Fort Miles Operations 2015  

    I have had the pleasure of working with the 261st Coast Artillery Reenactment group at Fort Miles, Delaware. I was invited to setup my military radio equipment during their April 2015 meet as I have done in the past and it has always been an enjoyable experience working with these WWII reenactors.

    My recommendations is to seek out Reenactment Groups in your area to see if you can contribute Military Radio Expertise. Just showing up with a couple of working BC-611's will create a lot of interest as many of the members of these groups have never seen an operational military radio. Preparing for these reenactment events can involve a lot of work and consume many hours of your free time but the rewards are immense. However I know that many of you prefer to leave the equipment sitting on a shelf.

  Information about Ft. Miles and the 261st Coast Artillery Reenactment organization can be found at:   



Many thanks to:

      Jason Garver KB3ATV - 261st Electronics and Telephone Maintenance Chief, Member Battery Display Planner Gun Crew, and many other assignments. And the company C.O. Michael E. Rogers MAJ, 261CA Commanding Officer



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                     K4CHE/3 Operations. I lucked out as the weather was excellent - CAVOK + + for the entire event.

          Since I was sort of off the road near the trees I put out a little advertisement.



             Ft. Miles is located in Southern Delaware and is part of Cape Henlopen State Park. My APRS data track en route from the home QTH is depicted by the Red Dots. I finally changed the beacon rate to 3 minutes after many requests by the APRS Police.


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           Jason KB3ATV in front of his quarters a very nice wall tent. Notice the blue utility work uniform(AKA fatigues) which was standard issue but later would fade and the blue would disappear.

                                          KB3ATV  Inspection Video

        First order of business is the antenna. I keep a bag full of wires and lines for "field" events. Note the tennis ball.


           Inside the tennis ball is a lead weight. Use the ball for stringing your "half wave" wire up in the trees and if the ball misses and hits someone's windshield you won't hear that cracking sound but hopefully just a dull "thump". Lead weights can be found in the sports section of Wally World.
                                          Lead weight info:



                             The "M*A*S*H" sign post is always popular..


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       My setup included a BC-1306 and this BC-474. The BC-1306 has been modified for 80 meters and I had in the past used it on 40 with modifications. However 80 was dead and the BC-474 was used extensively and I even maintained a sked with a old Novice buddy of mine K4CIA in Raleigh NC. Yes the "chrome"telegraph key was original equipment with the BC-474. The microphone was used for "local" demonstrations of the BC-611.

                     Click here for link to information on the BC-474 Speed-X key.




                       Short transmitter hunts or "fox" hunts were demonstrated.




                The small transmitter on 3885 kcs was easy to hide and is powered by a single 9 volt battery. The West Coast Military Collectors Group has started Fox hunts on 51.0.
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                                  OL Map

                                      My trusty power supply for the BC-474, 12 volts input.

           More details can be found for powering the BC-474 can be found in the K4CHE index under Power Projects. Its a little tricky as the B minus must be above ground for proper receiver bias similiar to the BC-348 problem.


           Power for the event was provided by a small 12 volt Walmart car battery. Its about twice the size of a lawn mower battery. External battery posts were installed - the post were purchased from the local AutoZone.


            Lots of troops take advantage of the photo opportunity in front of the M*A*S*H signs.


                                        Military vehicles are always popular.


          One of my favorite "motorize" item. A Sperry Search Light

                 Click here for Sperry Arc Video.

            Want one? Search lights for sale:


                                   Morning formation.

                                      German Marching Video Ft. Miles 2015


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            K4CHE Ft. Miles operations April 2015.
                                        Q. Can you spot the Cracker Jack Box rations?

                    Click here for info on camo nets:


                                                              K4CHE Sponsor

                 K4CHE BC-474 Setup April 2015.

             MRCA bottle holder courtesy of famous author and military radio op Yuki KW2K.


              My RF meter was reading low so I put a light bulb in series with the antenna to confirm antenna current.





                    I have not quite figured out this vehicle yet as to the radio configuration.

           SP-600s? Evidently a rack for mounting the receivers in the rear. So its a SP-600 vehicle?

         Radio equipment was fairly scarce at the rally but I did spot this set on display.

                                                          Quartermaster tent.

                             Nice switch board on display

                          Nothing like "forty winks", been there and done that.

                                        Home away from home

                                           A possible candidate for the "SLS" ceremony.

                                 Ready for inspection.
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                 One of my favorite displays. Click below for video.
                                 War Pigeon Display Video.


                                                       Field Organ display.

                            Video Field Organ Display Ft. Miles April 2015


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            My (K4CHE) secret stash of "modern" equipment used when I checked into the now famous "Moose and Squirrel Cold-War Clandestine and Long-Range-Reconnaissance-Patrol Net."
              Shown are the PRC-71, my secret half wave tuner, a ME-61 FS meter and a couple of back up batteries. Field Strength is the secret to ops in the field.
                                     Link to Net Information.



                                          My tuner for an end fed half wave antenna.

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                      Under neath the lid are my secret notes on tuner ops. Small pieces of thin clean lexan hold the notes in place but allow you to make changes to the notes. Notes include how to modify the tuner in the field for parallel operation for those difficult impedance matches. The meter mounted at the upper right is for monitoring "output" current into the half wave antenna.
Most of us monitor the input of the tuner for SWR etc but no one monitors the output. I usually just peak the output for maximum current and watch Field Strength to make sure they both peak and let the input SWR take care of its self.



            During the War if you had a member of the family overseas it was customary to display a "Victory" flag in the window until he returned.

       The German group take a break after a formation and do a little R and R and some scuttlebuttenhousen.

                Sd.Kfz. 251 (Sonderkraftfahrzeug 251) fasinating to watch the track and intricate wheel system.

                                    Interior of the Sd.Kfz. 251

               The German barracks were open to visitors and "Show and Tell conducted.

           Nice display of WWII navigation items. Note the famous Norden Bomb Sight. Actually I guess the the DR Computer on the left is a CPU-26A a later model issued after the War.

               Additional aviation items on display. Note the "bail out" bottle used by crew members after exit and utilized on the way down from high altitudes also makes a great weapon.

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                                                Another view of the BC-474 and BC-1306 K4CHE OL.


                       K4CHE Ft. Miles Delaware 2015. A couple of visiting hams actually recognized the MRCA card. The microphone is out and on the ready for BC-611 demonstrations.

                                            Bottle holder courtesy of famous author KW2K


                  Switching power supply for the BC-1306 disguised as a French First Aid Kit.

       Interior view of my BC-1306 "switching" supply based on a General Electric Exec One 2 way VHF radio. It will run a BC-1306 the entire week end.


                  The side terminal posts were tapped and a 8-32 bolt used for connection using a knurled nut.


          I've modified my BC-474 to cover 80 and 40 meter CW segments. Pencil marks remind me of the coverage.

                  The connector side of the BC-1306 switching power supply.


                 Open view of the BC-1306 power supply. Two regulator heat sinks are mounted on the left for 1.5 and 6 volts.
      At the top is a switching HV supply from a older General Electric 2 Way radio. A standard barrier strip is used for voltage distribution and control. A small fan is mounted near the bottom. During extended operations I often pop open the lid for additional cooling.


          Many of the members asked questions about my camo nets. Since most of the nets have not survived the years and because they usually reek of mildew I made my own following army manuals. Check back on my web page for further instructions.

          FM 5-20B was my primary source of information. More info coming.

          A very old military tradition. A "Challenge Coin" issued to participants or members of an organization.
        When you meet again if you do not have your coin then the beverages are on you. The Ft. Miles group issues a new coin each year- its a great event memento and it raises funds for the organization.
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