Jessamine County Amateurs Article in the Jessamine Journal

Click here to see article in the Jessamine Journal

Field Day is in the bag

NM4K and KC4WQ on 20m CW Field Day 2011 photo by Ralph Wettle

So how did your group do on Field Day this year?  Your editors want to know.  Give us a write up on your groups activity, high points and low points, lessons learned and funny happenings and earn your own byline.   I spent Field Day 2011 with the Bullitt ARS in Bullitt County. Thanks to Rick KC4S for the following from the Bullitt ARS Field Day 2F operation.

Rickey Singleton KC4S

The Bullitt Amateur Radio Society (BARS) began their ARRL Field Day setup around 9AM on Saturday, June 25, at the Bullitt County location they have used for the past several years: the grounds of Pioneer Village City Hall and the adjacent field. Canopies were set up for the SSB and GOTA stations. The CW station was set up in a member’s camper. Antennas were raised, coax run, computers networked for logging, connections made and radios tested. We were on the air at 2P, the official Field Day start time. All of this went smoothly with no significant issues.

One of the best things about Field Day this year was the weather. It later turned out to be one of the worst things about it, too. The sweltering heat we had for Field Day in 2010 was not to be. Temps were in the lower to mid-80s with some cloud clover. It made for much more enjoyable operating conditions and the social event that Field Day is.

It spite of the good weather on Saturday, it seemed that the turnout was less than last year. There wasn’t a shortage of operators on the CW and SSB stations, but activity on the GOTA station was less. We did have visitors other than our own club members. Three members of the newly formed Oldham County ARES group visited for a good while.

Our first threat of rain occurred a little before dinner. Radar showed a line of storms approaching from the West. The system split going to our North and South leaving us dry. We had a fine dinner prepared by our gourmet cook member Ken Weikel (KF4BAR). Melanie Roberts, Bullitt County Judge/Executive and her mother joined us for this. After dinner we got back to the radios (a few took turns keeping them manned during dinner). By late evening, we were down to the group that was going to be the operators throughout the night.

The weather was about to come into play in a bad way. Radar showed several more storm systems to our west. One system came through around 2:30 Sunday morning. Prior to its arrival, we shut down the SSB and GOTA stations, lowered the canopies, disconnected and covered the radios until it passed. Afterwards, the SSB station went back on the air, but another large squall line system was behind this one. It arrived about 4 AM and the SSB station was shut down the rest of the night. It went back up about 9:30 Sunday morning.

We had a few more operators come back from the previous day. Other than that, there were maybe five new visitors. The weather had made a negative impact on Sunday. In spite of it, we wound up with over 1,000 CW contacts and over 500 SSB contacts (not including GOTA) which was an improvement over last year.

The new sunspot cycle that we’re in definitely came into play this year and there were some surprises (at least for me, but keep in mind that I’ve only have two years of experience on HF and most of that was in the last cycle). 20 M was open late into the night, 75/80 M was dead, 15 M was open ( I had a pile up going on there Sunday morning on SSB) and 6 M was open.

Our Field Day was successful because of dedicated members. It could not have happened without everyone pitching in to perform the different tasks and supplying their equipment to be used. To those that helped in any way, thanks for helping make another successful BARS Field Day.

Thanks for the report Rick.  Your editor can be reached at  Drop me a writeup for your FD operation!

Amateur Radio Scholarships

Have you ever perused QST and read through all the annual scholarship recipients? It is an interesting read and shows a good light on young, intelligent ham radio operators looking to improve their education.

However one thing really bugs me. There is no representative scholarship for Kentucky hams. Several state groups sponsor hams with their state hams in mind. So why can’t Kentucky?

A couple of years ago I emailed about 20 ham clubs around the state tossing this question about. Sadly I only received 3 responses. Two were very positive and one was, sorry we don’t have that kind of funding.

So this idea/project has just sat there in my little pea brain for a few more years. Well this forum has ignited that desire once again.

Here’s the idea….. if 10 groups or clubs around the Commonwealth would commit to a $100 annual donation, a $1000 KY scholarship would become a reality. If 20 groups, only $50 annually. A group of 5 or 6 hams could draft bylaws and requirements for the award. If we had a $15 or $20K trust the fund, with proper investment, could be perpetual.

So what do you think? Is KY forward thinking enough to help out a college bound ham operator or do we still reside in the dark ages?

Remember my simple philosophy…. if you love something and want to see it continue, you must train your replacement.

Train Your Replacement

A simple philosophy….. if you love something and want to see it continue, you train your replacement. Every successful venture that continues beyond generations follows this philosophy and so should amateur radio.

On that note….. when was the last time you introduced ham radio to someone half your age? If it’s been a while make a mental note to fix that in the near future.

There are 2 Big Project schools in Kentucky. The first program started at St Aloysius Elementary in Shepherdsville almost 10 years ago. The St A kids have won the school club roundup once and placed 2nd a couple of times. Dixie Heights HS has actually introduced the ham radio class as a high school credit meeting Kentucky HS standards. Jim Hicks WB4CTX has been doing a bang up job for a few years now and has 40 or more students already registered for this next school year. The ISS have even contacted one of our Nelson Co schools this past year as well.

So, you see, there are hams out there training their replacements…. how about you? Show off your toys to the Boy Scout down the street or the grandkids 4th grade class. You never know when the spark that you set will turn into a blazing fire.

Lexington Amateur Radio Operators to Test Emergency Communications Abilities

This news release was sent to Lexington area media outlets by Steve May, W5IEM

Lexington Amateur Radio Operators to Test Emergency Communications Abilities

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Amateur radio operators from the Bluegrass Amateur Radio Club (BARS) will be putting their emergency communication equipment and skills to the test on the weekend of June 25-26 as part the annual Field Day activities.

Field Day, a national event organized by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), focuses on the emergency radio communication capabilities of local amateur radio operators.  The event is unique as it requires that the operators function using only emergency power at temporary, makeshift locations, thus simulating a natural disaster or emergency situation.

The BARS Club members will be operating their Field Day station at Mary Todd Park, located at 525 Rogers Road near Paris Pike between the hours of 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 25 through 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 26.

The basic goal of Field Day is to record as many contacts as possible during the event while operating “off the power grid.”  These contacts can be made in either voice or digital format, and contacts are often made with amateur radio operators around the globe.

Electronic log books of the contacts from all amateurs participating in Field Day collected and analyzed by the ARRL, noting such facts as the number of contacts made, the number of portable radios available, and the type of power used to power the stations.  This information is critical to both state and federal disaster officials in planning for emergency operations.

“The terrible events in in Tuscaloosa, AL and Joplin, MO, show that Field Day is extremely important, and the information gained from past Field Day events has been critical in planning for such events,” BARS President Jerry B. Young noted.  “Radio communications are critical in reacting to disasters, and Field Day is a very valuable communications test.”

The public is invited to the BARS Field Day command station, and there is no charge to attend.  For more information on the BARS Field Day activities, as well as the amateur radio hobby, please contact Steve May at or visit the ARRL website at

Region 3 Field Days

If you’re an oldie or a newby Field Day is one of the most exciting ham radio events of the year.  A combination of contesting and socializing, it represents the largest emergency communications exercise in the world.  If you’re not involved in a local club (BTW you should be), find one this June 25 and 26 and get some on the air time.  If you don’t know where a site is close to you, check out the arrl link ( ) and go introduce yourself.  Don’t be afraid to ask to operate, especially the GOTA station.  If your group is sponsoring a FD site please let your editor know.  As for me I will be at the Bullitt ARS site at Pioneer Village City Hall just north of Shepherdsville KY.  Directions can be found at  Come out and introduce yourself and remember my favorite quote….. ‘if you want something you love to continue, train your replacement’   73 and hope to see or hear you on Field Day 2011


By the way, KYHAM’s region 3 includes the counties of  Anderson, Boone, Bullitt, Campbell, Carroll, Franklin, Gallatin, Grant, Henry, Jefferson, Kenton, Oldham, Owen, Pendleton, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, and Trimble.

Hello from your new Region 3 editor

Hi gang…. just want to introduce myself.  I’m Buddy Sohl KC4WQ, licensed in 1979 and hold an extra class license (passed that test in 1980).  I’ve been married to an unbelievable woman for a quarter century and 2 of our 3 kids have their general licenses (KI4GDR and KG4WWE).  MY XYL finally succumbed to the bug and passed her tech license last year and now proudly sports KJ4QFK.

Tina and I recently worked the MS Bike-a-thon at St Catharine College, providing communications over a 50,75 and 100 mile course.  Nearly a dozen hams from the Louisville metro and Nelson Co areas provided nearly flawless communications for 2 days.  The greatest compliment received from one of the organizers was…. you guys are better than cell phones.  All we could do was knowingly grin!  If you have news or a story to share please forward it to me and I’ll let the world know.


73 for now

de KC4WQ