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Default [KB6NU] GOTA 2018 was a blast!

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GOTA 2018 was a blast!

Posted: 25 Jun 2018 12:07 PM PDT

Field Day 2018 has come and gone, and while Ill do a more complete report
on our clubs entire operation in a future blog post, I do want to give a
quick report on the GOTA station, as thats my main responsibility for Field
Day. The bottom line is that it seemed to be a lot more fun this year than
last. I think that the main reason for this is that we had more kids than
last year.

Don, AC8TO, was the guy who was mainly responsible for this. Hes an
assistant coach for a local Science Olympiad team here in the Ann Arbor
area, and this year, he was able to get several of the students on the team
to come out to Field Day. Most of them made some contacts at the GOTA
Don, AC8TO, at left; Jason, at the mic; and Jasons father in the rear.

Don was one of five GOTA coaches we had at this years Field Day, including
Rich KA8BMA, Quentin KD8IPF, Don AC8TO, Charles W8HAX, and yours truly.
Three of this years Field Day GOTA coaches. From L to R: Rick KA8BMA, Dan
KB6NU, Quentin KD8IPF. Not pictured: Don AC8TO, Charles W8HAX.

I think that we all pretty much had a blast. Quentin suggested that next
year we should have t-shirts, and Im putting that on my list.

Equipment-wise, we tried something new this year. We ran the station off
solar power. Tom, W8TAM, provided the batteries and solar panels, and never
once did we get anywhere near taxing the system. It ran flawlessly.

What didnt run so flawlessly was my ICOM IC-7300. Although this was the
exact same radio that we used last year for the GOTA station, we found that
the 40m CW station was overloading the front end, making it next to
useless. Instead, we used the University of Michigan Amateur Radio Clubs
TS-590. Dave, N8SBE, suggested that the reason that it worked so well last
year is that we had only one CW station, and when that station was on 40m,
the GOTA station was on 20m and vice versa. This year, with two CW
stations, it was a lot harder to avoid that interference.

All told, we made 80 contacts by twelve different operators. Jason,
pictured above, had a real feel for how to operate, and after a little
instruction, cranked his way through 11 contacts. He would have made more,
but we ran out of time. He logged his last Q at 1759Z. Four or five other
Science Olympiad students also made contacts.

We got a couple of new hams on the air, too. Our GOTA station stars
included Greg, KE8HXR, and Mitch, K8UCH. Both made 20 or more contacts,
thereby scoring bonus points!

We also had some other visitors score points for us, although not at the
GOTA station. I was showing a couple around the Field Day site on Sunday,
when we stumbled into one of the phone stations. Since no one was operating
the station at the time, I slid into the loggers chair, and invited one of
the guests to sit in the operators chair. She had a great radio voice, and
we proceeded to knock down a few QSOs. I was also told that our towns mayor
showed up late Saturday night (after Id hit the sack), and he made at least
one contact on one of the phone stations.

If your Field Day operation didnt have a GOTA station, you really should
think about one for next year. Theyre a lot of fun, help new hams get on
the air, and crate a lot of goodwill for ham radio.

The post GOTA 2018 was a blast! appeared first on KB6NUs Ham Radio Blog.

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