The shack's radios have been fairly quiet during the past couple of months, save for some odd moments for DX and some lightweight competition efforts. For the past six weeks, however, we've been planning for a wonderful Field Day with (hopefully) a turn-out greater than ever.
Many of the Fairbanks-area hams, as most Alaskans, are busy with summertime outdoor activities like fishing and camping, and organized events like Field Day take too much time away from those. Still others enjoy a trip down to Byers Lake for the annual Motley Group picnic, which happens to coincide with Field Day. (The Motley Group is a statewide net that meets daily at 2100 local time on 3933 kHz.)
A couple of months ago, Neal Brown WL7NZ, president of the local Arctic Amateur Radio Club, asked Larry N1TX if KL2R would be interested in hosting some AARC operators not otherwise occupied, since it appeared KL7KC would not be participating in Field Day this year. Of course others would be welcome. FD 2009 was a banner year in terms of participation at KL2R, and the more the merrier! Thus, the gears began turning.
Initial response to the call for help was very enthusiastic, so we quickly began inventories and brainstorming the possibilities. Over the past several years, we've been operating primarily as a Class E station (home emergency power) and will do so again. Generators and batteries are not a problem. A wide number of rigs are available, too. We got quite excited about the possibility of checking out NL7Y's Elecraft K3, but other interests pulled him away. Nevertheless, ICOM, Yaesu, Kenwood, and Ten-Tec should all be well-represented. Dan KL1JP set about building another solar power unit housed in a large portable cooler. He also designed and built Moxon antennas for 6 and 20m. Elaine KL6C (ex-N6PU) has been gathering parts for our educational activity, building some battery systems. Ken W6HF and Luci KL1WE made the drive north from California and practically demanded to be put to work cleaning out and organizing the KL2R shack to make the place suitable for human habitation.
The press release is finished and ready for distribution, elected officials and fire department staff have been invited, Ed AL7N is standing by for NTS traffic, the menus are shaping up, etc. So things are looking very good, indeed!