Archive for the 'Rallies' Category

2016 Orlando HamCation will host ARRL National Convention

The 2016 Orlando HamCation will be the site of the 2016 ARRL National Convention. Our RV Service Net group camps together on a grassy level site beside the lake at the Central Florida Fairgrounds. A reservation form is available on the HamCation website.

HamCation will take place February 12-14 at the Central Florida Fair and Expo Park in Orlando.

The HamCation website explains how to obtain convention tickets and offers more information about forums, exhibits, exam sessions, and local accommodations — some offering special convention rates. Convention tickets are $13 in advance or $15 at the gate, offering admission for all 3 days.

Added 18 September 2015 – Comments? Questions? Updates?


September 18 2015 | Miscellaneous and Rallies | Comments Off on 2016 Orlando HamCation will host ARRL National Convention

Pacific Coast RV Service Net’s Fall Rally

The Pacific Coast RV Service Net’s fall rally is scheduled for October 5-8, 2015 at San Lorenzo Park in King City, CA. The cost for a full-hookup site for all four (4) nights, plus game prizes and continental breakfast is $182.00. Extra days are $38, to be paid to the Wagonmaster.

Contact John Portune, W6NBC, Wagonmaster, 519 W. Taylor Street, SPC 111, Santa Maria, CA 93458, for more information about this rally.

Directions to the campground are on

Added 27 August 2015 – Comments, Questions, Updates?

August 27 2015 | Members and Nets and Rallies | Comments Off on Pacific Coast RV Service Net’s Fall Rally

WB8RC at WBCCI 53rd International Rally in Gillette, WY

[updated July 9, 2010 2355 UTC]

The WBCCI 53rd International Rally had over 700 units on the ground.  The campgrounds on Gillette’s CamPlex Facility campus were filled with lots and lots of aluminum.  It was easy to bump into people you know just by walking around any of the several campgrounds filled with Airstreams.

We had good foot traffic to our amateur radio club station, WB8RC.  The Club station was located in the Morningside Arena ticket booth (front entrance, faces West).  Didn’t have as much participation as we would have liked, six operators carried the bulk of the operating schedule.The local club, NE7WY, graciously invited us to join them for ARRL Field Day.  We discussed whether to join them at their station, approximately 70 miles north of CAMPLEX, and decided the WB8RC station would participate in Field Day as a training exercise for our club’s amateur operators.

Saturday morning, Jun 26, members of our club gathered at the station and discussed our day’s strategy.  We located the long W5GI Mystery Dipole antenna in our cargo box and laid it out on the ground between a pair of underground-fed tall light poles (nice to have no conflicting power lines, eh?).

After six attempts we managed to loft our pull ropes over the small cross-arms of the light poles and hoist the antenna almost 45 feet above ground.  The ladder line pulls almost horizontal across the street and then down into our Club’s temporary shack, the arena’s ticket booth.

We weren’t surprised the antenna is a dead-on match throughout all of 20 meters band, and tuned 40 meters perfectly with a small MFJ mobile tuner.   We already have a radio on 40 meters, using a Buckmaster OCF 4-band hi-power dipole and a SB-220 amp.  So the second radio stayed on 20 meters all day.

Our first attempt with the Mystery antenna was only partially successful because we did a surprisingly poor job configuring our lead-in coax.   Awhile later we awoke to the situation and changed the lead-in coax to a much much shorter length we had on hand.  Result?  Instant improvement in signal received (and surely sent as well).

The big plus from today’s Field Day exercise for our Club?  We met hams we hadn’t worked or worked with before.  We teamed up to raise an antenna in a tricky area (the light pole arms are only a couple of feet long and are approx 45 feet above ground).  More experienced hams graciously coached the newer hams, present company included, in antenna analysis, how to work the stations we could hear, and the advantage of calling CQ instead of hunt and pounce.

Special thanks to Richard AJ4UX  and Lyn KC8I for their patient coaching and help.  Thanks to Vaughn N7ODT and Elliott WK3G for supervising as we setup and for taking pictures.  Thanks to Jerry K4NHL, Bob KC6HBW, Dean KE6UVH, Frank KE4TIL, Jim N5RTG for participating in Field Day radio contacts.

And thanks to Annette KB9CPZ, Dave KI6ZZD, Bill VE3TUC, and the other dozen hams who stopped by during this Field Day training exercise.  I apologize if I left anyone out, it wasn’t intentional and I don’t have the station visitor log at my desk as I type this.

Jim n5rtg

June 26 2010 | Members and News and Rallies | No Comments »

Hamcation 2010 wrap-up

This was a great rally for the RV Service Net members in Orlando, FL, at Hamcation 2010.  Previously, for many years, our group met the week before for Ham-a-rally.  The RV Service Net met at a nearby RV park and enjoyed fellowship, food, and games.  We realized over the past year we wouldn’t be able to have the Ham-a-rally event and would instead focus on our group’s experience at Hamcation.

Fellowship, food, and fun with the RV Service Net A great group of talkers — what else do you expect from Hams?

We didn’t know we would have the biggest group we’ve had in some years, with 49 rigs parked in the very nice Central Florida Fairgrounds.  Orlando Amateur Radio Club again operated a very fine hamfest with a large crowd and almost a full complement of vendors.  The nationwide wintry weather conspired against one or two vendors, but most of the many were showing and hoping to sell a lot of radios, amps, antennae, and accessories.

The wet and cool weather also dampened the activity some.  The tailgaters and other outdoor flea market sellers seemed most affected by the heavy rains on Friday — they essentially lost the whole day to drenching and cold rain.  Even if vendors could have kept all their wares displayed dry, the attendees spent much of Friday sheltering from the driving rain.

Sunbathing snowbirds at Hamcation 2010 Never too cold to catch some Vitamin D for these snowbirds, Jean W2JHM and Joan

Except for rainy Friday the Hamcation days were dry and bright.  The hamfest had many indoor display areas so attendees found plenty to do without having to brave the coldest parts of each day.  Outdoor temperatures  were never very warm, but sitting in the sunshine apparently was warm enough for some, eh?

First timers with RV Service Net at Hamcation  A great collection of first-time RV SVC Net Hamcation attendees

The RV Service Net folks had a fabulous social, our largest for the weekend, Saturday afternoon and this despite some folks already having departed for various obligations.  Three special photos featured the first-time RV SVC Net attendees, many of the Net Controllers, and our snowbirds sheltering in Miami.

A whole bunch of RV SVC Net Controllers Largest collection of Net Controllers in the southeast?

Warm snowbirds up from Miami Our snowbirds up from Miami

Our first Hamcation without the preceding Ham-a-rally has been a great success. The spontaneous potluck attracted most of our members and no one left hungry. The socials drew many for spirited fellowship, renewing friendships, and story swapping.  Everyone agreed this has been a very memorable gathering, and we’re all looking forward to next year’s Hamcation in Orlando, Florida.

Until then we’ll look for you down the log,

N5RTG  Jim


February 16 2010 | Rallies | No Comments »

Hamcation 2010 Friday report

Orlando has 49 degrees this morning, 100% chance of rain, a high of 55, and snow in Medder, Ga today.  Weather has been in our favor so far although a little cool.

N4RTG Debbie, KI4NSS Susan, and KJ4JK Jamie staying warm at Hamcation

Debbie N4RTG, Susan KI4NSS, and Jamie KJ4JK are braving the cool weather

KD8KOT Gloria, K8KOT Herman, WK3G Elliot, and Janet KD8CHD at the Potluck

Gloria KD8KOT, Herman K8KOT, Elliot Wk3G, and Janet KD8CHD are socializing at the potluck

W4CYJ Mike ran our group’s net this morning.  By 8:05 eastern time, Mike had 40 check-ins.  What a great group we have at Hamcation from RV SVC Net, with over 45 rigs so far.  Will Mike be able to get everyone in before the Bell Ringers take over the frequency at 9:00 (hi hi)?

Potluck at Hamcation 2010

Herb W0HM setting up his chair for the potluck

Yesterday we had a wonderful potluck luncheon, saw almost everyone here and shared great food and fellowship.  Great thanks to KD8KOT Gloria for suggesting the potluck and for her delicious dishes she shared.   And thanks to everyone who attended and brought so many different and tasty foods.

A special benefit of having this group is the Net Controls amongst us.  Tab KR4RR ran yesterday’s net for 56 check-ins, and Mike W4CYJ did well today with 52 check-ins.  Don’t know what happened to the other 4, they must have slept in and missed this early net.

We’re looking forward to our annual Skycraft Surplus visit this morning.  We’ll walk around and fill our bags with all the things our xyls wish we weren’t bringing home.  This promises to be a good morning for Skycraft, but they’re going to be pretty crowded with our group descending upon them.  My budget is $10, should be enough to fill at least one bag.

Jim  N5RTG

February 12 2010 | Rallies | No Comments »

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