Field Day 2017

Setting up for landing on runway 35 at KTIW

Just like last year, the weather was absolutely great for field day this year. I was lucky enough to be high up in the air this year and worked a lot of stations on 146.52 and 146.55 FM. Thanks to everyone who was patient in the pile-up. It’s tricky to do this in the air when there are so many stations that can hear you, but not each other.

VFR Flight from KMMV to KTIW (Direct Flight Path). Cruise altitude 10,500 ft.

Confirmed Contacts

Call sign, Location

  1. Operating as N1QQ, 1C/OR
  2. KF7UOQ
  3. KC7TAK, Beaver Creek, OR
  4. KK7PR, Bald Peak, OR
  5. N7DB, Sandy, OR
  6. KG7FOP, Sheridan Peak, OR
  7. KK4IBO, I-5 Northbound Exit 21
  8. W7HRY, Silver Star Mountain, WA
  9. WA7ASF, Troutdale, OR
  10. W7PRA, Corvallis, OR (100+ miles)
  11. KI7FCI, Vernonia, OR
  12. WA7LK, Enumclaw, WA
  13. K7KID, Naselle, WA
  14. K7BPH, Brush Prairie, WA + (op. KG7IED)
  15. AE7ZC, Beaverton, OR
  16. KC7VH, Southeast Portland, OR
  17. K7BH, Vancouver, WA
  18. Crossed Washington-Oregon Boarder, Hereafter Operating as N1QQ, 1C/WWA
  19. KK7PR
  20. KF7VWA, Woodland, WA
  21. W7PIG, Camano Island, WA (150+ miles)
  22. W7RC, Ridgefield, WA
  23. KA7AUY, Salem, OR
  24. WA7AIA,
  25. KG7SJY, 5 miles N. of Battleground, WA
  26. KG7RQJ, Coupeville, WA (150+ miles)
  27. VE7VVC, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (225+ miles)
  28. W0MUD, Astoria, OR
  29. WB7OSC, E. of Amboy, WA in the Gifford Pinchot Nat. Forest
  30. N7RIG
  31. KI7F
  32. KI7DFG, Montesano, WA
  33. KF7HQR, Enumclaw, WA
  34. K7SMA, Northeast Portland, OR
  35. N7KE, Redmond, WA
  36. AC7CL, Silverdale, WA
  37. NE7NE, Shelton, WA
  38. K7EZI, Port Ludlow, WA
  39. KC7IGT, Renton, WA
  40. K7LED, Marrowstone Island, WA
  41. KB7NMU, Yelm, WA
  42. AD7BF, Everett, WA

Happy Field Day 2016

Happy field day from Seattle! Unfortunately my schedule has been very busy lately, and prevented me from doing anything particularly exciting for field day this year, but I did get the chance to operate for a little while from Kerry Park in Seattle. It was a beautiful day to be outside, as you can see below.

Field Day from Kerry Park
Field Day from Kerry Park

Grid Dip Meter

Grid Dip Meter
Heathkit HD-1250

A grid dip meter is, in it’s simplest form, an oscillator. One function of this device is to determine what frequency, or frequencies, a particular LC circuit is tuned to. This is accomplished by placing the device in close proximity with the LC circuit under test. Inductive coupling between the meter and the circuit being tested allows the resonant frequency to be measured. When the frequency of the meter is tuned to the frequency of the LC circuit under test a dip will be observed on the meters indicator. More information about how to use this device can be found on YouTube in a video by Alan, W2AEW.

HD-1250 Grid Dip Meter
Inside the HD-1250

I thought it would be interesting to take this little meter apart and see what’s inside. While most of us are familiar with how to use one of these meters, and what they look like on the outside, I’m guessing that unless you’ve assembled one of these nifty devices yourself that you won’t be quite as familiar with the parts inside.

In the photographs you will see some familiar components. The large device with the moving interweaving plates is the variable capacitor. This capacitor, along with the inductive probe chosen sets the frequency of the oscillator. Other big ticket items include the battery on the left, the variable potentiometer to set the gain of the front panel meter seen with the small thumb-wheel attached, and the single-sided circuit board on the bottom.

Grid Dip Meter Circuit Board
HD-1250 Circuit Board

I admire the simple sheet metal construction of these Heathkit devices. Their simplicity certainly contributed to their low cost, and high availability that made the Heathkit line so popular. I found the method they used to create a tapped mounting hole in the edge of the sheet metal to be particularly clever. This is a technique I could certainly use in the future.

The single-sided pcb in this meter looks like it was likely drawn by hand. This semi-artistic method of pcb design has gone by the wayside in favor of modern CAD software, but you can still learn a lot by studying these designs. I can appreciate the quality of the work here, especially considering it was done on paper.

APRS

APRS (automatics packet reporting system) is a digital system designed to pass location and other telemetry and information between radio stations. Tom Hayward shared his experience with this system during the evergreen intertie youth net. Recorded (I believe) sometime in 2008.

Tom is also an avid mountaineer, and participates in search and rescue operations around the pacific northwest.