Lee County ARES met on Saturday June 24. EOC Team gave an update on the progress on the EOC and we are waiting for a clearance from the Sheriff’s Office to access secure areas on weekend to work early morning on putting up antennas to avoid the extreme heat. We heard a good report about our performance at Dash ‘N Splash at Down Home Ranch, which starts a new relationship for Lee County ARES. Focus will go now on the EmComm van, now the the trailer has performed well. We voted to buy Bionics tracking system for both units. We discussed our future involvement with the two eclipse events, one in October and one, closer to home, in April. A member advised that an AUXCOMM Class, together with a COML and a COMT class, will be offered close to the border with Oklahoma. We finished the meeting briefing the members on Field Day.
When the meeting was over, we moved to the trailer and we finished setup antennas. We had a 2 M, a 6M, and a NVIS HF wire antenna. We started transmitting both voice and digital. Several unsuccessful attempts were made thru relay stations in Texas, but atmospheric conditions were unfavorable due to a recent solar flare a few days prior. However, the message was finally sent over the air thru a relay station in Mexico City. We managed to make contacts with stations in 23 states using two transmitters. Several of our members brought their portable generators to test during the exercise. We’re still trying to iron out some electrical interference issues caused by generators. This was our first participation in Field Day as a group, and we learned a lot.