2010 Field Day | Beach Boys Amateur Radio Club

Was it a week ago when ham radio operators across the nation gathered together for a weekend of emergency wireless communications and socializing?

I want to thank Ernie, AE6ZV for his magnificent effort as the Beach Boys Amateur Radio Club successfully executed its first ever field day. He magnified the definition of ham radio spirit while Honda generators hummed, Morse code sang into the starry night, and operators shouted into microphones.

Many thanks to Emerito, N6ETO, Fred, KI6QDH, John, KG6RFW, and Kord, KI6UYB for their inspiration, hard work, and dedication to the Beach Boys Amateur Radio Club mission — ham radio is a lot of fun!

I believe our club is reinvigorating ham radio in our local area as participants chatted up the excitement of logging their first ever HF contacts, the flush of our accomplishment, and their passion for a wonderful hobby. Our local 2m repeater will never be the same after last weekend.

Reward Is In The Effort.
We are a band of like minded with varying degrees of expertise. Our antenna systems for the weekend included an elevated Butternut HF9V with 5 quarter wave radials on the low bands (40 & 80m), a 3 element tribander at 35 feet (10, 15, and 20m), a G5RV (80m LSB), and a 40m dipole.

Propagation really depressed conditions on the high bands with a Sunday morning sporadic-e exception. Literally, 20m was gridlocked and 100 watts was not sufficient enough to conquer both conditions and signal jam when 15 and 10m are virtually shut down however; Beach Boys Amateur Radio Club logged over 200 contacts on the high bands.

A job well done for Kord, KI6UYB who logged his first ever HF contact!

Low Bands Play On.
The low bands performed beyond expectation and we were more than pleased with the performance of the elevated vertical with counterpoise. The concentration of 6 land stations on 40m had an enormous positive impact on our log statistics. Their signals ranged from barely above receiver noise floor to an astounding 20dB on the s-meter.

Forty meters made up the difference for our low power operation especially when 20m was gridlocked.

Fred, KI6QDH fired up our G5RV on 80m LSB beneath a sky ablaze with full moon light and thin, wispy tendrils of fog. His effort spiked our overall total while I logged Morse code contacts on the same band. I enjoyed listening to him as contact after contact went into the log. On the other hand, we are in need of an 80m operator who is a night owl because my brain stopped processing Morse code around 1 o’clock in the morning.

The Beach Boys Amateur Radio Club logged over 500 contacts on the low bands.

Locally Reinvigorating Ham Radio.
Our preparations paid dividends especially in terms of having a lot of ham radio fun. We had lots of visitors throughout Saturday afternoon and, hopefully, our band of passionate operators inspired individuals to look again at ham radio in addition high frequency (HF) operating.

We were wiped out when the buzzer concluded our first ever field day operation. Our team effort scored over 700 contacts in the log and we are targeting over 1,000 for next year.

Next Project?
The Beach Boys Amateur Radio Club is looking at its next project, perhaps, UHF/VHF operations near the beach with our beams pointed north/south toward San Francisco and Los Angeles. There are digital modes yet to be conquered and lots of space on HF for ham radio fun. Six meters is all the rage in the area trending Hawaiian print shirt popular along the central coast of California.

Stay tuned for the next adventure and 73 from the shack relaxation zone.

P.S. Working on my radial system this afternoon, antenna lab gets a 6m beam, and I renewed my ARRL membership.

Scot Morrison, KA3DRR, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from California, USA.

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