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All Fun and Games, But Still Serious … W3AO

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Yesterday I blogged about setting up for the annual Field Day for the local radio clubs. Today we finished set up and started the event. The pictures show much more about how much fun this group has, in all we do.

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The not so serious team picture, after the official one. Where one of the puppies escaped. One of our club members comes up with his family and camps out. They bring the dogs, as our “security system”. They bark up a storm if someone wanders on the site at night, letting all the campers in the tents know we have a visitor. Including of course, all the deer out here.

This year, we have puppies on site. Including escaping puppies. Who delighted our local state delegate, Gail Bates, who came out at our request to fulfill the condition for club points that local officials attend our event. Gail comes every year, as we set up in her district.

She enjoyed talking to everyone and also loved the puppies, even recording them on her phone.

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This event is a huge undertaking, and yesterday I made a mistake. We actually ended up with more digital stations than in the past so we are on the air today as 29 Alpha. Twenty nine set ups capable of simultaneous transmission.

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Thankfully, Dave who handles all our IT can make sense of this.

Prior to starting the event, K3RA, Rol, gives us all the last minute instructions. He does quite a bit of the planning, along with other long time club members.

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We had lots of visitors out at the school site today, since you can’t miss all those rows of AB-577 crank up masts with huge antennas mounted on them.

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FEMA came to visit too. They were really impressed. They even took pictures of our food tent, teasing us about the flowers. They are visiting field sites all across the USA, and talking to amateurs about how we support with communications during national disasters.

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Audrey, who is K3RA’s XYL (she prefers YL) but the amateur traditions that wives are X-young ladies, now that we have married the OMs (old men), is in charge of the food tent.

All armies, including our amateur radio one, march on their stomachs and we feed them well. We do lunch on Friday. Lunch and dinner on Saturday. Breakfast and lunch on Sunday. Right now, four pounds of bacon are in my ovens, being cooked for tomorrow. Thankfully, I live just up the road from the site. I will be taking bacon, eggs, and coffee up there at 7 am.

As for other notable characters at our event, I don’t think there are many in the amateur radio world that don’t know W3LPL, Frank.

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Frank brings two miles of coaxial cable to the event, and most of the antennas for HF (high frequency).

People are out there tonight making contacts. I need to get my husband up so he can relieve the 40 meter phone operator at midnight.

One more day to go. We can sleep Monday. Come visit us tomorrow. Dozens of people were there today.


About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

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