Author Topic: Winter Field Day 27-28 Jan 2018 and other things  (Read 1350 times)

CraigBos

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Winter Field Day 27-28 Jan 2018 and other things
« on: January 21, 2018, 10:09:28 PM »
Lots of thoughts racing, so I'll just summarize right here:

I'm planning to go camping out toward Salton Sea next weekend, 27-28 January.  Purpose is to try to boost my score in the ARRL International Grid Chase and participate in Winter Field Day.  Who wants to come and where's a good place to do this?  (Note, it has to be no more than about 8 miles east of 78 and 86 to be in the grid I'm trying to be in.)



Stream of consciousness:
  • I got on HF, mostly the FT8 digi mode.  My antenna is a stealthy wire.  (https://www.qrz.com/db/K6BOS)
  • I'm doing pretty good in ARRL's grid chase (https://igc.arrl.org/index.php), but progress has slowed.  I think this because most people I can work already have credit for my grid.
  • The grid that contains the Salton Sea has had hardly any contacts, so there should be demand for it
  • I want to go operate from that grid and get lots of contacts, score
  • Next weekend (i.e. 26-28 Jan 2018) is my last chance to rack up January points
  • Coincidentally, this thing called Winter Field Day is the same weekend (https://www.winterfieldday.com/).  It's like Field Day, but in the Winter.
  • I've gathered some stuff to make a minimal field Ham station, i.e. radio, laptop, antenna, car battery hookup, card table




Here is a map of grid DM23, out of which I want to operate from:


I'm thinking about camping off of pole line road just north of 78, right around here:  https://goo.gl/maps/qWjWLpyY6e82 

Plusses are, it's pretty much the quickest point in DM23 to get to from San Diego, and there is a pit toilet.  But I've never been out there, so I have no idea.  I'm gonna put up an easy-up and run a wire antenna out about 130 feet to a pole (see below).  I figure I'll just sleep in the car and eat Mountain House. 

Anybody been there?  Any reasons we should stay away?  Any better ideas?



For an antenna, I'm bringing an MFJ-1982MP.  It should tune up on 80, 40, 20, 17, 12, and 10 meters.  It's an end fed wire, 132 feet long.  I rigged up a 20' tall pole, which will hold up the far end of the antenna.  And I'll tie off the near end with the feedpoint to the roof rack.

I practiced setting it up today, and it went pretty well.




But being 20 feet long, the pole is pretty much a noodle. 



I'll add a set of guys halfway up.

For power, I'm tapping into the starter battery on my X.  It's a Bosch AGM.  I figure I should be good to operate for a couple of hours, then run the engine for 30 min or so.  I'll use a voltmeter and try to get a feel.  If it all goes wrong, I should be able to get a jump from someone.

So that's it.

Anybody want to go?  Bring an HF rig and operate multi?  Any other ideas?
K6BOS - Craig

knightrider

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Re: Winter Field Day 27-28 Jan 2018 and other things
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2018, 11:44:48 PM »
I would be down to check this out for a little while on Saturday, some of us are planning on riding bikes out to the Goat Trestle bridge on Sunday but no real plans for Saturday. 

I have no HF rig or knowledge of how field days operate but it's been on my list of things to do.
Jordan - K6XTE
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Ghost65

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Re: Winter Field Day 27-28 Jan 2018 and other things
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2018, 08:39:07 AM »
Craig...my wife and I have spent a lot of time in that specific area geocaching, all along the pole line road as well as Old Kane Springs Rd. and the Superstition area.

Plenty of flat areas with campfire rings all over the place there.

The only caution I would exercise is makiing sure your camp is visible to oncoming OHV traffic, as this location is well within the boundaries of the Ocotillo Wells SVRA. 

Other than that, some protection from the wind for cooking, and some sunscreen and you would be GTG.  ;)

KD6DCI

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CraigBos

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Re: Winter Field Day 27-28 Jan 2018 and other things
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2018, 10:18:50 AM »
Jordan, it'll be great to have a visitor!

Ghost, thanks for that info, and it's a great point about OHVers. Followup question on that:  Should I cover just daylight visibility, or is there traffic at night also?

Assuming I can pull my stuff together in time, I'll head out Friday afternoon and try to get camp set up before dark.  Then I will work Grids till Sat at 11 AM when Winter Field Day starts.  That'll go till 11 Sun AM, at which time I'll pack up and go home.

Should be grueling and fun!
K6BOS - Craig

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Re: Winter Field Day 27-28 Jan 2018 and other things
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2018, 10:41:20 AM »
Followup question on that:  Should I cover just daylight visibility, or is there traffic at night also?


Camping in this area...I would definitely figure out some reflective or brightly colored markings for the night. 

You should be able to gauge the level of traffic by how many folks are camped out there (specifically in the area) during your visit. 

YMMV...use your head Craig and you'll be fine.

John/Ghost65
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CraigBos

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Re: Winter Field Day 27-28 Jan 2018 and other things
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2018, 11:00:17 PM »
OK guys, I'm loaded up and ready to go in the AM. I'm sure it'll be educational.

I'm planning to be somewhere along Pole Line road, most likely here:  https://goo.gl/maps/S5Rjp5Nrkqs

Or here:  https://goo.gl/maps/2X3VSGtDJhq

I'll let you all know how it goes.!

K6BOS - Craig

CraigBos

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Re: Winter Field Day 27-28 Jan 2018 and other things
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2018, 08:11:18 AM »
Got set up and had a great day yesterday.  Made over 50 contacts, including Canada, Argentina, Chile, and Indonesia.



For anyone thinking about coming out to visit, I'm set up here:

Dropped Pin
near Imperial County, CA

K6BOS - Craig

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Re: Winter Field Day 27-28 Jan 2018 and other things
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2018, 12:11:01 PM »
Indonesia!?!  Holy cow, I need a bigger map to find that.  Well done, you are making great use of your General license.  Wish I could join you but my weekends are tight.  Are you making any time for some long range 6.5 practice out there?
Of all the things I've lost...
I miss my mind the most

KJ6YPO

CraigBos

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Re: Winter Field Day 27-28 Jan 2018 and other things
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2018, 03:35:34 PM »
Wow, well that was awesome.

Not everything worked perfect, but enough did, and I learned a lot.  I made about 140 contacts, and moved up over 200 places in the grid chase.

The $90 generator from Harbor Freight was a particularly nice surprise.

John, GREAT advice about making my stuff visible.  I had caution tape and reflective cones.  And I put little reflective strips on different things.  Right as I was setting up and before all the high viz stuff was up, two motorcycles went right under my wire.  They saw it after I yelled out a warning, and it was no big deal.  But I was very very glad to have that stuff to put out.  Especially at night, when there were plenty of riders out.

Biggest thing I need to fix is the antenna.  It did not tune up right at all, and I got absolutely nothing on 80 meters.

But no matter, It was an awesome time and I'm gonna do it again.

K6BOS - Craig

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Re: Winter Field Day 27-28 Jan 2018 and other things
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2018, 05:52:12 PM »
Looks like you had a good time, I'm jealous I couldn't get down there for that as I've yet to attend a field day event.
Isaiah 6:8

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Re: Winter Field Day 27-28 Jan 2018 and other things
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2018, 10:59:42 AM »
Very Cool Craig,
Do you typically do Field Day in June as well?
I have a group site for field day in big bear this year. I'm hoping to introduce a handful of people to HF.
You're welcome to join us.