Friday was the third installment of the HacDC Monthly Capture the Flag meeting. We have been brushing up on our skills by running through exercises hosted by OverTheWire Wargames.HacDC CTF happens the 4th Friday of the month. Interested? Sign up for the August 28th HacDC CTF Meetup.
Here is a picture from the event featuring a bunch of people who didn’t want to be in the picture.
W3HAC on the air with Andrew (left foreground, KC9WER) and Christine (right foreground, KC3CIF) making radio contacts, and Don (K6ZO), Sumter (KM4ITT ) and Pat (K0oo) working on one of the transceivers.
On Saturday, June 26th, the HacDC Amateur Radio Club set up camp at Hains Point, Washington, DC, to enjoy a day away from home making radio contacts across the continent and testing its readiness to provide communication services in case of emergencies or disasters. The weather answered the call with realistic challenges, as heavy rain brought flood conditions and tidal surges. Though solar panels and a generator the club had ordered did not arrive in time for testing, Andy Roszak (call sign KC9WER) brought a 4-kilowatt gasoline-powered generator that enabled high-frequency (HF), very-high frequency (VHF), and ultra-high frequency (UHF) transceivers to operate all day long independent of the AC power grid.
A finger of land stretching south into the Potomac River and forming part of DC’s 700-acre Potomac Park, Hains Point is home to a variety of recreational facilities including a swimming pool and a golf course. Permit in hand, we set up our tent, transceivers and antennas out towards the park’s southern tip at a spot nestled into the treeline. With a fine view of Potomac River tour boats and the airport across the river, we settled in for an idyllic day of ham radio.
Thunderstorms warned of in weather reports never materialized, but the “minor inundation of low-lying shoreline” that the National Weather Service predicted delivered as promised. Heavy rain progressed through the afternoon until soaks from above, seeps from the ground, and surges from the river combined to drive us out antenna, transceiver, and tent from our campsite. At last, just as we sought a dubious higher ground at the nearby parking lot, the Park Police came out and told us to pack our things and go: “How long are you people planning on staying here?” The water was beginning to flood our exit road.
Proven this time out was our continuing ability to operate “in the field,” even under adverse conditions. Spirits were high throughout, proving once again that everything is more fun in driving rain and mud, with wet feet. Wait . . . did I type that? In fact we had a blast out there! Next year maybe we will make a camping trip of it.
Andrew (KC9WER) captured some fine video of the event with his GoPro, which you can now see here:
And, here’s a sampling of the weather we encountered:
Tour boats plied the swelling river. Just out of view in the foreground, so did a cluster of ducks.
With the high water driving us from our campsite, Darian (AB3WB) collected his antenna, guy wires first.
Our escape from encroaching water got a little help from gravity.
Twice a year, ARRL offers an event designed to promote Amateur Radio to our youth. Share the excitement with your kids or grandkids, a Scout troop, a church or the general public!
Kids Day is designed to give on-the-air experience to youngsters and hopefully foster interest in getting a license of their own. It is also intended to give older hams a chance to share their station and love for Amateur Radio with their children.
Date: Sunday, June 21, 1800-2359 UTC.(2pm to 8pm) Operate as much or as little as you like.
Suggested exchange: Call “CQ Kids Day.” Exchange name, age, location, and favorite color. It’s okay to work the same station again, if an operator has changed.
Suggested frequencies: 28.350 to 28.400 MHz; 24.960 to 24.980 MHz; 21.360 to 21.400 MHz; 18.140 to 18.145 MHz; 14.270 to 14.300 MHz; 7.270 to 7.290 MHz, and 3.740 to 3.940 MHz, as well 2 meter repeaters (with the permission of the repeater’s sponsor). Observe third-party rules when making contacts with stations outside the US.
Participants are encouraged to post their stories and photos to the Kids Day
All participants are eligible to receive a colorful certificate.
HacDC Amateur Radio Club will be setting up and operating several amateur radio stations for ARRL FIELD DAY JUNE 27-28. We will be operating from Hains Point. Join us and bring your kids! We will be demonstrating the world of amateur radio as we know it! Come down and operate amateur radio!! Bounce radio signals off the ionosphere and talk to people in far away places! Amateur Radio is a fascinating hobby! Visit http://www.w3hac.org/field-day-2015/