I’ve been going to the ARRL Field Day now for over 50 years and it never gets tired 🙂
This year the Oakville ARC held its annual Field Day inside the beautiful Bronte Provincial Park just to the west of Oakville.
So in brief here’s my take on how it went:
- Conditions sucked for most of Saturday.
- The weather was perfect.
- The venue was idyllic.
- Bronte Prov. Park staff are A+.
- The GOTA station worked (once we figured out a power issue).
- The GOTA antenna worked (once we added 50′ of coax on the G5RV-JR).
- We had the annual grumpiness putting up antennas 🙂
- We figured it out.
- The smaller generators (we had three) were quiet and worked well.
- Tons of media coverage as our two local newspapers showed up.
- We got some of our bonus points and lost on others.
- We brown-bagged dinner and that worked.
Next year we need to figure out a way for folks to read their emailed instructions (which we sent multiple times) or take notes during meetings. Too many guys were asking questions which were answered in those emails. HI. While we struggle to erect two antennas, we might ask the guys who setup 27 or more how they do it!
Generally once we got up and running the CW station performed as always (thanks to Harry VA3EC) and the SSB station (thanks to Todd VE3LMM) was staffed most of the time despite some not responding to repeated requests for when they wanted to operate.
I’m starting to think we might want to run a CW-only competitive Field Day operation which we’d likely win and maybe even consider going QRP.
Next to it we setup an SSB station which runs under a different call and is open to all members and non-members, licensed operators and visitors alike as the GOTA station this year proved pretty popular.
I did an educational session on QRP radio that went over fairly well I thought.
Most of the guys had never listened to a direct conversion receiver so the NorCal 20 and CRK-10A’s ability to produce super clean, artifact clear, bell-like tones in the headphones from an almost noiseless background was enlightening. Especially when considering I bought the NorCal 20 (which now has a memory keyer chip in it) for $35 at a flea market and the CRK was $65.
Field Day is not only an annual exercise in emergency preparedness plus a built-in contest, it’s also an opportunity to work together in a friendly cooperative and supportive way to get things done.
If you haven’t participated in a Field Day event you’re going to have to wait until next year now. Find a club near you and join the fun.