Photos posted: CQWW 160M Contest & Winter FD 2021


George N2APB
 

A great photo recap is provided by David KF4DKW for the TLARC Contesting Team this past weekend out at God's Cozy Acres.
Check it out!! ... https://www.tlarc.org/Contesting/CQ%20160m%20-%20Winter%20Field%20Day%20(Jan%2029-31)/160m+WinterFD-2021.html

73, George N2APB
TLARC Webmaster
https://www.tlarc.org/  


Bob Wilson-KK4XA
 

Hey, looks like a great fun time. 
Do you mind me sharing with the SMARC group?

Thanks

Bob Wilson
KK4XA
Maryville, TN


On Wed, Feb 3, 2021 at 10:21 PM George N2APB <n2apb@...> wrote:
A great photo recap is provided by David KF4DKW for the TLARC Contesting Team this past weekend out at God's Cozy Acres.
Check it out!! ... https://www.tlarc.org/Contesting/CQ%20160m%20-%20Winter%20Field%20Day%20(Jan%2029-31)/160m+WinterFD-2021.html

73, George N2APB
TLARC Webmaster
https://www.tlarc.org/  


--
Bob Wilson - KK4XA


George N2APB
 

A real nice description has been added by TLARC Chief Organizer Randy WK9M ... I've added it here for those afflicted by internetwebaphobia.
73, George N2APB
- - - - - - - -
Field Day is not just for summertime anymore. Winter Field Day, sponsored by the Winter Field Day Association (
WFDA), took place over the January 28-29 weekend -- along with the CQWW 160M Contest-- and TLARC participated!  The annual event’s stated purpose is to encourage emergency operating preparedness in the winter, but it’s also an excuse to get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors. According to the WFDA, getting ready for emergency communication in a winter environment is just as important as the preparations and practice that take place each June during ARRL Field Day, and — let’s face it — it’s not cold and snowy everywhere during the winter months.

So the contesting sub-group here in TLARC had been planning for this event out at the club's 'go to' location (God's Cozy Acres) for the last few months. Some club members were there the whole weekend and everyone was invited to come by for a little visit or stay overnight as preferred.  The official start time was Friday at 5PM, and it ended on Sunday at 5PM but we were packed up and gone on Sunday morning, as most of the activity was sundown to sunrise on 160m.   They had some wonderful meals, as supplied by some of the more culinary-oriented members in attendance!

The unofficial results are not in yet but organizer Randy WK9M tells us that they did better than last year's effort!  Here's more from Randy ...

------
All contests pretty much start out the same; my comments cover the two-day 160m contest that tests your ability to reverse your days and nights for a weekend ... because the 160 meter band is open only at night!  Everything is planned such that the needed gear is divided up, the antennas are put up, and a little bit of testing is done because Murphy's Law always kicks in at some point and you want it to be before the contest starts.

Such was the case for this 160m contest even though we had already done it a few times before.  Initially the computer wouldn't connect to the rig (to send band data back and forth) and the WinKeyer keyed the radio down and wouldn't let up.  We fixed both of these by restarting N1MM and WinKeyer; after that both worked fine.  We put up a second 160m Inverted-L wire antenna but didn't have time to tweak it (other than grounding and radials) and therefore stuck with AC6ZM's Carolina Windom that worked great for the entire 160m contest.  And then we had persistent mouse and keyboard oddness as well.  Next time we'll keep these devices wireless or have all wire go through a toroid.  Mice and keyboards do not like RF like we do.

The 160m CW contest continues to be a good contest for the seasoned operator and novice stations alike. The first day is when everyone gets on and the pileups occur.  A normally empty band is so full of stations that you have to use a narrow filter; 250-300Hz is typical.  Calling CW requires good head copy but you can also search & pounce with the computer or rig decoder, especially on the second day when the contest is more casual.  It was neat to see the students become teachers (like KK6OKU) as many of us started out with computer and/or machine decoding; myself included.

An amplifier is helpful on this typically noisy band so that the other station without good receive antennas can hear you. If everyone had beverage antennas for 160m then 100W would be enough.  160m is a challenge that everyone has; there are no 160m yagi beams and any directional (i.e., phased) antenna would be a huge investment in both money and acres.  A full-length 160m dipole, for comparison, is about 253 feet long on this band.

Overall we all had fun in different ways for the 160m contest; such is how this contest goes.  We hope to see you all again next year as 160m takes a rest for Spring and Summer; thunderstorms make the band too noisy to use.  Stay tuned on the repeater for an upcoming score update ... I'm sure we easily beat prior years' scores with all of the help we had this time.

'73
Randy WK9M

So please enjoy the photos of our exciting times down at our wonderful farm-like cabin out in the woods just outside Sweetwater!  And consider joining us in the next contest - there's usually something afoot each month. Or perhaps join in something that's hugely growing in interest across the U.S. called "QRP field ops" where you and maybe some buddies drive out to any one of East Tennessee's 100+ beautiful parks, throw a wire up into the tree and 'work the world!'  Hams all over listen for these "Parks on the Air" and you can get special awards and certificates just for making some CW or SSB contacts ... all the while experiencing some of Tennessee's natural beauty ... What a deal!  


George N2APB
 

Sure thing Bob, and thanks for that!  Might be real fun to combine club efforts on a future contesting or field operating event.  We have a sub-group called the TLARC Field Nuts that really enjoys such outings - would be great to some nuts from each club do some events together.

73, George N2APB


Bob Wilson-KK4XA
 

Oh that sounds great George...wonderful idea.  You guys really rock hihi...Yes lets consider it.  When you have an event and would like to combine efforts, let me know and Ill do likewise.   Were having a Technician Class on Zoom and Ill send the flyer to you to send out as well.   Ill check out the sub-group too
Thanks so much....sure would like to meet you one day eye to eye..

73

Bob Wilson
KK4XA
Maryville, TN


On Thu, Feb 4, 2021 at 12:28 PM George N2APB <n2apb@...> wrote:
Sure thing Bob, and thanks for that!  Might be real fun to combine club efforts on a future contesting or field operating event.  We have a sub-group called the TLARC Field Nuts that really enjoys such outings - would be great to some nuts from each club do some events together.

73, George N2APB


--
Bob Wilson - KK4XA