WGARS Winter Field Day 2020

This past weekend, I participated in Winter Field Day with the West Georgia Amateur Radio Society. I woke up around 7:30 on Saturday morning and didn't go to bed until Sunday evening. Winter Field Day is about being prepared for emergency communications by practicing setting up in a less than optimal operating environment and trying to quickly and accurately exchange information with as many other stations as possible. Unbeknownst to us, there was already an event scheduled at the VFW fairgrounds that can only be described as a rave. There was insanely loud music until after 1 AM, so I decided against setting up the good microphone that I brought. That being said, I was still able to produce the video below. 

WGARS was able to beat our score from last year, probably by a decent amount. We had ten multipliers this year, as opposed to five for last year. The score is a good indicator that we're starting to get pretty good at quickly setting up and operating, but one of the best parts of the experience is just having the opportunity to spend time with some great people.


Eclipse 2017 Photos

Here in Carrollton, GA, we had around 95% coverage of the sun by the moon during the eclipse. I took these photos using a Canon Digital Rebel with a 300mm lens. For the direct photos of the sun, I simply held a pair of cheap eclipse glasses over the lens.

Eclipse 2017 Eclipse 2017 Eclipse 2017

Launch Day is Here!

Happy launch day morning! The weather is looking good, and everything is go for the launch of our weather balloon. We will be meeting at 9 AM at the Hobby Lobby parking lot in Carrollton. For the location, click here. Look for us at the far end, near the Olive Garden, not near Hobby Lobby. 

We plan to use the W4FWD repeater (146.640 MHZ, negative offset, 131.8 hertz tone) for communicating during the chase and recovery, as well as the simplex repeater on the balloon, which will be on 146.550 MHz. We will coordinate chase teams on the launch site and discuss strategy. Personally, I would like to see at least one team proceed to a likely landing area immediately after launch. 

You can see this morning's flight predictions from three sites in the map below. I generally like the prediction indicated by the blue line most. The site that generates the purple line does not ask for any flight parameters, like payload weight, balloon size, ascent rates, etc.