Operating Event March 10, 2018

Battle of Picacho Peak Operating Event

March 10, 2018

0900 to 1500

Our March operating event will commemorate the Battle of Picacho Pass, the westernmost battle of the American Civil War. 

We will operate from the Ironwood Group Area at Picacho State Park on March 10 from 0900 to 1500.  The site has rest rooms, picnic ramadas with tables, BBQ grill, running water, ample parking, and AC power.  OVARC will provide one HF station signing K7T. 

You are welcome to bring your own equipment, especially HF antennas. 

K7AZT has devised techniques for measuring efficacy of HF antennas and will demonstrate these techniques on-site. 

Bring your appetites because our grillmeisters K4WBR and W2HZ have promised a hot lunch. 

You'll want to bring a chair unless you enjoy cold concrete benches. 

Admission to the park costs $7 per carload

Ironwood group area is immediately west of the visitor center.

January 2018 HF SIG Operating Event

January 2018 HF SIG Operating Event


Tom Mix was the greatest of the silent-era movie cowboys, and a cowboy in real-life as well. He reportedly could knock a button off of a shirt with a rifle shot, and jump a horse into a railroad box car. He was married seven times to six different women.

On January 6, OVARC will operate K7T from the Tom Mix Memorial on Pinal Pioneer Parkway near historic Florence, AZ.  The memorial is a roadside picnic area on Hwy 79 near the site where Tom Mix died after his Cord 812 convertible crashed into what is now designated the Tom Mix Wash while bridge construction was incomplete. The single-car high-speed accident led to his death after leaving the Oracle Junction Inn on October 12, 1940. 

There is a picnic shelter but no restrooms or power.  Setup will begin around 9:00am.  

If you have any questions contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Directions to the Tom Mix Memorial

November 2017 HF SIG Operating Event

November 2017 HF SIG Operating Event

oracle logo

On November 18, we will operate from Oracle State Park to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Arizona State Parks system. This is a lovely park located in the town of Oracle. We have reserved the group area which has two large picnic ramadas with AC power, BBQ grills, shade trees, and a separate parking area. There is an admission charge of $7 per vehicle at the park. K4WBR is planning to bring lots of food and drink to make this a social event suitable for the whole family. This is the same date as El Tour de Tucson, in which many OVARC members participate, so we will have lunch around 1300 and later to allow El Tour participants to make it to the park. We have submitted Special Events listings to QST, eham.net, and QRZ.com and we have submitted a request for special callsign K7T, which we have used for Field Day for years.

For those of you who have not been to Oracle State Park, the Kannally Ranch House tour is a nice to visit.  The Kannally Ranch House was built in 1929-1932 and is of Mediterranean Revival Style with Moorish influences, patterned on Italianate villas of the 1920s.  You can tour the house yourself or take the guided tour at 11:00am. 

If you have any questions contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Directions to Oracle State Park Group Area

Download Oracle State Park Map

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 (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