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Winter Field Day 2023


 Winter Field Day LogoWinter Field Day in West Central Florida is a misnomer. However, it doesn’t stop Upper Pinellas Amateur Radio Club and Clearwater Amateur Radio Society clubs from having a great time!


The most important component are the antennas. Without them nothing matters. The antenna team and “The Band Boss” ensure antennas are installed, tuned and ready for contesting. I apologize. I meant to say an Emergency Communications exercise. That’s what we are doing. Absolutely NO competition at the event. None!

The primary antenna is a hex beam antenna. It handles the 10m, 15m and 20m bands. Installed on the top of a five story fire training tower it is higher than everything in surrounding area.

Hex Beam Antenna Setup
Hex Beam Antenna Setup (Photo by Fred W2SUB)

If you have never setup or raised a hex beam, it takes a village. Our antenna team gets the job done every time!

Hex Beam Team (L-R) Unknown, Chris, Rob WD4IFT, Ryan KO4KGP, Jeff NE4C, Bob K1NLS (Photo by Fred W2SUB)
Hex Beam Team (L-R) Unknown, Chris, Rob WD4IFT, Ryan KO4KGP, Jeff NE4C, Bob K1NLS (Photo by Fred W2SUB)

Below are two antennas used for the event. The aforementioned Hex Beam viewed from the ground (L) and a 132ft Off-Center Fed Dipole antenna.

Hex Beam Complete
132ft OCF Antenna


The radios are not at the bottom of the tower. Hundreds of feet of coax are required to connect the radios.The contraption below is a PVC cable winder. It makes quick work of coiling the coax in preparation for storage. The alternative, winding by hand, is not fun.

Winding Things Up!
Dee W4DCH Winding Things Up! (Photo by Fred W2SUB)

Digital Modes

Not all digital modes are allowed during WFD but PSK31is. Overnight operator Gerry WR6N managed a few dozen PSK31 QSOs into the log to help with emergency preparedness. It also adds points to the log!.

PSK31 QSO by Gerry WR6N (Photo by Ryan KO4KGP)
PSK31 QSO by Gerry WR6N (Photo by Ryan KO4KGP)

Youth & Satellites

The Amateur Radio hobby is desperate young, new hams to carry on the hobby. Fortunately a resurgence is happening across the US. More young people getting involved and getting excited! Below, the youngest members of the club are working PSK31. Another young member is learning from a couple of seasoned pros. Jeff NE4C (R) and Jason N4BOZ (C) are a power contesting team. Ton NY4I appears to be contemplating the next satellite pass strategy to get some bonus points.

The Luria family working the bands
The Luria Family


Our clubs do love to collect the bonus points and what’s cooler than bouncing an RF signal off of a satellite in space?!?! Nothing! Here is the antenna setup used for the contacts. It’s like night and day!


More photos from Rob WD4IFT

Tall Fire Training Tower with HexBeam on top (Photo by Rob WD4IFT)
Ryan KO4KGP and Alan W4UB relaxing for a few minutes (Photo by Rob WD4IFT)

160M Antenna

For the first time since the clubs have been doing Field Day, we had a 160M antenna. Everyone knows Ryan KO4KGP never has enough antennas. He had the idea to string up the 270ft Double Bazooka 160M antenna between the fire training towers. If you look carefully at the following photos, you can see the antenna!

Photo by Carol AB4YI
Photo by Carol AB4YI
Photo by Ryan KO4KGP
Photo by Ryan KO4KGP
Photo by Ryan KO4KGP

Photos by Carol AB4YI

Jeff NE4C working side-band like a machine! (Photo by Carol AB4YI)
The coax patch panel that connects the radios and antennas together (Photo by Carol AB4YI)
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