Summer Thunder (Field Day 2022)

The ARRL’s annual summer field day ran this weekend part of Saturday and part of Sunday, finally drawing to a close at 2pm local time, Sunday the 26th.

As it was pretty hot outside in our wonderful Arizona desert, the Ocotillo Hams decided to operate separately from home, while sipping cool lemonades indoors. (However, there was sporadic monsoon storm activity all weekend, which dumped a little rain, rattled windows with summer thunder, and cooled it off a few degrees!)

About four members of the group ran contest operations, though the band conditions were not the best.

Norm K7NWF, Don WQ1E, Tim N1QKD, and John AI7AQ all thrust in the contest oars for varying amounts of time, counting total unduplicated contacts, and contest points.

Norm’s Field Day Contest Logging results

Ocotillo Hams Member Field Day Results In order of Total Reported Contacts

Norm: K7NWF – 220 Contacts
(His personal best Summer Field Day, last year, 175)

John: AI7AQ – 182 Contacts
(Single day total, John actually went outside in the heat!)

Tim: N1QKD – 110 Contacts

Don: WQ1E – 25 Contacts
(Don was busy building a new motorized Mag Loop this weekend!)

Lisa: KJ7DJR – 0 Contacts (OOps! Out sick the last couple weeks)

And this year’s Summer Thunder King Ocotillo Ham is..


Congratulations to our favorite all around nice guy and terrific Elmer. 🙂

Now go relax… here’s a little of my favorite “thunder and rain” music to wind down to.


HF Round Robin in May

May’s park get together was held at Tumbleweed park in Chandler. The park was quiet as I pulled in, with just an honorable police man’s car parked at the entrance. (Na wei jing cha, if you’re a Mandarin speaker)

In spite of having my car all packed up the night before and leaving much earlier than usual, I was still the last one there. I think there’s a subtle contest for the best tables at the ramada, and the antenna setup spots going on… Lol. They say be there by 9am, and then get there at 8am!

Norm brought a new higher power Wolf River Coil with him, but was having trouble with his SWR meter, and tuning it, so he had me test drive it using my analyzer and rig instead. Turns out he just needs a new meter and there was nothing wrong with his new screwdriver setup. (Another excuse to buy a new toy!)

The bands looked really good, and we did a little bit of band hopping, playing round robin with who was on 1st, (20m) 2nd (15m), 3rd (17m) and lastly, 30m or 10m, or 12m. 20m was so busy we could hardly find a gap to transmit in.

I made a couple of contacts on about 4 different bands, sneaking in while the boys weren’t looking or were busy chatting. And then I ran out of juice in my laptop, the backup “Bolt” and then my battery box. OOps! Forgot to charge everything last time!

We had a couple of guys swing by who had been sitting on the park bench across from us and talk electronics, ham radio frequencies, and getting licenses. Who knows, maybe one of them will decide to join the hobby. They seemed much more than passingly interested and we enjoyed explaining the way the signals bounce off the ionosphere to cover long distances.

It was getting pretty warm by the time the four of us packed up and headed to Village Inn for lunch, but it was a nice relaxed day with pretty good band conditions.