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Help me date this very old W7DK club Field Day film!

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W7UUU, Apr 18, 2021.

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  1. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    N2EY likes this.
  2. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I did the research before reading some of the other replies, so this does partially duplicate what others have said, but my vote is 1954.

    The duty roster shows that ZTG, ZTH, and ZTI are assigned to the 2 meter station. Since they are all in sequence, and they are on 2 meters, that leads me to believe that WN7ZTG, WN7ZTH, and WN7ZTI are newly licensed novices (or maybe technicians).

    In the 1956 call book, W7ZTG, ZTH, and ZTI were all licensed in Tacoma. They are not listed in the 1953 call book. So I'm guessing they got their new novice tickets in 1954 or 1955, and this was their first field day. Since they weren't ready to play with the big boys on HF CW, they were assigned to the 2 meter station, where they could work phone.

    W7DK is listed as the winner of the 7th call area in both 1954 and 1955. But I narrow it down to 1954 thanks to this picture of W7AZI from the video and the results article:

    upload_2021-4-19_15-16-46.png upload_2021-4-19_15-18-5.png

    I couldn't make out the license plates, but as someone else noted, you can narrow it down by the style. I did notice that one car had a front plate, and another one did not. So it might be the year that Washington started issuing front plates.
  3. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lots of good reasoning and "detective" work on this thread and I enjoyed the process. My conclusion lacking a startling discovery is that the film is from Field Day 1955 or 1956. The reason I don't believe it's 1954 is the Ford wagon at the 2:54 mark in the film is likely either a 55 or 56. It is not a 54. If you search there are lots of images for each of those years to study.
    W4NNF and W7UUU like this.
  4. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    W7AzI looks like the kind of guy who did the cooking every year, so it's possible he did it again another year (especially since he got his picture in QST in 1954). W7HZ/7 took the 7th district title in 1956, so that would narrow it down to 1955.
    N2EY and K3XR like this.
  5. K2XT

    K2XT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If it was late 50s you would likely see a Heathkit DX20, 35, or 100, because all hams seemed to own one of those models. The MultiElmac was in mid 50s timeframe. National HRO model doesn't help since they came from way before then.
    I believe I saw the back end of a Buick, early 50s model. Looks like there were a lot of homebrew rigs.
    The yagi boom looked like pre war technology.
  6. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Of course there will be cars older than the filming date :) That would be the case today! I have ham friends driving 20 year old cars all the time :)

    Assuming the ARRL handbook in the middle section was filmed at the same time (safe assumption), the film by definition CANNOT be older than that handbook.

    So as I mentioned early on in the thread, the date of that handbook is the most concrete and credible clue.

    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
  7. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    At least after 1956....there's a 56 Ford Fairlane in there. :)
  8. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    120 kW ERP does not mean a 120 kW transmitter.

    Old Channel 11 was 204 to 210 MHz. TV broadcast antennas then were designed to have significant gain by concentrating the RF towards the horizon.

    For an example, look up "batwing antenna"

    It seems quite possible that a stack of batwing antennas could provide maybe 10 dB of gain, which would mean a 12 kW transmitter could have 120 kW ERP.

    I think "infancy" best describes pre-WW2 TV.

    By the early 1950s, there were TV stations in practically every major US city, the TV networks were well developed, and TV was no longer a novelty. The first NTSC color TVs appeared in 1954.

    Look up a TV show called "Life With Elizabeth" on youtube. You may recognize the central character.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    WA5VGO and W2AI like this.
  9. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nope. Can't be.

    Watch the film. In the opening, it clearly says that W7DK/7 was the top score in the 7th call district.

    Checking the QST scores, that was true only in 1954 and 1955. From 1956 until at least 1961, another group was the high score in 7 land.

    So it has to be 1954 or 1955.

    That Fairlane is a '55, so it has to be FD 1955.
    W7UUU likes this.
  10. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I disagree.

    The film was clearly edited, with the intro and the title cards filmed after FD, and the various pieces of film spliced together.

    In fact, the film could not have been finished before December of 1955, because that's when the official results came out in QST.

    I think what happened was this:

    In 1954, the W7DK/7 group had the top score in 7 land. So they decided on an even bigger effort in 1955, complete with a documentary movie.

    They did FD 1955 in a big way, and filmed it.

    When December 1955 QST showed up, they saw they'd won again, and proceeded to put together a real documentary. They filmed the opening credits, complete with the W7DK top score result, and also the title cards for the various stations. This was done in early 1956, thus the Handbook.

    The film was probably complete in the spring of 1956, and used to drum up support for FD 1956, as well as a copy being sent to ARRL Hq.

    It's a definite clue, but all it really tells us is that the film was completed after the 1956 Handbook was out.

    Since W7DK/7 last had the top 7 land score in 1955, that's the latest FD that could be in the film.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    W0PV, N1YR, K2XT and 1 other person like this.

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