The Reflector Field Day Edition



Hi Folks,

We’re on our final approach to this weekend’s Field Day exercise, and we figured we’d do an “Extra Edition” of the Reflector to make sure everyone has all the information about what will take place.


Friday, June 25, we’ll start with breakfast at Granddaddy’s at 8:30 and move on to the EOC to start putting up antennas. Our layout is pretty ambitious…too ambitious to wait until Friday evening, so we’re starting early with the aim of being through on Friday.


That gives everyone a good nights sleep Friday, and then on Saturday, all we have to do is hook the radios up. As hard as a 24-hour straight operation is, it’s doubly bad if you’re tired and sweaty, and I want to avoid that if at all possible.


Also, on Sunday PLEASE make plans to help with removing the antennas after the event is over. The price of the fun of making all those contacts is to help with the set-up and takedown chores. Typically, the folks out there sweating to install the antennas are also the ones who “burn the midnight oil” and hammer out more contacts overnight. Please make time in your schedule to help them get through quicker on Sunday evening. 


We’ll have two classes on Saturday, a weather spotter class by Stewart at 10am, and a course on installing PL-259 connectors by several of us at 11am. For the connector class, bring your tools, because this is not a “watch it happen” class…you’re going to get your irons hot and actually do an installation yourself.


Lunch will be at noon and will be chilidogs. If you’re going to be there for lunch, you need to let me know NOW, or risk being sent to the poolroom for yours.


We’ll have a test session at 1pm, and while we’re on that subject, congratulations to Heidy Drawdy, who passed her Tech test this past Saturday.


2pm starts the actual on-air operation. We need to be thinking about the best way to stretch our operators out, because if everyone “bunches up” at 2pm, there won’t be enough radios to go around, and we also don’t want to end up with NO operators later.


Also, because the voice radios are all in the same room, you will have to wear a headset, because if we used the regular speakers, no one would be able to hear anything. If you have a set of headphones you prefer to use, by all means bring them, but be sure you have either an eighth inch or quarter inch jack to plug into the radio. Ear buds are probably not a good idea, because the cable is usually too short.


A lot of you enjoy getting together to reminisce and I hope you do plan on doing that. But please make sure you keep an eye out for new folks who may be visiting to see what we’re doing. While we intend to have someone as a tour guide, if you’re free to chat someone up…do it!


I also hope there will be a lot of cameras at work. We need to get some event pictures on the website and this is the best way.


So, that’s it and I’ll close with a reminder that after Field Day, there are no further club activities until the Thursday Nets resume on August 5th, and then the club meeting on the 7th. We have a special guest for the meeting who will be talking about his involvement with a “Dxpedition.”


So, after we rack up a whole bunch of points this weekend, I hope you and your family will have a great vacation in July. Thanks to everyone who has made the first half of 2010 a real “barn-burner” for club activities…I’ll see YOU and your family at Field Day!






A+ Test Results


The TARC VE team held a test session on June 19th and we had one person upgrading with a new license. Heidy Drawdy really hit the books this past month and she passed the Tech test easily, missing only one question. Congratulations Heidy!!


There will be a test session held at Field Day at 1pm and that will be the last chance for prospective Techs to test before the question pool change on July 1st.


The VE Team will also be taking a breather for July and the next test session will be August 21st.





NØ Tenna Wizard: by Terry Webb, NØTW


Multi-band Dipole for Field Day


Antenna lengths differ due to their frequency of operation.  For example, a 75-meter antenna is much longer than a 6-meter antenna.


The dipole antenna is probably the most popular HF antenna - it performs very well.


Is it possible to construct multiple dipole antennas and feed them with just a single piece of coax cable?  Yes it is and that is the subject of this article. 


Lets say that you want to operate on the 75, 40, 20, 15, and 10-meter bands.  If you were to put up separate antennas for each band - that is a lot of coax cable.  But if you were to cut dipoles for each band and connect them all together in the center - fed from a single piece of coax cable - that would give you resonant antennas on all the bands plus reduce the amount of coax needed.


Now, in order to clean things up a bit, some hams have used ladder line to form the wire radiators for each half of the antenna.  Each side of the ladder line is cut to different lengths to serve 2 different frequencies.


If you took 2 pieces of ladder line that are 32.75 ft long (1/2 of the 65.5 ft), this would form two halves of the 40-meter antenna.  At the 16.5 ft point from the center of one of the antenna halves, cut away a 1/4" piece of just 1 of the ladder line wires and you now have a dipole, which is resonant for 20 meters (33 ft overall or 16.5 ft for each half).  Likewise, the 15-meter length of 22 ft would have a cut made (on just one wire of the ladder line) at 8 ft 3 inches from the center to form the 10-meter dipole. So, this assembly uses 4 pieces of ladder line and a separate 75-meter wire dipole (123 ft long) to produce a 5-band antenna. 


All that is needed is a total of 88 ft of ladder line plus 123 ft of regular wire to form this 5-band antenna.


Anyone wanting to construct one of these dipoles can discuss it with me at one of our club meetings.  By having resonant antennas for each of the ham bands, a tuner is not needed - which is a big savings.


It is also possible to add WARC bands to this type of antenna - but WARC frequencies are not used on Field Day.


Try it - you'll be amazed how nice your radio will love loading into a resonant antenna!


73 and C U on the Bands!




Hope Everyone will join us at Field Day…Have a great Summer!!!