Field Day 2017

Every June, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio's science, skill and service to our communities and our nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio.

The objective is to work as many stations as possible on any and all amateur bands (excluding the 60, 30, 17, and 12-meter bands) and to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions. Field Day is open to all amateurs in the areas covered by the ARRL/RAC Field.

What Would You Do?

It is easy for anyone to pick up a computer or smartphone, connect to the internet and communicate without knowing how the device functions or connects to another device.  However, if there is an interruption of service or you are out of range of a cell tower, you have no way to communicate.  Ham radio functions complete independent of the internet or cell phone infrastructure.

WØAF Don Brown, ADØLS Larry Kirstein & KBØUWR Art Foley

There aren’t a lot of amateur radio operators in the Mills County area and of those that there are have diverse interests within the field.  We do get a lot of support from outside the county from operators in Omaha, Council Bluffs, Plattsmouth, Minden, Shenandoah to mention a few.  We appreciate all the support we do get. Some of the Heartland Hams membership attended other Field Day events so we did the best we could this year and enjoyed every minute.

We had great food prepared and served by Annette Skinner.  There weren’t many leftovers.  The band conditions were reported to be BAD but we found, as did many others, that they all could be worked, 2,6,10,15, 20 & 40.  We weren’t trying to work 80 or 160.

Our call club call sign is WØHLH (HeartLandHams) and we had 3 stations set up giving us the station-class of 3A-IA.

We had two Yaesu FT991s and a FT857.  The antennas we used were two vertical alpha antennas, a windom dipole for 10, 20, 40 & 80 meters, an inverted V homebrew and a 2m yagi with manual rotor.

We networked our NF3JP logging software into one TCPIP log and it worked great and for the most part kept us out of the DUP club.

If you can recall your first HF contact you may remember what a thrill it was to accomplish that feat.  We had two of those this year ADOLS Larry Kirstein and KBØUWR Art Foley who made their first HF contacts– What a thrill!

As far as the Heartland Hams are concerned, we didn’t feel like we were in competition with anyone except ourselves.  Trying to better previous years totals seemed to be the task at hand.  We were also interested in sharing with visitors various details of what we were doing. That is part of the fund of amateur radio.  Elmers pop up even when we aren’t aware of it.  Visitors ask a variety of questions and often just merely observe.  None of us can say we don’t continue to learn from our experiences as well as from the comments of others.

Ron Ary NØQET had these comments:

I pulled up this log file DB and looked at the stats and I am just blown away.  WE KICKED BUTT!

This log application, in my eyes, was an overwhelming success.  I know that I felt more at ease using this program instead of paper and pencil.  It was way quicker and no need to flip back through pages to check for dup’s.  With the aid of the Rig Control there was no need to worry about if I marked down the mode, band or freq. correctly.  No need to worry about the time either because the application took care of all of that.  I am sold on this app for logging.


I am just amazed that I actually ended up with 145 contacts.  That is an all-time 25 year record for me.  I have never come close to that in any contest ever.  That includes the NA QSO Party.  I was happy when I broke the 60 mark at the picnic in 2015, but this is way beyond what I thought I had going.


That was fun.  Let’s shoot for 300 next year.  If the bands will be as “bad” as the sun spots say they were this year, we might just have a shot at it  I really liked working 15 and 40.  There seemed to always be something going on.  Once 15 went into the weeds, 40 was just full.  10 and 6 were the wild card bands which was great for you guys.  Like I said, I have never heard anything on 6 before, but now I can say I have.  Of course I have never had a 6 meter rig before either.  I think our FT991’s did a great job.  That may have been the key factor in the super number of contacts we made.  You heard the reports so not all of those guys were blowing smoke up our tails.  I know my signal had to be much better than some of the ones I heard.  73,  Ron – N0QET


We certainly felt good about our contacts, all 257 of them.  We nearly doubled our previous known best from 2015.  Even though we made that many contacts we didn’t stay up all night.  We quit at 9:30 P.M. and restarted at 8:40 A.M. on Sunday and got the last 125 contacts between 8:40 A.M. and 12:59 P.M.


It was a lot of fun!