Winter Field Day 2017

Sections worked during Winter Field Day 2017. Generated by N3FJP’s Winter Field Day Logger

This weekend was Winter Field Day. It was a new experience for me, but since I had always enjoyed the Field Day in June, I figured I would give it a shot. I chickened out on setting up outside, even with the relatively mild Georgia winter. So I, along with my iffy immune system, operated from my home station. Or, in contest speak, I was 1H GA (1 operator, home station, from Georgia).

Saturday went amazingly well. I was able to get 75 contacts in just a few hours. Sunday didn’t go quite as well. I woke up under the weather, and I wasn’t able to push through like I would have liked. I did manage to get another six contacts, for an unconfirmed 243 points. I even managed to get six new states (Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, West Virginia) for my Worked All States award (I still have 11 to go).

Even though it didn’t work out quite the way I had hoped, I still had fun. I look forward to next year. Hopefully, by then I will be able to work digital modes and maybe even Morse Code (that would have taken my score to 729 if I had this go round). I’m looking forward to the June version too. If I’m able, I hopefully be working outdoors with the rest of the club. 

Read moreWinter Field Day 2017


At the stroke of midnight (GMT) on January 1st, the program which has brought me the most enjoyment in my 21 years as an amateur radio operator drew to a close. National Parks on the Air, a program by the ARRL on conjunction with the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, gave me the kick start I needed to start using and enjoying the HF bands.

There were awards for chasers who contacted a park (my category)  and activators who set up a temporary station in a park, as well as additional criteria for special awards based on number of units worked and promotional efforts during an activation.

I must admit that I was a bit late to the year-long party. I didn’t make my first NPOTA contact until September 17th. But soon, I was hooked. By the end of the year, I had confirmed 57 parks with 60 contacts, earning Honor Roll along the way. While that is a far cry from the top score in the program (K5RX had 460 contacts), for a new HF operator participating only 1/4th of the program duration, I am very happy with the outcome.

This is a video of the pileup for Fort Sumter on December 28th. I had already made contact, but the audio was so good I decided it needed to be documented.

There is another program, called simply Parks on the Air, that will continue. This one is international and includes state parks, wildlife preserves, and some national forests – making activations much more feasible. I look forward to being able to setup activations during the upcoming year to A. H. Stephens State Park, Hamburg State Park, and possibly Hard Labor Creek State Park. I just need an effective portable antenna system first (suggestions welcome!).

Finally, for those who may be curious, here is a list of units I contacted. You can lookup more details about each park by using the designator (in the parenthetical) at the NPOTA website.

  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail (TR01)
  • Assateague Island National Seashore (SS01)
  • Big Bend National Park (NP04)
  • Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park (HP49)
  • Blue Ridge Parkway (PK01)
  • California National Historic Trail (TR14)
  • Canaveral National Seashore (SS02)
  • Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (RC04)
  • Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park (MP01)
  • De Soto National Memorial (NM05)
  • Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (RC07)
  • Eightmile National Wild and Scenic River (WR15)
  • Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site (AA06)
  • Farmington National Wild and Scenic River (WR16)
  • Fire Island National Seashore (SS07)
  • Fort Caroline National Memorial (NM08)
  • Fort Larned National Historic Site (NS21)
  • Fort Monroe National Monument (MN32)
  • Fort Sumter National Monument (MN35)
  • Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (NS28)
  • Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site (NS29)
  • Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park (MP02)
  • Grand Canyon National Park (NP22)
  • Green Springs National Historic Landmark District (AA09)
  • Greenbelt Park (DZ04)
  • Homestead NM of America National Monument (MN46)
  • Ice Age National Scenic Trail (TR05)
  • Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (LK02)
  • Jean Lafitte NHP and Preserve National Historical Park (HP17)
  • Lake Meredith National Recreation Area (RC14)
  • Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial (NM15)
  • Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park (HP25)
  • Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (HP26)
  • Minute Man National Historical Park (HP27)
  • Mississippi National River and Recreation Areas (RV04)
  • Monocacy National Battlefield (BF06)
  • Natchez National Historical Park (HP29)
  • Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail (TR02)
  • Natural Bridge (AA26)
  • North Country National Scenic Trail (TR04)
  • Olympic National Park (NP44)
  • Oregon National Historic Trail (TR07)
  • Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park (HP34)
  • Pecos National Historical Park (HP35)
  • Petersburg National Battlefield (BF08)
  • Santa Fe National Historic Trail (TR11)
  • Saratoga National Historical Park (HP42)
  • Springfield Armory National Historic Site (NS66)
  • Steamtown National Historic Site (NS67)
  • Sudbury, Assabet and Concord National Wild and Scenic River (WR31)
  • Taunton National Wild and Scenic River (WR32)
  • Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve National Preserve (PV16)
  • Trail of Tears National Historic Trail (TR12)
  • Waco Mammoth National Monument (MN81)
  • Walnut Canyon National Monument (MN73)
  • Westfield National Wild and Scenic River (WR38)
  • William Howard Taft National Historic Site (NS78)

MARC Office Resignation

There are some decisions you absolutely know are right, but that doesn’t make them any more enjoyable. Yesterday, I resigned as Secretary-Treasurer of the Milledgeville Amateur Radio Club. I loved holding the position, but with everything else going on, I couldn’t guarantee that I would be able to be at every meeting.


The text of my resignation is below:

After much consideration and due to ongoing medical issues which preclude me from effectively performing my duties, I hereby resign my position as Secretary-Treasurer of the Milledgeville Amateur Radio Club effective at 10 AM on February 20, 2016.

I look forward to continued participation in the organization, but do not feel it is appropriate to continue in a role of an executive officer… I will provide the earlier archives to my replacement upon their convenience.

I will be happy to continue serving as webmaster, if that is agreeable to the club. I will also be happy to serve as a resource to the incoming Secretary-Treasurer.

I am grateful for the trust that was given to me, and I look forward to continuing my participation as a member.

Daniel R. Simpson – K4DRS

I know everything will be in good hands. My replacement is Charles, AI4UN, who held the office before I was elected in January, 2015. As always,

de K4DRS

After being KF4JAL since 1996, I finally applied for a vanity call sign. It was approved and processed by the FCC this morning, and I am now officially K4DRS. My call isn’t close to my wife’s anymore, but that is okay.

I’m quite excited. Now, to get an HF radio and get it going around the world!

New Shack Addition

No, I wish I had added on a shack, but that isn’t going to happen anytime soon I’m afraid. But, I have a new radio to go into the little corner of the guest bedroom I currently use.

The Milledgeville Amateur Radio Club’s Holiday Brunch also included a mini-hamfest. I wasn’t planning on buying anything, but I found a deal that was irresistible. Someone was offering two IC-228H with power supplies. Dad had been looking at getting a mobile unit to use as a base station, and I had been getting tired of having to move my ADI between the truck and my desk, so it was a perfect opportunity.

One of the power supplies was blowing fuses, but that was okay because I already had my MFJ. With the excitement of the holidays, I didn’t get a chance to set it up until today. It is working wonderfully! I live in an apartment, so I am stuck with an indoor antenna, and my location is in a nightmare zone for VHF anyway, but it gets me into all the local repeaters I use on low power, so I am writing it up as a win.

Now, if I could only find such a good deal on an HF rig… 🙂