MORGAN COUNTY – The Indy United Amateur Radio Club was set to defend its national title for the American Radio Relay League Field Day competition in June 2021. Now, after an agonizing wait of months, the results fell.
The team placed second out of approximately 6,000 teams, most of them in the United States and Canada. Although the team lost the league title by just 100 points, the club still had a team record of 19,666 points.
“Our two teams competed in separate categories – theirs allowed them to use existing buildings, antennas and other equipment, and ours required us to carry everything, including radios, antennas, generators and even a few trailers,” Field Day President Brian Smith said. said about the winning team. “So we’re once again proud to be the best field team in North America on Field Day.”
In 2020, the club, better known by its callsign W9SU, became national champions out of more than 10,000 teams involved in the annual Field Day competition. Winners were determined by the team that could make the most contact with other radio operators over a 24-hour period.
The club operated out of Morgan County at the Victor Conservation Club, located at 6675 Red Day Rd, Martinsville, near the top of a 900-foot hill that rises 200 feet above State Road 67.
The club, in addition to its usual contact stations, also had a Get on the Air (GOTA) station for rookies or newbies who wanted to try making contacts for the first time.
“We had about 15 people operating our main stations and eight on our GOTA station,” Smith noted. “There were also a handful of volunteers who helped with the setup…I would estimate that 30 of our team members participated in Field Day 2021.”
One of the highlights of their GOTA station was a group of three women dubbed the “Cathy Corps” due to the fact that all three women shared the name Cathy. In just one hour, Corps member Cathy Harris managed to make over 60 contacts.
Another strategy that helped lead the team to victory was their secret weapon, Mike Wetzel.
“The recruits had the chance to operate Mike’s station in an on-air contest, which involved contacting stations located not only in the United States, but around the world,” Smith told The Reporter- Times.
Wetzel is a member of the team and is an internationally ranked radio competitor. Wetzel and fellow 2021 team member Ted Rappaport both earned a spot in what Smith called the “Amateur Radio Olympics,” the 2022 World Radiosport Tag Team Championship.
The competition will take place in Bologna, Italy, but has been postponed to July 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information or to join the W9SU Radio Club, contact Smith at [email protected]
Contact Reporter-Times reporter Grace Phillips at [email protected] or 765-346-4815
This article originally appeared on The Reporter Times: Amateur radio operators reach record high score in Morgan County