Field Day Aftermath

Field Day is over a month gone, and some of us are just now recovering from the long weekend.  Special thanks to the club’s Vice-President, Craig – KJ4LAA, who put in a 28-hour all-day/all-night effort to help make Field Day (mostly) successful.

Our overall attendance was higher than before, but we had fewer contacts to show for it.  We had visits from Morgan County EMA director Eddie Hicks, Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long, County Commissioner for District 2 Randy Vest, and State Representative Terry Collins (who made a contact on the GOTA station!).

We had 148 contacts on CW and 483 contacts on phone (including 135 from the GOTA station).  Our QSO score was 1,558.  Bonus points add an additional 830 points to the total, for a submitted score of 2,388.  This is approximately 300 points less than last year’s effort, but still not terrible for the group we have.

Now we wait for November or December when the ARRL posts the final results.

And then . . .

Wait till next year!!!  June 27th and 28th will be the dates.  Reserve them now!!

Photos are posted on Flickr (click here).


Tagged with Field Day on 3rd August, 2014. No comments.

CQ Field Day! W4ATD Field Day!

It’s Field Day time again!  For the 61st consecutive time, the Decatur Amateur Radio Club will operate stations for Field Day.
We will be operating from the picnic pavilion behind the main stage at Point Mallard Park in Decatur.  You can see it on the map on the ARRL’s Field Day Locator (search for W4ATD).  We will have a 2-meter radio monitoring the 147.00 repeater if you call in for directions or for chat.

Last year’s results were OK, but we have proven that we can do better.  Hopefully we’ll have a great turnout and be able to operate all radios for the full 24 hours.

See you at Field Day!!!

Tagged with Field Day on 27th June, 2014. No comments.

March 2014 Meeting Change

The club officers have decided that the club needs regular sustenance, or at least a change of scenery.

Therefore, we are scheduling the regular meeting every 3 months (March, June, September, and December) to be at Libby’s Catfish and Diner on Highway 67 in Priceville.

The March club meeting will therefore be held at Libby’s in Priceville at 6:00 on Tuesday, March 4th.

Be there and enjoy the food and the good conversations.

Tagged with Meetings on 2nd March, 2014. No comments.

February Meeting Demo

2m SDR aAt the February meeting, the Vice-President, Craig McClure KJ4LAA, demonstrated a software-defined 2-meter receiver (SDR) that he has built.

His presentation was held in the Ham Radio room of the EMA office at the Morgan County Courthouse.2m SDR c The device was connected to a roof antenna for the 2 meter band and to his laptop computer via USB.

A waterfall display (by frequency) on his computer screen indicated transmitted activity. When he tuned to one of those energy peaks, one could hear the received voice transmission.

2m SDR aThe complete SDR setup cost less than 50 dollars (computer not included, of course). Everyone enjoyed the demonstration of what can be done with a SDR device.

Tagged with Meetings on 9th February, 2014. No comments.

Club Officers for 2014

At the November meeting the club elected officers for 2014.  They begin serving at the January club meeting.

The officers for 2014 are:

President – David Stephenson KJ4OKJ

Vice-President – Craig McClure KJ4LAA

Secretary – Richard Matthews KB4CAY

Treasurer – Ray Frederick KD4VCW

We’re going to have a good year this year!



Tagged with General on 5th January, 2014. No comments.

Field Day 2013 Official Post-mortem

The ARRL has posted the 2013 Field Day results.
We didn’t do very well this time.
Here’s the breakdown for W4ATD, our club station:
  • Overall:  #555 out of 2,548 stations
  • Southeast Division:  #53 out of 211 stations
  • Alabama Division:  #9 out of 34 stations
For our class (2A):
  • Overall:  #120 out of 398 stations
  • Southeast Division:  #13 out of 37 stations
  • Alabama Division:  #3 out of 7 stations
It’s not a terrible result, but it could be better.
Let’s all pretend to be Cubs (or Braves) fans:  “Wait ’till NEXT year!!!”
If you’d like to review the results yourself, here’s the link to the database on the ARRL website.



Tagged with Field Day on 15th November, 2013. No comments.

Equipment Sale

In 2012, long-time club  member Bill Hacker – W4CB passed away.

He collected a lot of radio and test equipment that his widow has asked our club to make disposal of.

On Saturday, July 20th, 2013, beginning at 9:00, there will be a sale at the Hacker residence in Hartselle, AL, and it will last until 1:00 in the afternoon.  All sales are final, and all equipment is offered “as-is”.

Below is a link to a PDF document of the items for sale, with prices.

If you come, please be polite and considerate.

See you there.

Silent Key W4CB Ham Radio Assets

Tagged with General on 14th July, 2013. No comments.

Another One In The Books

Field Day 2013 is over.  We had a great time at Point Mallard.  Thanks to all those who came out and participated, even if you didn’t operate a radio.

Thanks to the Decatur Daily for their coverage.  Here’s a link to the article in the Sunday paper.  They missed a couple of things, but it was a very complimentary article nonetheless.

Thanks also to Decatur Mayor Don Kyle for the Amateur Radio Week proclamation.

Now to compile the scores and see how we did . . .

Tagged with Field Day on 23rd June, 2013. No comments.

Amateur Radio Week in Decatur

Vice-President David Stephenson was instrumental in getting a special proclamation issued by the mayor of Decatur, Don Kyle.

June 17th through 23rd is Amateur Radio Week in Decatur, Alabama.

Of course, you realize that this includes Field Day weekend, which is the 22nd and 23rd.

Hope you’re planning on coming out and helping with the event.  We start setup around 9:00 on Saturday morning at the picnic pavilion behind the Spirit of America stage at Point Mallard Park.

See you there!


Tagged with Field Day,General on 13th June, 2013. No comments.

Happy Birthday to Us!!

Here’s an excerpt from the history files of the club:

The concept for a local Amateur Radio Club was formed in the summer of 1952.  By January 1953, organizational meetings were being held in various locations, including the members’ homes.  Application was made for an ARRL Club Charter and, in February 1953, a charter was granted to The Decatur Amateur Radio Club, Inc.  Arrangements were made to use the Decatur Utilities Auditorium for Club Meetings, later changed to the Red Cross facilities.  Finally, the meetings were moved to the Civil Defense headquarters in the basement of the Morgan County Courthouse, a tradition that continues today.

In 1953, the Club participated in its first Field Day and had its first Christmas dinner.  During the next few years, the Club made its mark as a valuable asset to the community, receiving recognition for outstanding participation with communications when a tornado hit Hartselle in 1954.  Other recognized activites included the winter of 1955 when a severe ice storm plagued Decatur, and when a tornado struck near the airport during a Club meeting in 1957.

So, that means our club is 60 years old this month.
Happy Birthday to us!!!!

We plan to continue serving Decatur and Morgan County with participation in severe weather events, emergency management drills, and any other activities (planned or unplanned) that require reliable and responsible communications.

And hopefully we’ll be here after 60 more years!

Hey!! Nice cake!!


Tagged with General on 7th February, 2013. No comments.
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