Winter Field Day 2023

With portable operations being the main focus area for the East Leinster Amateur Radio Club (ELARC), partaking in the Winter Field Day is not a surprise.

We set out to establish a station at the Irish Military Museum & Park. Access to the vast camping area was a factor in our success. Located on the north facing side of a hill outside Collon, just inside the Co Meath border. With good take-off for HF DX to the North, East and West.

Our setup consisted of several radio systems in the communication tent. We could operate on 160/80/40/20 metre bands. We used homebrew, dipoles, linked dipoles, EFHW , and Clansman military dipole for the 160m band.

80m and 160m antennas were deployed in NVIS fashion. Where the 40m and 20m were a bit higher relative to the wavelength. Our wires were supported by a 10m telescopic mast, a couple of fishing rods and local vegetation.

Radios were a standard HAM issue Yaesu FT-857D and FT-891. In total we were able to operate 4 bands at the same time. We did not seem to have too many issues with mutual interference.

Michael EI6IRB deserves a special mention for operating top band on his modified Clansman PRC 320. All the radios were powered from the battery.

We had a visit from a friendly HAM Tomasz EI9IDB to whom we are grateful for helping us with the setup. After we established the camp Tom EI5IEB served us with his legendary chilli dish. We fueled up on coffee and at 19:00 Saturday 29th January we began to operate. John EI6IZB kept us warm with a cosy fire pit. When we were exhausted from operating he would welcome us at the fire with a hot cup of coffee.

Frank EI8HIB had an excellent time operating on the 80m band. He made the most contacts during the weekend. Michael EI6IRB got himself into a net on top band. The participants of that net became very interested in his military radio equipment. Johnny EI8IPB operated in tandem with Tom EI5IEB on 20m. Vic EI5IYB entered the activity using Online Amateur Radio Club callsign EI2OARC and worked 40m.

We operated till early hours on Sunday. In the morning the smell of the fry-up got all of us out of the sleeping bags. Tom was at it again! Coffee, chats and we were operating again. We stayed until the 40m and 80m IRTS news bulletin to which we called. Later Stefan EI4KU helped Michael with top band experiments. 

A successful Winter Field Day concluded, with the club having operated for over 24 hours off grid, in a field, in winter, fuelled by coffee and LiFePo batteries.

Before we left we had a tour of the Irish Military Museum & Park. It was too short! There is so much to see. There is so much to see. We would like to thank William for letting us use this most excellent facility.  Fun was had by all and we will be back!


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