January 27, 2019

Well, there were no official plans for the club to do anything for Winter Field Day, but David VA7SZ, Jane VE7WWJ and Mike VE7KPZ decided to give it a go up at Silver Star with Mike's FT-891.

We met up at 9 AM at the back of E-lot. The army was doing a winter exercise at the location so we ended up moving the antenna twice before finally settling for a location right in the middle of the parking lot. 3 x 33' radials at 120 degree fanning for Mike's Wolf River Coils TIA vertical antenna make it tricky to setup in a public space.

We operated from Mike's VW Touareg on vehicle power with a DC power-draw limit of 10A as that's what the fuse in the power point adapter was rated for. VW rates the power points at 200 watts each, so they should actually deliver full DC power for the radio, but we have to go with the limiting factor. This meant max RF power could only go up to approx 60 watts... but that was enough to get us three good contacts.

We decided to work 20m as we'd get big skip and the noise level on 20m was under S1, yes, we could hear EVERYTHING. Many people could not hear us with our low RF power output or maybe their noisier locations, but if a station came in at S4 or higher, we were able to work them.

Here are the stations we contacted using the VE7NOR callsign:

So, we scored a whole 3 QSO points! However, with power multiplier that bumped up to 6 points, and then we also scored the bonuses for running 1O. We scored 1500 bonus points as no commercial power was used. We scored another 1500 bonus points as our operation was “Outdoors”. We scored yet another 1500 bonus points as our operation was not a “Home”. So, 6+1500+1500+1500=4506 total points. We might have a chance to win this contest. ;)

It was a gorgeous sunny day up on the mountain, with temps around -2 C. A bit of a wind came up around 10 AM so the antenna wiggled around a lot, but never fell over.

Once we had exhausted all of the calling field day stations and found the band too busy to start calling ourselves, we QSYed to 14.140 MHz for the Trans Canada net. We got clean into net control in Manitoba and all three of us checked in.

It was fun,
NORAC Vice President 2017-2019

Update at January 31, 2019: log submitted in Cabrillo format to the contest organizers. It's official!


First antenna location, that we had to move from as the army was doing training exercises in the area:

Second location, that didn't tune up (due to down-sloping radials - the TIA is not meant to have down-sloping radials) but that we also had to move from as there was a loader wanting to push this snow back further out: