Boschveldt QRP Field Day 2018

Boschveldt QRP Club patchThe intrepid members of the Boschveldt QRP Club got together for another great Field Day. The weather for much of the weekend was rainy but that didn’t stop up us from having fun.

Like last year, we held our Field Day on a nice piece of privately owned property in Malvern, Pennsylvania. The Boschveldt members on hand this year were Ed K3YTR, Glen NK1N, Ron WA8YIH and WB3GCK. Although he didn’t camp overnight with us, Jerry WC8R was on-hand for the weekend.

Part of the W3BQC Field Day site. Some of the VHF/UHF antennas are in the foreground. You can see the satellite antenna array in the background (above the car's hood).
Part of the W3BQC Field Day site. Some of the VHF/UHF antennas are in the foreground. You can see the satellite antenna array in the background (above the car’s hood).

We operated QRP in the 2A (battery) class this year, using our club callsign, W3BQC. On HF, WA8YIH worked SSB and digital, while I handled the CW chores. K3YTR worked 6M, 2M and 440 (with help from WC8R), while NK1N worked the satellites. Normally, Ed WA3WSJ participates but, unfortunately, he was under the weather.

WA8YIH operating underneath his tarp shelter at W3BQC Field Day 2018. At night, the tarp sheltered the hammock he slept in.
WA8YIH operating underneath his tarp shelter at W3BQC Field Day 2018. At night, the tarp sheltered the hammock he slept in.

After we arrived on Friday afternoon, we put up our tents and shelters, along with some of our antennas. Most of this work was done with some light rain and drizzle coming down. As is our custom, we headed out to a local restaurant to have dinner and do some catching up.

(l-r) K3YTR, WC8R, and WA8YIH enjoy the campfire at W3BQC Field Day 2018
(l-r) K3YTR, WC8R, and WA8YIH enjoy the campfire at W3BQC Field Day 2018

On Saturday morning, we attended to some last-minute equipment preparations. For the HF stations, WA8YIH and I kept things simple. We both used simple inverted L antennas fed through 9:1 UNUNs. K3YTR had a variety of antennas for VHF and UHF and NK1N had an elaborate system for tracking the satellites.

NK1N working the satellites during the W3BQC Field Day 2018
NK1N working the satellites during the W3BQC Field Day 2018

Our little group of QRPers tends to run a very laid-back Field Day. When the event got officially underway, we interspersed periods of operating with lots of socializing and eating. By Saturday evening, the lousy weather cleared out enough for us to do a campfire. Of course, there was more socializing and eating.

K3YTR working VHF/UHF during W3BQC Field Day 2018
K3YTR working VHF/UHF during W3BQC Field Day 2018

On Sunday, the weather finally cleared up and the sun came out. We also took advantage of openings on the 15M and 10M to make some more contacts towards the end of the event. We were happy to have a visit from Ed WA3WSJ. He felt well enough to come out to the site for a few hours. He even brought an assortment of sandwiches for lunch.

WB3GCK operating CW from my tent during W3BQC Field Day 2018
WB3GCK operating CW from my tent during W3BQC Field Day 2018

As is always the case, Field Day seems to be over far too soon. No records were broken this year but the Boschveldt QRP crew had a great time.

72, Craig WB3GCK

Boschveldt (W3BQC) Field Day 2017

Once again, I joined my fellow Boschveldt QRP Club members for Field Day. We’re a loosely-organized group of QRPers who enjoy portable operating. Field Day is one of the few times each year that we get together, so it’s always good to see everyone and do some catching up. This year we held Field Day on a beautiful piece of land owned by a close family friend of one of our members. We were situated on top of a hill, so we had some good elevation, too.

This is the little camper K3YTR used. Besides sleeping, there was enough room for his radios.
This is the little camper K3YTR used. Besides sleeping, there was enough room for his radios.

Ed K3YTR, Glen NK1N and I arrived mid-afternoon on Friday and set up our tents. We were expecting some heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy so we held off setting up our radio equipment. We were joined later that night by Ron WA8YIH.

This is my (WB3GCK) tent. The Jackite pole in the foreground is supporting the vertical portion of my 58-ft inverted L antenna.
This is my (WB3GCK) tent. The Jackite pole in the foreground is supporting the vertical portion of my 58-ft inverted L antenna.

We sat around chewing the fat until it started to rain around 10:30 PM. At that point, we retreated to our tents for the night to ride out the storm. It certainly was a rough night, with some of the heaviest rain I have ever experienced in a tent. My old tent made it through the night with only some slight leaks. WA8YIH’s canopy, unfortunately, was destroyed by the heavy rain. Other than that, we got through the night otherwise unscathed.

Ron WA8YIH (left) and Glen NK1N surveying the aftermath of Tropical Depression Cindy. Ron's canopy was a total loss.
Ron WA8YIH (left) and Glen NK1N surveying the aftermath of Tropical Depression Cindy. Ron’s canopy was a total loss.

After breakfast on Saturday, we went about setting up our radio equipment. Ed WA3WSJ arrived mid-morning.

Ed WA3WSJ camped out in his hammock. He's in there somewhere.
Ed WA3WSJ camped out in his hammock. He’s in there somewhere.

This year, we operating as Class 3A EPA, using our club callsign, W3BQC. We were all QRP on battery power. I operated CW while WA8YIH operated SSB, digital and a little CW. NK1N worked satellites using his new portable setup. K3YTR worked 2M and 440 SSB. WA3WSJ assisted with all the stations.

Glen NK1N setting up his antenna array for satellite communications.
Glen NK1N setting up his antenna array for satellite communications.

On HF, WA8YIH and I were both running KX3s and inverted L antennas fed through 9:1 ununs. Propagation seemed fair on Saturday but was much better on Sunday. Despite all the wet foliage around us, NK1N managed to make some decent satellite contacts. On Saturday night, I switched my station over to digital to copy the W1AW Field Day Bulletin on 80 meters.

This is Ron WA8YIH's station running SSB and digital.
This is Ron WA8YIH’s station running SSB and digital.

Field Day with the Boschveldt QRP crew is always a somewhat laid-back affair. None of us are serious contesters, so there is always a lot of socializing going on during the weekend. During the evening, we assemble around the campfire to swap tall stories. We never rack up huge scores but we always have a lot of fun.

WA3WSJ grilling Spam for lunch on Sunday
WA3WSJ grilling Spam for lunch on Sunday

After a Sunday lunch of grilled Spam sandwiches, we started tearing down and packing up. We haven’t compiled our logs yet, so I don’t know what our final score is yet. I’m sure we didn’t set any records but, if they gave out bonus points for having fun, the Boschveldt crew would be at the top of our category.

For more (and much better) pictures of our Field Day, visit the Boschveldt QRP website.

72, Craig WB3GCK

Field Day 2016

Boschveldt QRP Club patchAnother Field Day is in the books.  This year, as in past years, I operated with the Boschveldt QRP Club.  The Boschveldt QRP Club is a small, informal group of QRPers who share a love of portable QRP operating.  Basically, we get together twice each year.  In January, we converge on a cabin in the Delaware Water Gap.  In June, of course, we get together for Field Day.

Our Field Day site was a group tenting site in French Creek State Park near Elverson, Pennsylvania.  Our Field Day crew consisted of Ed WA3WSJ, Glen NK1N, Ed K3YTR, Ron WA8YIH and me.  After arriving on Friday afternoon and setting up our tents, we headed into town for dinner.  After that, we set up a few antennas and it was soon time to get a campfire going.

WB3GCK CW tent
WB3GCK CW tent

After breakfast on Saturday, we finished setting up the radio equipment.  After a lunch of cheddar-stuffed bratwursts cooked over a fire, we drove over to visit with members of the Pottstown Amateur Radio Club (PARC) who were operating from another site in the park.  We got back to our site in time for the start of Field Day.

Ed WA3WSJ operating from a chair instead of his usual pedestrian-mobile operating
Ed WA3WSJ operating from a chair instead of his usual pedestrian-mobile operating

Once again, we operated class 4AB (QRP) using our club callsign, W3BQC.  I ran a CW station on 40 and 80 meters.  NK1N operated CW on 20 meters and SSB on 40 meters.  WA8YIH operated SSB on 20 meters and up, while WA3WSJ ran CW on 15 meters and up.  K3YTR operated 6 and 2 meters SSB.

Glen NK1N operating SSB on 40 meters
Glen NK1N operating SSB on 40 meters

Now I have to point out that the Boschveldt QRPers run a very informal Field Day.  In fact, we probably spend as much time socializing as we spend operating.  When the sun goes down, things come to a halt.  We gather around the campfire to relax and just enjoy being outdoors.  One of our traditions is roasting marshmallow Peeps® over the campfire.

Ron WA8YIH working 20 meters SSB
Ron WA8YIH working 20 meters SSB

This year we had a large group of Boy Scouts camped across the road from us.  A few of them stopped by Saturday night for a ham radio demonstration by WA8YIH.

Ed K3YTR operating on 6 meters and 2 meters from his car
Ed K3YTR operating on 6 meters and 2 meters from his car

Our logs haven’t been consolidated yet but I’m guessing we had something like 300 contacts between the five of us.  Although band conditions weren’t all that great, the weather was a lot better than the rain we had last year.

I always enjoy getting together with the Boschveldt guys for Field Day.  We’ve already started planning our January trip.

72, Craig WB3GCK