[CTSARA] SARA FIELD DAY 2017 RESULTS

7/7/2017

http://ctsara.org/ctsaraFD2017.html

Hello everyone,

 
OK, I admit it, I am an old man now, and my sleep cycle has taken two weeks to recover from Field Day. As a result, after doing multiple cross-checks with Andy, I am finally ready to report on Field Day 2017.
 
We didn’t have our best of Field Days this year.
 
We didn’t score quite as high as we had hoped, but I am still satisfied with the results, and hope you will be too.
 
Before disclosing our results, I would like to start by thanking our Friday setup crew that slaved through an afternoon of funky weather without complaint.
 
The crew consisted of :
Chet Piorkowski 
Terry Papazidis
Andy Siegel 
Steve Urso
Stan Rothman
Fred Cunningham
 
Chet cheerfully accepted his assignment of chasing tennis balls into the swamp on both Friday and Saturday.  One of the funniest moments we spent together was on Saturday, when we put up a sloper antenna for the CW station.  We must have spent a good 15 minutes traversing the swamp to find the tennis ball that we had shot off over one ofthe tall oak trees in the upper parking lot.
 
All of a sudden, one of our guests, Eve Allen, casually pointed to our tennis ball, hanging tethered from the shark line about 5 feet off the ground by the edge of the parking lot and plain as day to see, and asked us if that was the tennis ball we were looking for.  Chet and I got a good laugh out of that one, once our embarrassment faded.
 
Terry P. demonstrated his ingenuity again once again this year, by working with Andy to figure out a way to spontaneously mate my 2" in diameter mast to the 1.5" mast coupling on the TA33JR.  As a result, I am giving him the SARA Field Day MacGyver award for 2017, an award he has won many times over the years.  I would like to offer additional thanks to him for working full blast during both our setup and take-down efforts, despite the fact that he was unable to operate with us during Field Day because of a family commitment.
 
Stan showed up in the mid-afternoon of our setup effort, and chased away the rain that had just started to fall on us.  So, I would like to thank him for bringing us good weather, and for delivering an inspirational speech on the true spirit of Field Day and ham radio to those assembled.
 
Fred came by and accomplished the most intellectually challenging task of the afternoon, which involved setting up his big red dome tent that we use for the GOTA station.   Let’s just say getting it assembled is a little like doing Rubik’s Cube blindfolded, but it’s a great tent.  We also discovered on Field Day eve that if it is not tied down, a stiff wind can turn it into a great kite!  
 
Speaking of our GOTA operation, when we began operating on Saturday, I worked as the GOTA station mentor, with Steve Urso as my relief.  We worked hard on improving our diminished showing from last year,  and we are both very happy with the results we achieved.
 
The GOTA station made 214 SSB contacts, 180 of which qualified for extra bonus points, for a total of 788 points scored.  That is the equivalent to making 394 SSB contacts, which is about what you would expect an average SSB operator to make working a 12 hour shift in the SSB station, so that’s quite a point total racked up by the GOTA station.
 
In recognition of that accomplishment, I would like to thank the following lady operators, aka “the Sirens of SARA”, for their efforts operating from the GOTA station.


Each of them completed at least 20 QSOs, thus qualifying to receive the extra GOTA bonus points associated with working increments of 20 calls while being guided by a GOTA mentor.
 
Melissa Martin
Erica Eng Martin
Brittney Todaro
Eve Allen
Sherrill Stover
 
Additional congratulations go to Jason Laug for picking up bonus points for making 20 QSOs and also for being an under-18 operator.
 
I would also like to recognize the efforts of our new club member Marco Lopes, who took to making 20 GOTA contacts like a duck to water.  Looks like we have another future ace Field Day operator on our hands!
 
We also had several GOTA QSOs made by a walk-in visitor, Peter Romersa, impressing him with the wonder of ham radio.
 
In terms of regular operations, the biggest surprise of this year’s Field Day was the tremendous effort put in by Fred Cunningham and Jon Shapiro on Sunday morning in the SSB station on 20 meters.
 
Both Fred and Jon volunteered for the early morning shift on Sunday, to help relieve the overnight operators.  True to form, they both showed up around 7:00AM.
 
I had been operating 40 meters before they appeared, and as they were getting ready to relieve me, I did a quick check of the 20 meter band, using the band scope on my ICOM 756 Pro III.  My previous attempts at checking out 20 had found it dead as a door nail.


But, when I did my final check, all of a sudden my band scope showed at least 25 QSOs suddenly occurring on 20 meters.
 
At that point, I turned the SSB station over to Fred and Jon, who rode 20 meters and whipped on it like a rented mule, snaring some 300 SSB contacts in a matter of just 3 hours or so. They put in the best run on SSB of anyone that operated that station.  It just goes to prove how important timing and teamwork are on Field Day, because I would not have had the energy to complete that kind of run on my own.
 
I would like to additionally thank Jon Shapiro for dropping off his Honda EU2000 generator on Saturday morning, along with his automatic refueler mechanism, for use by the two CW stations.  As a result of the auto-refueler, we wereable to operate the two CW stations for the entire 24 hour period, without having to bring them down once to refuel the generator. 
 
While I am at, I would also like to thank our guest operators, Gerry and Brooke, who were flexible in their approach, and adapted well to subtle changes we made to our game plan as we went along. Gerry did stints in both the SSB and CW tents, while Brooke focused 100% on CW, working on 10, 15, 20 and 80 meters, expertly switching back and forth based on which band was most productive at any given time. My thanks also go out to Brooke’s wife Eve, a lovely lady, who worked QSOs in the GOTA tent, and then worked with me as a logger in the SSB tent.  Everyone who came in contact them found them to be nice folks with a real passion for ham radio and Field Day.  Both Brooke and Gerry gave us financial contributions as dues, so our club now has two more members as a result.
 
Speaking of our CW operation, my thanks and congratulations to Andy Siegel for heading up a great CW team, and developing our strategy of using two CW stations.
 
The net result of his efforts is that our CW score absolutely blew the roof off!
 
Andy came up with a CW game plan that kept both CW stations running full bore for the entire 24 hr. period, cranking out a huge volume of CW QSOs.  He and Marcel were responsible for operating the dedicated 40 meter CW station, and had tremendous results doing so.  In addition, Andy worked tirelessly prepping for Field Day by repairing a bunch of coax cables to avoid the shorts we experienced last year, as well as relocating and re-aiming our traditional antenna configuration to accommodate the new two CW station strategy.
 
I would also like to extend my thanks to Steve Urso, Ernest and Kathie Laug, (aka “the Nightingale of SARA”) and John Sabini, for handling the food prep, cooking, and photography for us. We will be publishing pictures of the event on our web site and Facebook page in the next day or so.
 
I would like to additionally thank Ernest for being our spiritual leader throughout the many challenges we faced this Field Day, and for holding us together despite some adverse circumstances.
 
I would like to award this years SARA Field Day MVP title to Steve Urso.
 
He was everywhere I was this Field Day, and then some.
 
When I called on him to help me get the club’s Field Day equipment delivered to the SM&NC well in advance, to save us energy on setup day and minimize the effects of being short-handed, he was there for us.
 
While his primary responsibility was heading up the food team on Field Day, he was also there for setup on Friday, GOTA mentoring on Saturday through Sunday, and then teardown on Sunday afternoon and evening, all without complaint.
 
He amazed me in just about everything he did, but what struck me most was how well he performed in the public relations role that was spontaneously thrust on him.
 
Steve got us our elected official and served agency bonuses, kept the sign-in sheet going, and also hijacked every visitor that came anywhere near our site, explaining what Field Day is all about, and evangelizing for Ham Radio. Steve, you did real well!
 
Lastly, I would like to thank my wife for allowing and encouraging me to do Field Day this year, despite some significant medical complications.  She found out around the first of the year that she would have to have a couple of very invasive medical procedures done on her, that were scheduled for June 21st.  When I mentioned to her that Field Day would be the following weekend, and that I would likely not participate as a result, she wouldn’t hear of it.  She explained that she knew how much Field Day means to me, and that she didn’t want me to miss out in it, giving me her blessing to be a part of it again this year.  For those of you who have expressed interest, she is recovering well, and doing fine so far, but her recovery period callsfor another two weeks of bed rest.
 
So, Laura, thanks for growing up across the street from the Ham Radio operator that would become my mentor, and not disowning me for being a “nerd” when I took up the hobby.  And of course, thanks also for giving birth to Melissa, whose voice we use on the SARA Field Day voice recorder.
 
OK, having said all that, as SARA Field Day Captain, it is time to report our results.
 
I started off this summary by saying that we didn’t have our best of Field Days this year.
 
Technically, that’s true, but a bit of a rope-a-dope.  Because it turns out that we did have our second best Field Day of all time this year.
 
 
I am pleased to announce that we scored a total of 10,468 points for Field Day this year, which is second only to our highest performance of all of time of 11,334 points, set back in 2014.
 
Off course, several members of the 2014 team are no longer with us, and we have all aged three years since then.
 
So, here’s what I say…Not too shabby for a bunch of old men, who allegedly don’t know what they are doing, led by a despotic and ill-informed Field Day Captain!
 
Actually we succeeded primarily because we were assisted lovingly by a couple of XYLs and multiple YLs. Maybe we still have something going for us with the ladies after all!
 
By the way, we made a total of 2,659 contacts.
 
Our GOTA station made 214 QSOs, and scored 788 points, which was a significant improvement over recent years.  Our thanks to the YLs for that!
 
Now I can trash talk with the best of them, but I was always raised to believe that your game should speak for itself, and that the secret of competitive success is unselfishness and team work. 
 
So, thanks team, you all have cause to be proud of yourselves!
 
I am proud to have been associated with all of you, and of our accomplishments this Field Day.
 
And, yes, we did laugh and have fun in the true spirit of joy that is Field Day!
 
73, 88, and God Bless!
 
Terry Martin
________________________________________________
CTSARA mailing list