Amateur Radio Field Day Weekend

Huntington Beach Hospital (HBH)
June 24-25, 2017

Photos by Joe Moell KØOV
except as noted



This is the sixteenth year of HDSCS Field Day (FD) at Huntington Beach Hospital (HBH), one of our supported facilities.  Our main stations were set up on tables in "surge capacity" tents, which Orange County hospitals have ready for deployment when they need additional space for patient care during pandemics, etc.  There were lights for overnight operation and cots for those who needed some shuteye.  The hospital also provided sandwiches and snacks.


Setup began on Friday afternoon.  Field Day requires lots of wires for power and antennas.  Getting those wires in place is one of the first jobs.  Tom Gaccione WB2LRH and Greg Landers KE6DAN (on the portico roof) attached two antennas to the hospital's holiday decoration mast.

One end of a G5RV wire antenna went from the main hospital tower to an adjacent medical building.  Dave Reinhard KJ6REP is attaching one end.

In accordance with nationwide rules, on-air operations commenced at 11 AM PST on Saturday.  At HF Station #1 for much of the weekend was Ken Simpson W6KOS (nearest camera).  Visiting him and doing some logging was Jon Schaffer W6UFS.

To correctly log and score hundreds of contacts, it takes a networked computer at each station.  Computers and network hardware were provided by Rick Soikkeli N6NH, who is shown here operating CW (Morse Code) at HF Station #2.  At the logging computer is Paul Broden K6MHD

We had a "bonus" station on the VHF/UHF bands, operated as FD began by Tom Hall N6DGK.

As he began his operations, N6DGK was using a solar-powered setup.  Field Day rules provide bonus points for contacts made via "natural power" such as solar or wind. 

Our "Get On The Air" (GOTA) station for training newcomers was in a small decontamination tent by itself on the hospital front lawn.  A coax line from the tent goes up to a G5RV wire antenna.

The GOTA station was active early on as Gregory Landers KE6DAN holding mike and Al Renning WB6CKG made contacts.

Numerous visitors dropped by throughout the day to see our operations.  Our displays showed them what FD and HDSCS are all about.  Staffing the display early on was Dave Reinhard KJ6REP.

One of the visitors was Mike Stainkraus N6PTN, the Medical Disaster Management Coordinator of Orange County Emergency Medical Services Agency.  He's talking to HDSCS Field Day Chair Tom Gaccione WB2LRH.

Mr. Steinkraus arrived in one of the Orange County Healthcare Agency's command vehicles.

This station was for making contacts through orbiting satellites that have been built by ham radio operators.  A computer shows the position of each satellite and it adjusts the transceiver to correct for Doppler shift on the uplink and downlink signals.  We made contacts on eight different satellites this year, compared to six last year.  Each satellite passed over about five times during the contest and pass lasted less than 20 minutes.

Satellite operations always attract lots of attention.  The long beam antennas of the satellite station are on a special portable azimuth/elevation mount held upright by an old tire.  Tom Gaccione WB2LRH (closest) was the primary antenna operator, aiming the antenna at the satellites passing overhead as Joe Moell KØOV made contacts.  Here Tom is teaching Rebecca Katzen KI6OEM how to determine where to aim the antennas.  They were good at it, because we made over twice as many satellite contacts in 2017, compared to 2016.

This fledgling Black Phoebe perched on the satellite antenna for a while as his parents looked for worms and flying insects to give him. 

The nest from which this bird came is in the stairwell of the medical building.  It's been there a while! 

HDSCS always has a test session for Amateur Radio licenses as part of Field Day.  Greg Landers KE6DAN passed his General Class test.

A group of nursing students from Concorde Career College in Garden Grove dropped by.  After learing about how ham radio supports Orange County Hospitals, Dave Reinhard KJ6REP (wearing hat) put them on the air in the GOTA station.

More visitors operating the GOTA station.  Holding the mike is Kim Nguyen of Irvine, watched by Jim Simmons of Irvine and Erica Charlton of Lake Forest.

Huntington Beach Hospital takes advantage of Field Day to test its two portable generators.  We placed them next to the south wall of the facility to reduce noise.  Tom Gaccione WB2LRH is checking the fuel level.

Rick Soikkeli N6NH (wearing headphones) continued to operate CW as the afternoon went on, helped here by logger David Gorin KB6BXD.

At the VHF/UHF station, Louie DeArman K6SM looked for contacts on the six and two-meter bands.  Every year, we hope that six meters will open up for long distance contacts, but it didn't happen this year.

FD groups can get extra points by copying a lengthy message from ARRL Headquarters during the FD period.  Rick Soikkeli is displaying the message on a computer using a digital mode called PSK-31.

Dick Norton N6AA, our ARRL Southwestern Division Director, stopped by for a visit in the early evening.  Here he's talking with Bill Preston KZ3G.

Greg Landers operated the GOTA station into the evening hours, putting visitor George Thompson N6WJZ on the air. 

Operating into the wee hours at HF Station #2 was Sam Stratton W5AGX.  Joe Moell KØOV (not pictured) took over for him in the middle of the night, operating CW.  In the Field Day rules, CW contacts in have twice the point value of voice contacts.

At the request of Lu-Ping Gamble, the Director of Nursing, HDSCS Coordinator April Moell WA6OPS taught an impromptu class on disaster communications to the Concorde nursing students as Field Day came to a close on Sunday morning.

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This page updated 29 June 2017