Field Day 2023- W5RRR (JSCARC/CLARC)


Wow!  What an awesome Field Day 2023.   Many thanks for Presidents of JSCARC and CLARC (Terry KA5TBB, Dan KG5PVP) and the mode captains (KB5PGY-digital, KA5TBB-SSB, N5LOW-CW, K5KGH-GOTA) for their hard work to make this a one memorable:

o  Another Top Shelf collaboration between JSCARC/W5RRR and CLARC/K5HOU clubs
o  30+ guest visitors
o  10 active transmitters (2nd highest # ever activated for our FD)
o  Crazy Heat Index over 100F for outside ops
o  Crazy delicious Pizza (Dan's Pizza)
o  NO vampire mosquitos nor pesky June bugs
o  15/20m open propagation til midnight
o  Many different antenna systems used
           o  TH7DX/Sat Yagis/HF Slopers
           o  Eagle 1 Vertical
           o  160m Longwire
           o  40m Balanced line doublet
           o  6m Stressed Moxon
           o  Chamelion (?) Dipole/Vertical (?)
           o  Wolf River Vertical
           o  10/15/20m Hexbeam
            o  Portable WiFi controlled AF6SA 12V rotor

o  An A/C travel trailer (N5LOW) parked @ CW village
o  Rescue donut drop delivered to us on Sun AM
o  GOTA station KC5KBO, honoring Nick Lance
o  Newly procured Heil/Radiosport headset/mics for SSB ops
o  ARRL Management visitors:
           STX Section Manager              KF5NIX Stuart Wolfe
           STX Section Emerg Coord       KE5FGA Jeff Walter
            Gulf Division Director             N5AUS John Stratton


Top 5 Memories

The #1 most memborable experience was the continued camaraderie and goodwill that is enjoyed between the JSCARC and the CLARC clubs.  This was once again, an annual traditional Field Day team partnership that demonstrates how 2 clubs really blend and supplements each other.  Gratefulness and admiration are words how the club leadership and members work together.   Wow, what an outstanding group of pros and human beings here.

The #2 most memborable experience was how club members demonstrated sincere kindness, generosity, and attention to every guest that stopped by.  Every visitor was greeted like a VIP and was given priority opportunity to speak with any surrounding club members and to get on the air, either at the official GOTA station or at another village.  Several guests atypically shadowed us late past midnight and/or axiously arrived early to visit at 4AM, but our ham club members (you know who you are) gave them undivided attention, conversation, and enagagement at the expense of operating and tireness.  The red carpet was rolled all the way out.

The #3 most memborable experience was how Joe K5KUA and Charles K5KXJ, special invited guests of CW village, generously, professionally and seamlessly operated our 20m and 15m CW stations, contributing to our QSO count.  This allowed us the luxury to focus on greeting and engaging a constant stream of inquiring visitors.  What a pleasure to have highly skilled and classy operators jump in and help out.  Let’s hope we engage more visitor operators in future FDs.

The #4 most memborable experience was seeing the youth and future of our hobby come out and show interest in either upgrading their Tech license, or getting their 1st license.  Its great to see that our hobby is still attracting our younger talented generation.  There was extraordinary interest and enthusiasm among these youthful visitors.  There’s been some sidebar conversation to implement a joint club program dedicated to outreach using ham radio.

The #5 most memborable experience was seeing ARRL management voluntarily come out to show support to our club as well as the other operating clubs.  This is a brutal route for them, and extends their drive day well into the very wee hours of the morning.  For example, Stuart and Lesley Wolfe visited us at midnight, and still had 2 more sites to visit that night.  We appreciated the opporunity to have an unrushed sit down and honestly discuss ham radio concerns, and opportunities.  Our STX and Gulf Div reps are pretty impressive.

Special Highlights

Thanks to K5KGH, Kelvin Hickman.  He just finished a 2 day STEM/STEAM camp presentation/event at the University of Houston on Friday, and immediately had to switch gears to prep outfitting the GOTA station (station configuration/equipment, handouts, pins, etc) as well as coordinate the overall food deliveries, while also activating a Digital FT8 station as well!  Both he and Dan, KG5PVP kept the GOTA station well activated especially during the busy Saturday visitor surge.  Way to go and thank you, Kelvin!

The bands.  The overall HF band conditions were good with sporadic openings late at night and at dawn on Sunday.  As always, 20m dominated the bands for contacts.   Digital Village exploited the superior weak signal performance abilities of FT8/FT4 by working 10/15/20m into the wee hours of the night much more consistently that the rest of the team. 

No sleeper.  David Fetz W5DLF gets the night owl award (again) for enduring operations for the whole 24 hours, while invoking the true spirit of “field ops” by using his Honda EU2000 generator to power his radio thoughout the event.

Homecoming.  FD 2023 was also a homecoming for our super operator, Tanner W9TWJ, who had taken a 2 year hiatus from FD due to the avalanche of time commitments of a new job promotion, as well as building a family with the usual sleepless demands of new hamsters in the house (congrats!).  What a joy to see hear Tanner smooth SSB voice loft the airwaves again. 

We will post additions comments on FD if others submit, and likewise as more photos come in, we’ll add them to a gallery.

Photos (apologies to Digital Village- still awaiting more photos):

SSB Village


Digital Village

CW Village

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