This is somewhat covered on our History page, but with Field Day coming up, I thought I would add a bit more info.
I first joined XARC in 1980 or 1981. The club was fairly new, being formed in 1979 or 80. I wasn’t extremely active in ham radio at the time, I had gotten married and moved into our first house in 1980. I had no station or antennas yet at my home QTH, so I thought being in the XARC club would give me some opportunities to operate.
I wasn’t involved in the planning of the operation. Phil Brown WA2EKK was the Field Day Coordinator. They were looking for people to help setup and operate, so I found some time to head up to Webster and help out on Saturday morning.
The location was at the XRA site, near the tennis courts. It was a nice spot, with flat ground, some trees to the west. That area is now part of the Webster Parks and Recreation, and in the area of the First Responders Park. They had acquired a huge military style tent, olive drab green, and a similar diesel (I think) generator. I don’t remember too much about setting up, but by 2 PM we were ready to operate.
We operated 3A. I don’t recall the antennas, who supplied the rigs, etc. I did operate for a while, and I believe the radio was a Yaesu FT-901. It was my first Field Day, and probably first real contest experience.
I only was there until maybe 5 or 6 PM on Saturday, but I happened to be there when they were taking a group photo. Now I have no idea where the original photo went, but I have one of our QSL cards for the event. Being Xerox employees, they were obviously printed on a copier, so in 1981, this was black and white (despite Xerox making a color copier at the time, the 6500). So from this smaller than 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inch Xerographic copy, I was able to scan and enhance it to this:
L-R First row – Unknown son of one of the club guys, George Jeremenko WA2CQI, Phil Brown WA2EKK, Pete Secrist WB2SUN, Brian Donovan WA2CRR
L-R Second Row – Gary Bauer KA2CKR, Frank Erhart WB2WCC, Emerson Ironsides, Unknown, Norm Peer KA2ECO, unknown.
Bob’s Field Day stats list that 18 people took part in that Field Day, so I assume he looked it up in the 1981 results article in QST. That means 8 other people participated who were not photographed.
Here is the QSL Card:
Again, Bob’s FD stats show 427 QSOs, which is not bad for a first time effort, with operators who were not seasoned contesters. Looking through our 1981 club newsletters, there was not any mention of the Field Day results, which is surprising. But I don’t believe we had a July newsletter, and other things were happening with the club, like the fund raising and purchase of an HF rig and approvals for putting a repeater on the Xerox Tower all happening around that time.
Unfortunately, we didn’t participate in another Field Day for 5 years. But in 1986, we started a consecutive streak of 36 years (and counting).