Able Archer 83 2022

The annual Able Archer 83 event at Fort Miles, Cape Henlopen State park in Delaware.


What was supposed to be achieved by this project?

 The Annual Able Archer 83 was this last weekend. This year we operated again from Building 607, Fort Miles, Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware. Although Fort Miles was an Army complex it was also Naval Facility Lewes (NAVFAC Lewes) and served as a SOSUS facility during the Cold War and thatís why we operate from that location.

The plan was to set up our annual display for Able Archer 83 along with operating on multipole bands and modes using period correct equipment with the special event callsign W3A.


What was actually achieved?

I arrived Friday afternoon, Walt was already there and had set up the tables and displays in building 607, I unloaded the mutt and a bunch of stuff from the truck including a Harris RF-350 K and the MX-10151 secure communications terminal along with some other radios and worked on setting up the antennas that we would be using. Started operation on Saturday morning at 0900 by participating in the 7087 RTTY Net and worked the Net for about forty-five minutes. Good copy on everyone and think most had solid copy of the GRC-106 in the mutt. At 1000 local checked into MMRCG 7296 USB Net using the 106 with good results and at noon checked into the Moos & Squirrel Net on 5357 and was able to work the net but required a relay because although I did copy most of the stations had poor copy on net control. Did work a couple QSO before the Nets and after the Nets move indoors and operated the big Harris on forty for a couple contacts but the majority of contacts that occurred were from Walt inside the building over the next twelve hours.

I did try direct 51.0 FM contacts with N2IA over in NJ and although he was able to hear me I was not able to copy him. On Sunday morning I decided to activate the old Rehoboth Airport, the one-time location of Civil Air Patrol base two during WW2, no part of the airport exist today except for a historic marker. It is located about five miles from Fort Miles. I used both my Sunair PRC-108 on sixty meters and a PRC-77 on 51.0 and although W3A was solid copy on my Sunair W3A only had week copy of the Sunair, the PRC-77 worked very well across the distance with the RT-524 located in the mutt.




What aspects of the project work?

 All the radios and equipment onboard the mutt worked without issue, did have the same problem with bad conditions on sixty meters but thatís been the case for me for around three months now.

The RF-350 worked well from the building along with the inverted V antenna for forty and although we did not establish a QSO with N2IA across the bay on 51.0 did have some success with 51.0 and the old airport.

What didn't work and why?

Waltís Sunair 9000 did develop an issue and stopped operating Sunday morning just leaving us the Harris on forty meters. Did have the radios onboard the mutt but I did not show up until late Sunday morning and was not inspired to do any operating beyond the old airport thing.

 What would you change if given a second chance?

 May consider a longer period of time for the event? Possibly start Friday and close down on Sunday? Add additional long wire or V antennas for other bands. The Sunair 9000 had a long wire antenna and tuner but when that failed just left the Harris and the 40-meter V and may consider keeping the radios onboard the mutt set to a couple preset channel and monitoring them the entire time. Already do 51.0 but maybe also guard 5357 after using the stuff onboard the mutt for the Saturday morning nets.

And we need to try to get more people out to participate. We have a great venue, plenty of space and a host thatís very supportive. At this point have no idea what it will take to get more people out to take part.

 In conclusion we operated three regularly scheduled nets from a remote location, had around three hundred individual contacts and had over three hundred visitors come thru the site and see the operations and displays we had in place. Next year will be the forty-year anniversary of Able Archer 83 and we would be interested in a suggestion for that event.




Link to the "Official" Able Archer 83 website:


Return to " Rays Web Page"


OCT 22