wavelength so it should be a good performer. The 80 will still be a cloud warmer but we will not have to worry about its orientation.
Five of the crew managed to set up the 2-man tent in about 10 minutes. Not a spectacular time but it was entertaining and I have pictures. Hopefully, “practice does make perfect“ or at least better. This structure houses the operators and radios for the antenna trailer station as well as the logging network for the entire site.
The 8-KW generator was hauled out of the basement of the CSCC and returned as practice to determine the amount of manpower it takes to load and unload it from the transporting vehicle; another item off the checklist.
The Communications Trailer has been used at all Field Days since 2012 so it is already to go. It will just need to have its antennas deployed once it is on site.
The third station, if we have sufficient operators to man it, will be erected on Friday evening when we do our set up at the Flanders and Crowchild site of Calgary’s Military Musems.
So, we are pretty much ready to go. Having only missed one CARA Field day in the last 10 years, I think this one is the best prepared. All that is needed is good participation from our 190 odd club members to make it one of the most memorable. It would be especially appreciated if many of us could attend just for the fun of it and to socialize with fellow members. You do not have to sign up for the full 24 hours of the event, we have some die-hards who will keep the station(s) on the air and remember we are providing barbeques for a potluck dinner, 6ish, on Saturday. Just bring your own protein to cook and a side dish to share. It would be helpful to know how many to expect for the potluck so please register on the CARA Website if you plan to come.
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