Field Day 2016 pictures and letter

Setting up antennas

We'll get those antennas up any way we can! 

The first Pavilion with banners


A visit from Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and             A proclamation from the Mayor

Colin Ickes KJ4HWJ from KEMA            

Jim AJ4NO, Keith KC4YYK, Mayor Burchett, and Colin Ickes KJ4HWJ


Our intrepid Secretary, Barry Brown, K4BLB          Fr. Rafael Ortiz   KM4MNR 

     Rick Frost K4REF teaching WinLink               Working CW (Morse Code)


Antenna, one of many on site                      A different kind of antenna


Go Box, a portable operator's station            What's IN the Go Box


John KJ4HWH and Bill WR4MS doing PSK 31                    RACK van set up


RACK van antenna                                       Inside the RACK van, Keith KC4YYK and friend and 20 Meters setup

Jack Creed K4EPC working the CW (Morse Code) station                             Lou WB3JKQ and friends

All work and no eats makes Jack a dull operator! We had two cooking stations- Jim N4CFB for Sat Lunch (fried chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, and chips) and Sunday breakfast, and Cathi K4TMW for Sat Dinner. Smoked Pork BBQ sandwiches with choice of sauces, cole slaw,baked beans, and cookies,drinks and snacks whenever! What a feast!

We had many visitors who enjoyed the food!                   Fr. Rafael KM4MNR and Keith KC4YYK working stations

                                                                                    as the sun went down. Field Day lasts 24 hours!

Paul Trumpore and our Blessed Relief trailer! We could 

not do Field Day without him! 

Jim Fetzer and Jack Creed K4EPC



Visitors                                                                         Paul Trumpore and Gene Monaco (he rode up there on 

                                                                                    a bicycle!)

        Field Day 2016 was another success - and especially so since it was a joint effort between the Radio Amateur Club of Knoxville (RACK) and METERS. 

        Field Day was held at RACK's usual location: Ft. Dickerson in the downtown Knoxville area. What a site - huge oaks, lots of elevation, scenic views, and lots of Civil War history. We made good use of the oaks and setup some wire antennas Friday afternoon and finished off our antenna work Saturday morning. We were proud to see the RACK van and its tall mast setup in its usual location at the upper pavilion. As expected, all operators carefully marked their guy lines, radials, coax, etc. in the interest of safety.  

        Saturday morning we finished setting up for CW (Morse code), PSK31, digital training with WinLink and FLDIGI, electronic logging, and generally just getting comfortable for the Field Day action starting at 2:00pm local. Parking was not too bad although we were plagued throughout the weekend with local visitors looking for the path to the quarry. I'm going to suggest that next year, we put a sign indicating the quarry is closed for renovation. :-) 

        It was all hands on deck when the official activities kicked off at 2:00pm Saturday. Fr Ortiz put in a good word for us with the Lord and we enjoyed some great weather - breezy, sunny, but no rain. However, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away and propagation was pretty poor most of the weekend. In spite of that, we were able to make scores of contacts with nearly every state and many Canadian provinces. The electronic logging worked well and we were able to track our progress easily (including our final report to ARRL for making our Field Day points official.) 

        We had many visitors including visits by local dignitaries and other VIPs: Colin Ickes, KEMA Director and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett just to name a couple. Mayor Burchett spent a good hour reviewing the activities, asking questions, and generally encouraging our efforts. He is very supportive of ham radio and appreciates the role we can play in emergency communications and public service events. He delivered a proclamation to us and smiled once again for pictures. Of course, Colin Ickes is a familiar site to many of our events and emergency exercises. We appreciate his strong support and encouragement, too! 

        Of course, Field Day is an opportunity to show off our skills in operating on emergency power. We had plenty of batteries, some nice (quiet!) generators, and even a solar panel or two providing the juice needed to make those contacts. Many of our operators used less than 15 watts in spite of poor propogation! We were able to have a good look at each other's gear, rig setup, and I'm pretty sure everyone learned something from this year's Field Day. 

        We can't talk about Field Day without talking about good food. Thanks to Jim Norman N4CFB and Cathi Cogle K4TMW we enjoyed some great meals and delicious snacks. Of course, they made sure we had plenty of water, Gator Ade, and soft drinks to keep us going through the long hours. Thanks to Jim and Cathi for their extra efforts in making Field Day another success from a culinary perspective! 

        A big Thank You to Paul Trumpore KJ4SVB for the use of the Portable Restroom. We could not operate without it, believe me! LOL

        Tear down went smoothly on Sunday. As usual, everyone pitched in the park was back to normal by late afternoon. Operators were tired, but everyone was pleased with their effort - and glad to be heading back home for a shower and a nap!


        Field Day is always the fourth full weekend of June, beginning at 1800 UTC Saturday and running through 2059 UTC Sunday. Mark your calendar now for next year - June 24-25, 2017! 


        Thanks to everyone who made this Field Day another success!


Barry K4BLB

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