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A visit to W8FT - Findlay, OH


W3ESX
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Recently I went on a short (but sorely needed) vacation with my family in the downtime I have been jobs at the moment. One of our routes took us through Findlay, OH ("Flag City, USA") and I remembered that W8FT was there. I was aware of this club because I had seen a TikTok about their antenna farm and decided to see if I could arrange a visit. 

I reached out to them via their Facebook page and was able to contact a club member and was told that they had sent a message about my impending visit to the membership, but that they couldn't guarantee that someone would be available (it was the middle of the workweek). Undaunted, we stopped by anyways and would you BELIEVE my LUCK, the club president Alan W8ALC as well as another member were present and more than happy to give a tour. 

We started in the shack where they showed me all their various rigs old and new on which they can work "any band on any mode". Very exciting. Unfortunately, due to a recent windstorm a number of the yagi directionals were out of service so we did not get to get on the air. We did get to play with the satellite tracker and I learned a bit about amateur satellites, azimuth and incident angle, and tracking and contacting the ISS. 

We then went outside and toured the farm itself. There are several 80-foot towers with Yagis and one 100-footer with VHF/UHF verticals as well as some more verticals for the Motorola talkgroup they host (I am not super knowledgeable about the Motorola digital modes so I may be using the wrong terms). Lastly, we toured the shack where the repeater lives as well as their brand-new communications trailer that they had just begun construction on. 

All-in-all it was a great experience and I felt quite fortunate to connect with some very knowledgeable hams from another region and really get the red carpet tour of their setup. Please check out the pictures I will attach below. I obtained permission to take and share pictures as long as I "told everybody how awesome Alan W8ALC is". He is VERY awesome and a very generous ham.

Thanks again to W8FT for having me!

73 W3ESX Jamison

 

 

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ELMER

First off: WOW, amazing setup. Second, thanks for the great images. Next is my own - and most hams' - fantasy, to some day have the ability to set something like this up, if not personally, at least in the context of a club. Only caveat, not sure I love being so close to the tanks, but at least I see no transformers or high voltage lines.

Guess where I'm headed in two weekends... Ohio to visit my daughter. Hmmm....

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