Field Day is a great event (aka contest) for a lot of reasons. It’s a total club (K2BAR) effort and we all have fun. Here are the highlights as I saw them.
We had the following set up: an all-band station using a vertical, a 15/20m station setup with a tribander on a tower we put up, a 40m station using a wire antenna, a 80m station using a wire antenna, a 6m station using 2 loops on a mast and a GOTA station using a wire antenna. The weather was warm but it didn’t bother me at all.
Setup seemed easier then the previous 2 FD events I have been at. We put up 1 tower and a bunch of antennas. We were ready with plenty of time to spare before the contest started. We had plenty of food and drink around and plenty of operators to work all the stations. As things got rolling, I started on the 15/20m station. 20m was very noisy (the band, not any local noise) and was wall to wall with stations on top of each other, sometimes with 2 operating on the exact same frequency. It was rough going and finding a free frequency to call CQ on was a lot of work. So after a while I switched to 15m and the band was much quieter but still very active. We closed out the first day with more contacts on 15m then 20m.
I stayed overnight and around 2am popped into my car for about 4 hours. 20m was dead and I wanted to catch a couple of hours of uncomfortable but needed sleep, especially because I was before 5am on Sat morning. I woke up before 6am and there were fresh hot coffee cups waiting to be sucked down so I grabbed one and a choc donut. I changed my clothes and got back onto the air. 20m was workable and by the late morning, we had 20m with more total Q’s then 15m for the first time since we got on 15m on Saturday. Late in the morning I flipped to 15m and it seemed to start hopping again so I made a few Q’s before someone else sat down. I went over to 40m and got on there for a bit.
My wife and one of my daughters came by to help us have someone under 18 make a contact which gives additional points. I took my daughter to the 6m station which was available, tuned around and found a station we hadn’t worked. I told her to say Kilo 2 Bravo Alpha Radio and she did it perfectly. The other op came back with his reports and she gave 4 Foxtrot Northern New Jersey and he said QSL. She did it perfectly. Well, she’s 14 and not 6, but I was still impressed.
When I came back to the 15/20m station, 15m was again ahead of 20m and the ops were doing well so I went back to 40m. We ended up with 1003 Q’s on 40m eliminating the few dups that were logged. On 15/20m we logged 654 Q’s and on 80m we logged 359 Q’s. On the other stations (misc, 6m and GOTA) we logged 105 Q’s for a grand total of 2121Q’s which I don’t think counts the handful of fun satellite Q’s we made or the few solar powered Q’s made.
Teardown seemed to be much easier then previous years and I think because we did really have a lot of folks to help. Once things were broken down they were loaded into the rented UHaul and taken to the garage where we unloaded things quickly. After getting home, hitting the shower felt great. I fell asleep about 9pm and didn’t wake up until the alarm went off at 6 for work.
It was a great weekend. Lots of fun, lots of operating, lots of friendship. I can’t wait until next year.
K2DSL (operating as K2BAR for Field Day)