Sunday, June 29, 2008

Field Day!

As I was explaining Field Day is an exercise for ham radio operators, to set up in parks and public places. We demonstrate communications skills by contacting each other in a contest format. If we were in a real emergency mode, the traffic would be different, but setting up and working the radio would be the same.

But as you can see from the mobile kitchen in this picture, this is how our ham club demonstrates that we can rough it when we are out in the field. Man check the size of that smoker oven!

I volunteered to be on the kitchen staff, before I knew that this kitchen was coming to our activity. Really! I did!

This is John and Hap. John owns the trailer and is the head Bar Be Cue chef. Hap is another club member like I am. They are preparing the green bean casserole in those aluminum baking dishes.

From the front, you can see the big kitchen sink and food preparation area. Stainless steel counter tops and all metal cabinets. In addition to the giant smoker oven on the back, there are three Webber kettle charcoal grills on the back side and two propane burners on this side, like you would use to deep fry a turkey.

The ladies were there to see that us fellows really did know how to cook. LOL! They set up all the tables and served the meal. Mostly they made sure everyone felt at home.

This is the radio information display table, and the 'Get on the Air' station behind it. Folks that are new to the hobby, get the opportunity to run a radio and perhaps make their first contact at this station. One of our 'elmers' (old knowledgeable instructors) John, is explaining to to the folks how this is all done.

They really are listening intently! Well except for Barry in the black shirt. He has been a ham for several years, and is a Junior in high school. He started at one of these events too but he is an old pro now.

But the really old salts, are solving all the worlds problems. LOL. Is the food done yet?

At the CW station, which is set up in an old cabin on the back of the property, Morse code is being copied intently. The youngsters are looking on in amazement.

One fellow is running the radio, while the second fellow records the contact call sign and state on the laptop computer.

All of the stations are connected together with the dedicated wifi system. This router is about 14 feet in the air, on a tripod.

The router is running off of the car battery at the base of the tripod. A solar cell is facing the sun to provide charging while the sun is up.

Across the creek to the West, in the lawn of the second Indian mission building, the voice station is set up under an easy up dinning shelter.

Here our president, Bill is explaining the operation of this station to a guest.

This station runs from batteries, thru an inverter system that changes the battery power into 110 volt AC.

This is the actual radio. An Icom 856 Pro III.

Over behind the building, is the ever present generator. We are not allowed to use electrical power from the power company. It is assumed that the electricity would be out in a real emergency situation.

The second person is again running the Laptop computer, that is connected to the first computer with the Wifi about 1000 yards away. They can see contacts that each other have made, so there are no duplicates.

We had dinner at 6 PM! BarBeCue chicken and Charcoal baked potatoes. With green been casserole and seven layer salad. Yum! Then there was a pot luck dessert bar. The gals went overboard making all the sweets.

The Indian mission staff was present all day and involved themselves in our activities. They were very cordial to us as guests and we hope all was well with our use of the museum.

This event lasts all night, and until noon the next day. I was not able to participate on Sunday as we packed and left town, for Lake Ozark. The total contacts will be tallied and sent to the American Radio Relay League in Newington, CT for scoring and publishing in their monthly magazine, "QST".

We are here at the lake for the Holiday, so we will have reports from here as they occur.

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