After missing a whole year of face-to-face club activities due to the pandemic, the members of FARA had the opportunity to gather and see one another again, or for the first time, as the club gathered for the annual ARRL Field Day at C.M. Crockett Park in Midland, VA.
This year’s effort was led by Anna White, KN4DWZ, as Field Day Chair, and new member Allan Murray, KO4NMC, as her Assistant Chair (and chief cook!). Due to the fact the Club was not sure what restrictions would be in place in Fauquier County for the use of the park, planning efforts got off to a late start. But once the event got under way visitors would never would have known that. The event went very smoothly and efficiently, and even the weather cooperated. After a little rain early in the morning the skies cleared off and the day was warm.
We operated as a Category 3A club with 5 stations setup: SSB, CW, Digital, VHF, and a GOTA station. We also had a member family (all who are Hams), who asked to setup their own solar powered station. They made the five contacts using solar power only required for ARRL credit using the FARA call sign, then used their own call to run operate the rest of the weekend.
In the past we have not done very well in the food department, but we made up for it all this year! We had ribs, chicken, chili, all sorts of sides and snacks, and David, KK4UXY, made breakfast for all who were there Sunday morning.
Though Field Day is treated as a contest, it also is an opportunity to socialize with other hams, families, and engage with the public. All who attended thoroughly enjoyed their time visiting and getting reacquainted, as well spending some intense “quality” time on the air!
We also held a VE test session Sunday morning. We had 10 people show up for upgrades or to get their first amateur license. All passed for the exam they came for.
Field Day 2021 was a great success, and although many of us walked away tired, all of us were happy with the experience and the grateful for good memories.
Enjoy the pictures and video below.
Our solar station family, Steve, NL7VX, Margaret, KN4DWX, and Maximilian, KK4TCJ, operated as NL7VX for field day purposes. Steve explained the battery setup:
“Our battery bank consisted of three 35 amp hour batteries connected in parallel which gave us a total of 105 amp hours of total usable voltage.
We ran 100 watts of output power during the day from our 200 watt solar panels. The panels provided more power than our radio could put out and the additional voltage was stored in the battery bank. At night we ran anywhere from 25 to 100 watts depending on band conditions. In short we operated all night running off of the 105 amp hour battery bank and that got us through the night without depleting the batteries.”
Together they made a total of 115 qsos, 78 contacts were cw, and 37 were ssb qsos. Here is their station setup.
Here is a video of Brad N7IVV operating the satellite station