Man in backpack preparing to ascend mountain with a beaconing radio tower atop.


Winter Field Day and POTA Activation

W0MOC has dual activation for WFD and POTA

Updated: February 02, 2023

On January 27, 2023, an advance party of the Missouri Outdoor Club established camp at the Daniel Boone Conservation Area (POTA K-6490). Due to the rules of the Winter Field Day event, only camp was established Friday night to secure our location at the “first come first serve” property.

Daniel Boone Conservation Area is a 3,523.1 acre conservation area primarily used by hikers, hunters, and campers. It is located in Warren County, Missouri, near Jonesburg. For further information, please refer to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website.

Friday night, around the wood burning stove of what would be our Operations Tent, members enjoyed food, spirits, and fellowship well into the night. The next morning, the remainder of our team arrived and our radios, computers, and antennas were set up.

Once our preparations were complete, the systems were double checked to confirm full functionality. As both stations were given satisfactory marks, the member of the Missouri Outdoor Club gathered in the Mess Tent for a last-minute briefing – where we once again outlined strategy, and shared last minute identified issues, which were remedied. Travis W0DTM, who was instrumental this year in organizing our efforts, gave a last-minute encouraging talk to all of our operators.

As our group has previously done, we operated 2O MO (2 Outdoors Missouri). The weather in Missouri fluctuates wildly this time of year and we have previously operated outdoors in wind, rain, snow, warm weather, extreme cold weather, and all things in between. This year we had the dubious honor of adding ice storm to the list. Our small city of outfitter tents heated by wood stoves keeps us warm, sheltered, and happy.

The stations consisted of an Icom 7100, with a full set of band-pass filters, attached to an 80-10M end-fed suspended about 30 feet into the air through the trees, and a Yaesu FT450D attached to an 80M-10M DX Commander Vertical. A third antenna, which would be shared between the two stations, was a RadioWavz 160M Double Bazooka. Our camp was powered by a single generator, supplied by Adam, W7FIZ.

Promptly, at 1300 CST, W0MOC was on the air, calling CQ. Our CW operations, helmed by Scott, WZ0W, was off, utilizing the DX Commander antenna with great success. Unfortunately, the homebrewed end-fed 80M-10M antenna suffered high SWR and had to be taken down for immediate repair.

Members Travis, W0DTM and Rob, KC0ECQ jumped into action and quickly constructed a temporary vertical from available parts until the end fed could be repaired and hoisted. Throughout the day, numerous operators put in their best effort. Tim, W0TRR, was able to get the end-fed into good working order.

Lunch was provided by one of our guests - a hearty meal of chili, corn bread, and various treats; just what this group needed to power through the next few hours.

During the late afternoon, approximately 1610 CST, Rob, KC0ECQ, made contact with KO9A via the ISS using his newly constructed satellite VHF communications rig. Rob, KC0ECQ took it upon to learn, build, and advance all the necessary skills and equipment he needed to complete this task – a club first!!

As night fell, Tim, W0TRR, treated all the intrepid operators to wood stove cooked jambalaya. Sufficiently fueled, our operators surpassed our last year’s total before the overnight shift began.

Overnight, when constant contacts started to slow as other stations started to retire for the evening, the focus was moved to adding multipliers versus volume. Several operators were able to add new bands and modes to our log. The day shifters all retired to their bunks to rest up for the next day.

After sunrise, we were back at it. One of our members brought his nephew, a bright young man interested in radios. He was able to rack up over 50 contacts during his first time sitting down at an HF station as an operator. Adam, W7FIZ remained by his side as the control operator.

Operators continued operation right up until the very last moments of Winter Field Day, which resulted in a tally of 1,195 contacts, a club record. Scott, WZ0W held the honor of most contacts for a single operator during this event.

This year was our third year operating as a club. Originally, the Missouri Outdoor Club was formed in response for our love for this event, and the desire to present a team effort. Previous to the formation of the club, we had operated as a group, but not a club, for two years prior under various call signs.

We had a number of visitors who popped out throughout the weekend, though the number present at one time was in the single digits. It was great to hear from so many Amateur Radio Operators how impressed with our setup they were.

We look forward to next year. Expect to hear W0MOC on the air!!