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

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 ( 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. 


OVARC HF Radio Sport Event

7th Area QSO Party

May 6, 2017

7qpIn preparation for Field Day (June 24-25), we will participate in the Seventh Call District QSO Party ( on May 6 from 0600 to midnight MST. Operation will be at W8TK with big antennas and quiet radio conditions. In this event, stations in the 7th call area (AZ, NV, UT, OR, WA, ID, MT, WY) work the world, including one another, so there will be lots of action. We will use N1MM Logger as we do in Field Day. We will use all modes: CW, SSB, and PSK, your preference. Elmers will be available at all times to assist and encourage inexperienced or unsure operators. Score will take a back seat to training for FD, though we won the certificate for top multi-op/low power station last year. If you wish to reserve an hour or two or you need directions to my station, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Your GPS will not get you here!

OVARC Field Event - Wings of Freedom Marana AZ

OVARC Field Outing

The Wings of Freedom Tour

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Marana Airport

wings of freedom tour plane large

OVARC will conduct its monthly operating event in conjunction with the Wings of Freedom Tour:
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We will meet at the Marana Northwest Regional Airport at 0900 on Saturday, April 8. There is a special entrance for this event ((NOT the usual airport entrance!), located about 4.5 miles west of I-10 on Avra Valley Road. Look for the entrance banner and flag on the north side of the road. If you get to Sandario Road, you went too far. There is a large gravel parking lot right at the event site. We will be able to set up in the large tent erected just for this event, and we will deploy our usual antenna. We will use battery power, 100 watts HF, and computer logging as usual.

The airplanes will be just yards from our operating site, and they include a B-24, B-25, B-17, and TF-51 Mustang. They will be flying in from Albuquerque on Thursday. You can even book a flight on one of these planes, right from the airport. Check the Wings of Freedom website for details.

In addition, there will be display of WW2 army vehicles, tents, weapons set up right next to our location. Enjoy the aroma of moldy canvas like back in your Boy Scout days!

As usual, bring a chair and your lunch. Pizza has magically appeared at past events too. Thanks W1SR.

Admission to the Tour is $15 but you can buy a ticket that admits two for $15 on Groupon:

While our events don’t usually require an admission charge, the fee for this one goes to honor the memory of WW2 veterans. K7ROG tells me one of the big bombers burns 50 gallons of avgas per hour so your ticket charge goes right through the carburetor.

This would be a cool event even without ham radio, but there may be some local celebrities attending and perhaps we can snare one or two and put them on the air. I hope to see you at the airport on April 8.

Directions to Marana Airport -