OVARC HF Special Interest Group (SIG)

fairbank operating

OVARC has formed a Special Interest Group (SIG) named Radiosport and Field Activities (RAFA).  The mission of this SIG is to promote outdoor ham radio events, ham radio contests, and operate whenever possible on an "off-the-grid" mode. The SIG Chairman is Tom Kravec W8TK. The SIG plans to organize up to 12 events per year.

These events will mainly consist of "mini-field-day"events and ham radio contest participation. The field events will take place at selected locations in/or near Tucson.  The SIG is open to any OVARC member, regardless of your license class or experience in field activities. If you have an interest, just show up.

These events will be geared to offer enjoyment of the outdoors with club members that are enthusiastic about HF radio. No one will be required to operate, you can just come out to watch and learn.  The aim is to allow participants to gain knowledge and expertise in learning about HF operating, learn about logging tools and methods, and gain experience with "off-the-grid" ham radio ops. These events will be open to all OVARC members regardless of license class as General and Extra class licensees will be available as control operators. Operators will use CW, SSB and Digital modes on HF bands. Lastly, the SIG will offer a forum to ask anything about ham radio and learn from experienced ham radio operators in the group.

Please contact Tom Kravec This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Fred Bresani This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you wish to be placed on the SIG's regular roster, feel free to ask any questions.

September 2017 Operating Event

90 Years of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

September 23, 2018

Tucson Freedom Recreation Center


We will gather at Tucson's Freedom Recreation Center, 5000 East 29th Street, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the dedication of Davis-Monthan AFB by Charles Lindbergh in 1927. The base is right across the road from the park. We will do our usual thing with HF operation on CW, SSB, and digital modes (maybe even FT-8). When we visited the park a month ago, Lora and I were the only visitors except for a few homeless folks. There are a couple large picnic shelters, huge parking lots, rest rooms, and some nice big trees. I noticed a very tall tree next to a baseball diamond which would serve nicely as an antenna support. It's not near a shelter so I will bring the Easy-ups to provide shade and batteries for power.

Plan to arrive around 0830 and be on the air by 0900. The tall tree is just south of the parking lot along 29th Street, and there's parking there also. Bring a chair and your lunch.

These outings are not only an opportunity to get on the air guided by experienced hams, but also a chance to try out other antenna ideas. Want to try out a loop or a vertical or whatever? Bring it!

73 de W8TK

Directions to Freedom Recreation Center

Radiosport and Field Activities Calendar of Events

This is a tentative schedule for Radiosport and Field Events Special Interest Group.  All activities and dates should be considered tentative until an article is published on the website or newsletter or announced at a membership meeting.  

May 6 7th call area QSO party at W8TK station
June 24-25 Field Day at Oro Valley EOC
July 4 Old fashioned small town parade and picnic to celebrate Independence Day at Summerhaven
August 19 Tucson's birthday.  Location to be determined.
September 23 90th anniversary of dedication of David-Monthan AFB.  Operation there (I hope).
October 15-16 Arizona QSO Party operation on Pima/Pinal county line
January, 2018 Celebration of Tom Mix birthday at his monument near Florence
April 25, 2018 Anniversary of Gadsden Purchase, making Arizona officially part of USA
May, 2018 7th call area QSO Party

Celebrate Tucson's 242nd Birthday on the Air

242nd Tucson Birthday Celebration on the Air

Tucson Birth

 @ Pima Air and Space Museum

pima air logo store

Saturday, August 19 is the 242nd birthday of the city of Tucson, and we will commemorate the event with a radio operation from the Pima Air and Space Museum (pimaair.org). If you have never been to the museum, here is your opportunity. It's a fascinating place, well worth a day's exploration whether you wish to operate radios or not. The museum offers a tour of the Air Force "boneyard" where over 6,000 aircraft are stored awaiting either recycling or resuscitation. That tour is via air-conditioned coach with a highly experienced (one of mine was a DC-6B pilot!) docent describing the dozens of historic aircraft parked in our desert. Another tour of over 100 military aircraft parked around the museum is via a tram with another docent doing the narration. And the museum itself houses countless aircraft in various stages of restoration.

Thanks to Bill Hickey, AB7AA, an OVARC member, retired Air Force pilot, and museum volunteer, we will set up our station in the air-conditioned grill (good food!) with a view of the planes outside. We will have AC power and the same antenna we used on our NPOTA operations. We will begin setup at 0900 when the building opens, and we'll operate until mid-afternoon. Admission to the museum is $12.25 for Pima County residents, but they have agreed to admit OVARC members for free if they show their OVARC badge. You are certainly welcome to pay the admission fee, since the museum is staffed and funded by volunteers.

Visit the museum website for details of all the exhibits. Contact me with questions. I can coordinate car pooling if members are interested, but parking is not a problem.

Tom, W8TK

A Small Town 4th of July Operating Event

summerhaven flagThis event has been cancelled due to the Burro Fire closure of Mt Lemmon Hwy.


On Tuesday July 4th we will be operating at 8,000 feet at Hanna and Ross's cabin on Mount Lemmon.

This is an unusual event in that it will offer the chance to promote Amateur Radio and to have some fun during the annual Summerhaven 4th of July parade. This is a great patriotic event for everyone to participate by entering the parade or simply watch. 

We will start HF operations at 0800. Operators interested in taking part in the parade will assemble at 1100 for the parade. The parade is short lasting about an hour.

  • Parade entrants can:
  • Drive a vehicle- radio equipped or not
  • Ride a bicycle or motorcycle
  • Walk using HT equipment.

After the Parade we will assemble back at the cabin for burgers, hot dogs and ice cream. HF operation will continue as long as there in interest.

A great turnout could really help our club and Amateur Radio.

Please let us know if you are attending by sending me an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can plan accordingly. We need to provide food and a list of entrants to the parade organizers.