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  • Writer's pictureThomas Perrotti

"Amateur Radio Event: NJ2KC Special Event Station in Sayreville, New Jersey – March 16, 2024"

I left the house at 7:20 A.M., en route to Sayreville, NJ, site of the 2024 New Jersey Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship.  I stopped twice within a mile of home, to double check that I had all of my needed equipment.  Better now, than finding out 100 miles away, when I get there, that I was missing something important. Thankfully, everything was in place, and off I went.


I arrived at Our Lady of Victories Roman Catholic church at nine o'clock A M., and decided to fill the car up with gas, as I expected to be running the car for several hours.  I started to set up--first, the table, where my equipment would go.  My chair.  The "Amateur Radio Special Event Station" banner bearing call sign K0C, even though i was operating under NJ2KC, club call sign of our club, the New Jersey Knights of Columbus Amateur Radio Club. 


The antenna, radio and power supply were set up.  Wires, cables and coax were attached.  I moved the table and equipment several times to get close to the AC/DC converter in the car, as I didn't think i would need an extension cord.  Note to self:  Always bring an extension cord. 


I plugged in my radio, a Kenwood TS-570(D)G.  No audio.  Fiddled with the external speaker, then disconnected it.  Nothing.


I unhooked the radio, replaced it with the Kenwood TS-930S.  Keyed the mic.  SWR maxed, then went to zero   I had audio reception, but no output.  Probably fried the finals. 


Back to the 570.  Suddenly it worked. 


Audio reception was very noisy, S9+10 noise.  Crud.  I had the AC/DC converter plugged into the cigarette lighter in the car, not hooked to the battery.  Turned the car off.  Power supply kept kicking off.  Reduced to 25 watts.  Same thing.  CRUD! 


I pushed all the respective buttons--Noise Blankers, Preamp, Attenuator etc., until the noise was somewhat acceptable to me.  I used the headphones from my metal detector, to cover up all of the street noise, birds, wind, etc.  I'm sure glad I brought them along! 


I settled on 20m, where I remained for the day.  My first contact was Joe, NJ9L, Vice-President of our club, who contacted me via SLACK for my first contact, made about an hour after I first set up.  Joe was mobile in his motor home in Florida for the QSO.  I would also speak with W2RN, John, another member of our club, during the daty.  John was operating remotely from New Jersey with the radio in Atlanta, while he was here in New Jersey.  John also tried to reach me using a remote station in Atlanta, but he could barely hear me, and I didn't hear him at all.

 

Fritz, W2CET, also a member of our club, tried to contact me, was unsuccessful in doing so, and attempted a contact with me by asking a station I had just worked to relay for him.  The relay was unsuccessful.

Jim, W2UM, yet another member of our club, tried listening for me but couldn't hear me. 


I made 30 contacts during the day--22 in the U.S., three in Canada, three in Russia, one in England and one in Serbia as well as three Knights in the USA

 

During the day I was visited by: 

WSD, Raymond Sands;

WST Russell Petrocelli;

WSA Scott Williams:

WASD Chris Duffett;

WCPD Daniel Gilliam, Jr.;

WSBTBC William McCartney;

WSFTC James Malinowski:

WPGK Dan Gilliam, Sr.;

WDD Enrique Blanco;

WFN Ken Blankenbuehler (via the provided Zoom link).

 

Jim Malinowski offered me breakfast (two Dunkin' Donuts doughnuts, which I gladly accepted).  I also had some leftover rigatoni and sausage and several can of Coke, that I brought from home and consumed during the day. 


I broke down my setup after four o'clock.  I had made 30 QSOs, and it was getting late. 


I went to the gym to see the last recipient receive his award, and had two small pieces of a sub and a soda.  Afterwards, the Gilliams and I went out to eat at Texas Roadhouse.  Prime Rib--yum!  Thanks, Dan! 


All in all, it was a successful day.  There were several--if not many--stations that could hear me, but I could just barely hear them.  I'm confident that without the noise floor, I could have had perhaps 10 times the amount of contact I made--most people gave me a 59, and it was they who had to repeat things to me, not the other way around.  I learned some things, and if you learn something new every day, it's  not a wasted day.

 

Dan Otom, NT4M, from Signal Mountain, TN, was my third contact of the day.  Dan is a Fourth Degree Knight, and he was pleased that I had set up for the New Jersey Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship.


Combined with Joe and John, I had QSOs with three Knights-- 10% of my total contacts for the day.  Between them, and all of the other Knights I previously mentioned who visited me, it was a great day for Fraternity! 


We have a series of additional Special Event Stations coming up this year.  Please visit our website at NJ2KC.org to read about them, or to join us in operating them! 


Vivat Jésus and 73  

Tom

N2JIE

Thomas M. Perrotti

District Deputy #60

Immediate Past Chapter President

Reverend Francis P. Araneo Chapter

The Chapter for Life

President

New Jersey Knights of Columbus Amateur Radio Club

Amateur Radio Operator

N2JIE



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