10 February 2010

Fun Radio Day

Location: Brunswick, GA

I had a great time on the radios this afternoon. A trip down to St. Mary's combined scouting locations to operate from, monitoring some MilCom, and operating some amateur radio HF.

I started out the afternoon doing some Jax area MilCom monitoring in St. Marys. Things weren't very active; I only heard a few P-3s and SH-60s on Jacksonville Approach/Departure frequencies and NAS Jax tower. I left St. Marys and went to scout Crooked River State Park near NAS Kings Bay as an operating location. The park seems like a very nice place to operate from, especially during the non-tourist season. I think it will be worth getting a year's State Parks pass to visit on a regular basis to do some amateur radio HF operating.

After looking around Crooked River State Park, I headed north back to Brunswick. As I began heading north, the MilCom activity began to pick up. F/A-18s from MCAS Beaufort began to work in W-157 and at Townsend Range. F-15s from Jax IAP also began to work in W-157. After the F/A-18s in Townsend Range departed, A-10s from Moody AFB showed up. Its always fun to listen to the A-10s!

On the way home, I detoured to St. Simon's Island and checked out Massengale Park as a place to "play radio." I could, of course, easily hear W-157 activity from the park, which is located on the east side of the island. I could also hear Townsend Range and the Coastal MOA as well as some acivity from Bulldog MOA. While there, I pulled out the FT-897D and the 20 Meter hamstick and operated the portable amateur radio station. I worked 3 stations in the ARRL School Club Roundup: K4PCC in North Carolina, WD5AGO in Oklahoma, and W9HHX in Wisconsin. I was glad I had the chance to work a few of the stations today because I since I upgraded to General I've always tried to work some of the school stations during the roundups. I may try to get on the air Friday and pick up a few more.

Mac McCormick III, KF4LMT