January 30, 2024 Weekly This & That Newsletter

Successful Winter Field Day Enjoyed by Many Members and Guests

Over a dozen club members and several guests came out to Lake Somerset last Saturday for our second Winter Field Day (WFD) operation. The club set up four stations with one experiencing some technical difficulties for as yet undetermined reasons. That did not take away from a great afternoon of operating KE4HAM and practicing how to set up and operate portable stations using off-the-grid power.

Here in SC, those skill sets could come in handy during a hurricane that knocks out electrical power across a wide area. With sustainable emergency power, hams could work to relay messages from residents to loved ones around the nation.

Our Lake Somerset site had an off-the-grid source designed and provided by Bob Officer, WA6WAY. Bob also coordinated this year’s WFD. Bob’s power system includes a golf cart with solar panels on its roof charging its batteries. The output from the batteries is connected to an inverter that converts DC to AC power. The 120 VAC power was distributed throughout our WFD site and energized four radio stations.

Chip Miller, KQ4JKI, and Stan Grabiec, KD8VL operated our 15m SSB station. Bob McCormick, KD8IH, also helped out. Collectively, they made 22 contacts during WFD after nabbing a Belgium station during their warm-up.

Jack Frisch, K2ITZ, had a few contacts on 40m SSB. 40m during the day is not the best place to be and on Saturday, there was a lot of noise on the band.

There were some SWR issues both on our 40m set up and on Ken Finke, KN8F’s 20m station. Ken gave it a go but the dipole could not tune to better than a 5:1 SWR.

Our CW station was set up and operated by Harve Hnatiuk, KB3FW. Harve notched 41 contacts on 10m and 20m during the afternoon.

Rick Garan, WA8NLX, and Ed Stratton, W1ZZ, helped to set up the site’s 15m and 20m dipoles. Lon Seward, WB4KSG, got to the site early and stayed until the end, doing whatever needed to be done throughout the day. Other members who helped or stopped by included Frank Pollino, K2OS, Russ Treadwell, N1ZK, and Daryl Borgman, WB1DXN.

A local ham, Fred Swern (WA2PQU) spent some time with us as well and we hope to see him at an upcoming club meeting.

Joe Turino from the Bluffton Sun spent a lot of time on site taking photos and learning about WFD. Joe will be composing an article for the Sun over the coming weeks.

We were also visited by Mike Akey, who is involved with a cadets program for the Civil Air Patrol. We will look to do a presentation on ham radio to his group in the months ahead.

Bob Chase (Boy Scouts) and Linda and Roger Michaelson (residents with ham radio backgrounds) also enjoyed a visit.

The final tally for the day was 66 WFD contacts in 35 ARRL/RAC sections. KE4HAM connected with 28 states in the U.S. and 3 provinces in Canada. Band conditions were just a bit above average on 10m and 15m, so-so on 20m, and as stated earlier, not great on 40m. Logs still need to be put into suitable ADI format so that a Cabrillo file can then be used for our entry.

We were able to “work” Alaska on 10m, as well as Washington state and Orange County, California on 20m.

KE4HAM’s score as well as some additional photos will be in the next issue of “This & That”.

Mother Nature provided beautiful weather that enabled all on-hand to enjoy the day, including our BYO lunch break right before the radio operations began at 2 PM.

There were some lessons learned that we will use for ARRL Field Day in June, primarily on the antenna end of things. The ARRL Field Day less than five months away!

Thanks to everyone who came by, operated, helped out, and shared the afternoon with the club at Lake Somerset!

February Membership Meeting

Our next Membership Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 1st, beginning at 7 PM at the Lakehouse (Bayside Room).

Our program will come to us via Zoom and will be presented by MIchael Murphy, WU2D

From WU2D’s QRZ Page…Probably Pre-dates the 1960s!!

For some members, it will be a walk down memory lane. For newer hams, it will be an eye opener. WU2D’spresenation will be on “Vintage Dream Receivers from the 60s and 70s”. What rx’s did you have back in the day? Maybe yours will be one of the receivers that Michael talks about!

The monthly membership business meeting will commence at the conclusion of the evening’s program.

Hope to see you there!


Club Website

Click here to get to the Club’s website: https://www.ke4ham.org

For those interested in contesting, there is a new 5-Week Contest Calendar from WA7BNM under “Calendars” in the Main Menu of our website.

If you notice any errors or have site-related questions, email: webmaster@ke4ham.org.


Sunday NET (8 PM) operates on 147.550 MHz simplex and EchoLink node: KE4HAM – L

Wednesday Nets (8 PM) operates from KK4ONF/Jasper repeater, 147.060+ and EchoLink node: KE4HAM-R

Thanks to our regular Net Controls: Bob Officer, WA6WAY; Russ Treadwell, N1ZK; and Harve Hnatiuk, KB3FW.

Thanks to Ron Frick, AI4HH, for keeping the nets on EchoLink.

Net Control Schedule:

— Wednesday, January 31, 8 PM ET: Harve Hnatiuk, KB3FW substituting for Russ, N1ZK.

— Sunday, February 4, 8 PM ET: Bob Officer, WA6WAY.

If you are interested in being a Net Control, please let Ron or Harve know.

SCHH ARC Net Reports:

Thanks to ALL who checked in to our SCHH ARC nets last week.
If you have the time, please check into our club’s nets on a regular basis.

Last week’s check-ins and traffic:

— Wednesday, January 24: KE4HAM/KB3FW, AI4HH, KJ4BSM, WA2LWO, K2ITZ, WA6WAY, AA4KK, KQ4JKI, N1ZK. QNI=9, QTC=0.

— Sunday, January 28: KE4HAM/WA6WAY, AI4HH, K2ITZ, KN4VWQ, KB3FW, WB1DXN, KQ4JKI, KQ4KOO.. QNI=8, QTC=0.

Note – QNI = Number of Check-ins to the net, including Net Control; QTC = Traffic handled (Radiograms).

Other Operating:

Daily —  DX spotting and open chat 24/7 on 147.550 MHz simplex and the Jasper Repeater, 147.060+ (no Echolink).

KB3FW – SCHH ARC President