48th Annual Blue and Gray Military Vehicle Show in Hagerstown Maryland
May 13 and 14th, 2022
Pictures from the show at the Hagerstown Aviation Museum
What was supposed to be achieved by this project?
The 48th Annual Blue and Gray Military Vehicle Show, at one time known as Aberdeen was this last weekend. Starting on Thursday and ending Saturday.
I have attended this show for around twenty years now. This year the show was hosted by the museum located at the old Fairchild/Republic plant at the Hagerstown airport.
What was actually achieved?
The plan for Saturday was to operate RTTY on 7.087 at 0900, MMRCG Net on 7.296 USB 1000 and MRCA M&S Net at 1200 local. And also knew that the annual Armed Forces Day (AFD) Cross-Band Test.
I arrived Friday and unloaded the mutt. With a laptop running MITTY software and the GRC-106 I set up a test beforehand Nick K4NYW and that all worked well. Did do a couple calls on 7.296 but no joy there.
All day Friday was misty and rain and a lot of the vendors decided to pack up and go home. Because of this I was able to relocate closer to the center of the event and packed up the mutt and relocated there.
Checked into 7.087 RTTY Net just before 0900 with solid copy of K4NYW and some of the others but did not have good copy on Ron K3TZJ or Ken KD2GFM, the net went on for at least a half hour and by that time the battery for the laptop was just about flat.
The 7.296 MMRCG Net was a challenge with NCS being out in Colorado and I had week copy on him, but I did check in and was able to interact with just about everyone.
The 1200 5.357 M&S Net ran without issue having good contact with almost all stations and just about everyone hearing me.
What aspects of the project work?
The GRC-106 has no issue running extended duty cycle for RTTY and the only limiting factors were the internal battery on the laptop and the noise from the MEP-035 generator.
What didn't work and why?
The MEP-035 is a period correct generator to go along with the M151A1 MUTT so that why I have been using it but looks like it will not ever be at that show again.
Ended up having to run the engine in the MUTT to keep the batteries up for running all the radios.
The laptop that I used for RTTY was an old Dell that I had and after wiping decided to wipe all the programing on it and do a fresh install of XP, all the sound and video drivers and MITTY only. Its maybe ten years or twelve years old. The battery sucks due to its age but had a AC adapter and just came across a 24 to 120 volt inverter so assumed I was going to be able to use that. The two things that I did not count on were the wall wart for the laptop or the inverter generating huge amounts of radio noise and never expected the inverter to go crazy every time I transmitted so I was limited to what time I was able to get using a very old laptop battery.
What would you change if given a second chance?
Delaware Goes to War, Cape Henlopen State Park
April 22nd and 23rd, 2022
What was supposed to be achieved by this project?
The last two years it was canceled due to Covid, but they did have the event this year featuring a large group of WW2 reenactors that occupy the center of the complex along with a number of period correct vehicles and equipment. Outside of their perimeter we have a Military Vehicle show of M-38, M-151vehicles and other post war vehicles.
I always try to take every opportunity to drag out the mutt and operate from the field and the Fort Miles site is a favorite because its only a hour from home and also the site of the annual AA83 event in November.
The new location was not bad, was able to get local power from the bathroom building about sixty feet away but the new location did result in having all antennas in the trees.
Did try a couple CQ calls on forty and sixty meters but no success. Also monitored six and two meters while on site but no activity there.
On Saturday I did check into the MMRCG Net on 7.296 and talked with a couple stations before the Net, good copy on all stations on that net and looks like no one had any issues copying me.
After the Net was asked to move over to the old location with the rest of the post war vehicles, we only had four or so vehicles show up and think they wanted us to look like a larger group so they gave me a space right up next to the gate and I moved over to the other side of the parking lot. No big deal being I had to drop the inverted V that I use of forty and swap it out with a V cup for sixty anyway.
Worked the Moose & Squirrel Net on 5.357 without much issue although copy not as good as the early net on forty. After the net spent most time up on seventeen meters working Ham stations using the vertical on the mutt.
The event ended at four that afternoon and donít know why because Friday was warm to hot with lows in the seventies with Saturday being cooler and got cold later in the afternoon so that was a incentive to pack up and get out as soon as the event ended.
Packed up and was clear of the site by five thirty.
Antenna mast, set up and tear down have gotten to be almost second nature and relocating from one location was both quick and easy.
Also, I now know that need to set time and frequencies, have been told several times on Friday people were looking to work me but without setting a schedule in advance and just relaying on maybe nothing happens. So, for Hagerstown next month will try to do better.
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