B.A.R.S. Field Day 2013

KY4KY: Bullitt Amateur Radio Society Field Day 2013
The annual ARRL Field Day weekend for the BARS Club was once again a resounding success. 
The weekend of June 22/23, 2013 found the radio club once more going through the ritual of setting up antennas, shelters, and individual radio stations for the event


Dave/K3EL, one of my ZL9HR Campbell Island team-mates, made the trip from Princeton, NJ to Louisville just for the purpose of engaging in his 1st Field Day outing.  Valinda & I thoroughly enjoyed hosting Dave for his short stay in Louisville and sincerely hope that he will visit again in the future.

CW Station
The CW station was once again housed in the luxurious accommodations of Ralph’s/W4HK camping trailer.

The A/C of the camper trailer was a welcomed relief from the humid conditions of the typical summer weather.  The electric power for the operation was provided by a Generac 5500 generator.

The CW Station antenna farm consisted of:
Rotatable Dipole (Driven element of TA-33)
Hustler 4-BTV Vertical
80m Dipole

CW Operating Position: Kenwood TS-480SAT
The SSB Station:

SSB Antenna Farm: TA-33 & OCF Dipole
VHF Station:
VHF Station: Camper of KC4WQ
VHF Antennas
VHF Operating position
Yaesu HF/VHF/UHF Transceiver
Glenn/KE4KY working CW on the VHF Station
The operating is always fun…and looked forward to every year.
Buddy KC4WQ
Darryl WA4CAQ
Ralph W4HK
Dave K3EL
Mark K9GX
The results were better than the year before….
2013 Results (graph by Rickey/KC4S)
Now…onto planning next year!!

CQ Field Day, CQ Field Day….

CQ Field Day, CQ Field Day….
By Glenn Petri KE4KY
As we near the month of June, most Amateur Radio clubs turn their attention to the annual ARRL Field Day radio event.  Since 1933, Amateur Radio enthusiasts across the States venture out of their comfort zones and operate in many different public venues.  Thousands of individuals, small groups, and radio clubs strike portable Amateur Radio stations in parks, camping areas, farms, large fields, churches, government buildings, and the like to celebrate this “on-air” operating event.
Ralph Wettle W4HK & Glenn Petri KE4KY (CW Station)
Since the early days of Amateur Radio, the operator and his radio has long been a source of secondary communications during times of local or statewide disaster events.  The history of Amateur Radio is replete with accounts where the Radio Amateur, coupled with a served agency or group, has responded to a need for communicators thereby rendering assistance  during a short-lived absence of standard communication avenues.  During most any natural disaster, or severe weather event, a corps of trained Amateur Radio volunteers is ready to serve and to fill a communication gap until professional disaster assistance arrives on the scene. 
The early Field Day events were geared mainly toward the mere physical exercise of getting “portable” stations on the air and completing as many contacts as possible over the prescribed period.  Upon seeing the success of the initial event, the ARRL determined to make this a yearly exercise.  Considering the equipment of the day, it must have been a monumental task for the equipment to go “afield.”  As the years progressed, the ARRL continued to add some additional nugget to the event to generate interest among the growing Amateur Radio ranks.  Although stymied by WWII, with no Field Day events from 1942 through 1945, the event was back on track in 1946.  Field Day has changed and morphed several times since its inception, with the look of the Field Day we see today beginning around 1950, with the advent of more extensive “rules” to govern the event as it grew in its popularity and in its scope. 
Given the advancements of radio equipment during World War II, Amateur Radio took leaps and bounds in its growth in the years that followed.  Naturally, going portable in those days became much easier, thus increasing the activity of the annual event.  As Field Day continues into the future, it is sure to see small changes here and there to keep itself viable given the state of current technology, and to keep the event relevant to the active Amateur Radio community.
Field Day is best described as a pie containing three slices….
1.     One part public service event
2.     One part social event
3.     One part contesting event

The club or group participating in the event is most suitable to determine how large any one slice of that pie should be.  One group may use the event purely for a social gathering with little emphasize on “radio” or even having a serious operating regimen.  The next group may be all out for the training value of setting up a series of stations in quick fashion to determine their abilities for serving a particular agency or community.  Another group may focus solely on achieving a high QSO count with a contest style approach to the outing, hoping to earn top billing in their state or region.  Whatever the approach, it all fits well within the scope of the event.
Buddy Sohl KC4WQ at the CW Station of KY4KY
Even after thirty-eight years of being involved in the Amateur Radio hobby, I still enjoy the many aspects of the Field Day challenge.  I am a semi-serious contest participant and love the competitive aspect of the event, but I am equally thrilled to see friends and mentors from my past that makes it out for some fun, food, and a little radio.  It is always good to reconnect with friends and acquaintances from years past, to reminisce about humble beginnings and the good times had over the many years.  The “team” aspect of the event is also very intriguing to me.  It is great to have a core group of friends that work so very hard to get stations assembled, antennas erected, generators operational, and computers interfaced.  My Field Day experiences prepared me well for many of the activities I encountered while on my first major DX-pedition to Campbell Island in 2012.  I likened our DX-pedition activities to a Field Day that lasted seven days!
Bill Scott NM4K Pounding out the CW Contacts
As you approach YOUR Field Day event, think about what it is YOU can do to make it better….for everyone!  It is imperative that everyone wishing to participate:
·       Provide input to the organizers in their areas of expertise
·       Be active in the planning of stations, antennas, etc…
·       Participate in the set-up and/or tear-down
·       Mentor the less experienced operator
·       Except coaching from the more experienced ops
·       Be positive, no matter what goes wrong
·       Get on the radio
I look forward to it every year…. I hope you will too!
See you on the air!

The Bachelor….


The Bachelor…..
Really!  Is this what TV has been reduced to?  It is like a bad car wreck, you don’t want to look, but for some reason you are amazed at what you see.
Really and truly, it is a sad commentary on what people will do to get their 15 min. of fame.
Oh well….. Andy and Opie, Adam-12, EMERGENCY, Hillstreet Blues, and Barney Miller where are you?? 
Back to MEtv.

Honesty, Integrity

Interesting topic….Honesty & Integrity

Throughout life we are oft-confronted with issues that center around certain moral dilemmas, with honesty and integrity being at the top of the list.  How those situations are handled say so much about our character, or the character of others.  

Having recently dealt with an issue where dishonesty coupled with hidden motives were brought to light, I came to be very introspective about this issue of honesty.  I did some reading, some soul-searching, and some reflection hoping to resolve some feelings of anger and the wish for ill-will towards those that breached an important trust.  I hope that I come to the proper moral position regarding those that offended my trust, but I also know that the social repercussions suffered by those who do such things are initiated by their own web of deceit.

Proverbs 11:3  The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.

I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.

F. Nietzsche

When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie. 
Y. Yevtushenko

I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is the best policy. George Washington

Honest people are never touchy about the matter of being trusted.  
Ayn Rand

No legacy is so rich as honesty.  William Shakespeare

The glue that holds all relationships together — including the relationship between the leader and the led is trust, and trust is based on integrity.  Brian Tracy

Proverbs 10:9  Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.

“A DXer’s Dream Come True!”

I finally took the time to compose an article for two organizations that wanted something for their web-based newsletters.  There was so much ground to cover, it seemed a daunting task to pare the article down into a reasonable length suitable for one’s quick consumption.

I quickly determined that many aspects of the adventure were going to be left out, or not adequately covered.  The sheer number of pictures shared between team members were staggering, so I did my best effort to give a thumb-nail sketch regarding this radio expedition.

Please “click” on the ZL9HR 2012 tab above….I hope you enjoy it!

My First DXpedition Experience!!

As many of you may have known, I was selected as part of an international team of Amateur Radio Operators to participate in one of the year’s larger radio expeditions….that of the ZL9HR 2012 Campbell Island NZ (OC-037) DXpedition.

Although it involved a substantial time away from home, it was an experience of a life-time for me.  As an avid Amateur Radio DXer, one who is involved with working other radio amateurs about the globe, it was an absolute thrill to be involved in the operational aspect of this radio expedition.  I cannot thank my wife, Valinda, enough for the understanding she has shown throughout this whole experience.  Since being selected for this Team in April, it seems every spare minute was devoted to some aspect of this adventure.  From being involved in the creating of facebook pages, twitter pages, assembling personal gear, devoting personal finances to the effort, packing gear/luggage, etc… it seems that all my thoughts and actions throughout the summer and fall were focused on this one singular event.

To my local ham radio friends… I cannot thank you enough for your support of me and of the ZL9HR DXpedition Team.

I will post more following the holidays regarding the DXpedition.

Speaking of the holidays….

My wish is for all of you to have a safe and joyous Holiday Season.  May your New Year’s dreams come true!

Let us not forget the reason for the season……

Luke 2:6-14  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  (7)  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  (8)  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  (9)  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  (10)  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  (11)  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  (12)  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  (13)  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  (14)  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Merry Christmas everyone!!

2012 Deer Season Success!!

It is so good when plans come together!  So far, the 2012 Deer Season has been very good to myself and one of the best hunting partners a person could have.

Don Bertram is perhaps one of the best deer hunters I know.  In my estimation, he has the most unique knack for looking at a piece of property and determining a plan to harvest a whitetail deer…particularly a mature buck.  One of the properties that we currently hunt provided many initial challenges, but Don used an approach of “hunt, observe, and move” to develop a plan to meet a large buck on its own turf.  In early November, Don was able to harvest a very nice deer by being patient, adapting to what he observed, and not being afraid to take bold steps to move stands to get into a position to harvest this nice animal.

Don Bertram and his 2012 Archery Buck

Don caught this buck in the frenetic beginning of the whitetail rut known as the chase phase.  Through the course of a late afternoon, Don was able to observe multiple mature deer as they actively chased and pursued does.  It was one of those magical afternoons in which Don was able to observe one of the most anticipated events in the whitetail season…..bucks running back and forth like crazy trying to find or corral a “hot” doe.

I so much enjoy archery hunting for deer.  We are blessed here in the state of Kentucky with a very healthy herd of whitetails which lends itself to very liberal harvest limits.  With just a little bit of effort, anyone with a desire to harvest at least one animal should be able to punch their tag and have a very successful season.

My season had success very quickly, with two deer being taken within the first ten days of the archery season.  On the evening of November 9th I found myself perched in a tree hoping to see rut activity such as Don had witnessed a few days prior.

As it neared 4:00 p.m., I was able to detect deer moving in the drainage below my stand.  I was able to see the deer move up the hill on the other side of me and slowly disappear out of sight.  As the end of the hunting day quickly approached, I again began to hear deer moving in the drainage below me.  The area was a dense thicket with my view of the area being very limited.  As the deer approached I could tell that there were definitely more than two and they were quickly approaching my stand location.  As I prepared for their approach, I began to see the doe that was in the lead.  She quickly passed through my shooting lane and continued her march toward the field’s edge some seventy-five yards away.  As the other two deer approached, a fight of sorts broke out….small trees and brush were moving and I could hear the ground erupt under the feet the battling bucks.  One buck broke off and ran to a point that I could see him clearly.  He quickly threw up his tail and left, having been successfully challenged by the other buck.  The remaining buck began trailing the path of the doe and grunting as he proceeded through the thicket and ultimately into my shooting lane.  With just a brief stop at 15 yards, I was able to come to full draw and then my arrow was on its way.  The buck turned, ran about sixty yards, and I could then hear the distinct crash of the deer as it ran its last steps.

My 2012 Buck

As it turned out, this deer had been named the unicorn buck by the landowner.  The buck had previously been seen with a pronounced tine going straight out over his left eye from the base of the left antler.  He was at one time 6 x 4, but now a 4 x 4, having broken off the unique four inch tine protruding over his left eye, as well as the left G4, sometime prior to that evening.

I am by no means a trophy hunter.  I truly believe that the hunting sports are characterized by the size of the experience…not by the size of the animal!  This mature whitetail buck certainly gave me a thrill and I am very proud of this close encounter archery harvest!!

My 2012 season holds four archery deer to my credit….I hope to add to that some in the late winter.

As I type this on the 12th of November, I lament that my season is now on hold until late December.  I can only hope that when I again get afield in about five weeks that I can make some more memories with my good friends!


Winter Contesting

The winter is fast in closing.  It is March 13th and the temperature is already 77 degrees.

Feels more like June than mid-March.

Over the past month or so, I and several of my close friends have been on the radio doing some contesting.  Radio Sport…as it is called in Europe…is fast becoming a savior of Amateur Radio and its allocated radio frequency spectrum.  Some contests are for stateside (U.S.A.) only, but many of the most active contests are for worldwide participants.  Upcoming contest schedules, contesting general information, and individual contest participant profiles can be found at websites such as Contesting Online, NG3K’s Website, & RadioSport.net.

I did get to participate in some recent contests…not a full effort by any means, but it is a hobby after all.
ARRL DX CW Contest:  426 contacts

Band          Total         KE4KY         
3.5           3             3             
7            82             82            
14          181           181           
21          113           113           
28          47             47            
Total      426           426           
North America QSO Party RTTY:  467 contacts

Band          Total         KE4KY         
3.5           94            94            
7              209          209           
14            95            95            
21            48            48            
28            21            21            
Total       467           467           
ARRL Internation DX SSB:
232 Contacts
699 QSO Points
137 Multipliers
Score:  88392
Some of my more favorite contests are coming up in the next few months and I hope to put in good efforts to surpass my scores from years past.
No major DXpeditions happening at this time.  The activity of the sun is making headline news, with several large solar flares shooting off the surface of the sun in the past week. 
This NOAA site is an excellent website for current solar activity.
Things coming up in the future:
Dayton Hamfest (May)
ARRL Field Day (June)
Until next time….be safe!

January DXing

January has been an active month on the Amateur Radio front.  Many good operations on the air currently:  HK0NA (Malpelo Island), VP6T (Pitcairn Island), and TN2T (Congo).
Hope all my ham radio friends are having luck with the sometimes HUGE pile-ups.  I always enjoy working the pile-ups with good friends Ralph W4HK and Bill NM4K.
If you are not a ham radio person, look up the first two islands listed (mouse over and click for link)….you may be quite surprised regarding their location and history, especially Pitcairn Island.  Clue: Mutiny on the Bounty  These barren and often times uncolonized areas of the world are visited by scientists and controlling government entities for specific purposes.  Many times Amateur Radio operators tag along and are allowed at these locations to activate the region or location for other Amateur Radio stations throughout the world for a chance at making a contact to such a rare location on the globe.

Go to DX World for a sampling of the activity that is currently “on the air.”

The 2011-12 Whitetail Season ended January 16th.  I always lament the closing of the season.  It means less time outdoors on GOD’s front porch, a few months of seeing my good friends less, and then experiencing the deepest part of the cold dark winter months.  The deer season was good to me…GOD blessed me once again with the ability and time to enjoy my greatest passion.  I was able to harvest five deer with my bow….no antlered buck this year.  One deer was gladly donated to the Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry program.

Now it is time for a little hog hunting.  One of the properties that I hunt has developed a feral pig problem.  In August of 2011, I harvested this hog just prior to the opening of the Kentucky Deer Season.

I will keep everyone posted on the hunting…..Hope you had a great January.

Happy New Year!!

May everyone have a safe and happy holiday!  Much I could say about 2011…..but when it comes down to it I need to realize that I am truly blessed beyond measure.  Our spouses, family, and closest friends are some of the greatest assets we have, and may 2012 provide us the opportunity to recognize that and build on it even more.