Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Another Field Come and Gone... Is it 2010 Yet?

That's right Ham fans, another Field Day has come and gone. How did you all do during Field Day? What do you find was the highlight of the day? Well I have to say that the highlights are our day was the opportunity to actually operate during Field Day. You see, last year on field day we were on vacation down in Florida. Needless to say, on Field Day we were on the road headed to New Orleans to see my folks and family and the only radio at my disposal was a Yaesu FT-90r. I had the radio tuned most of the time to 146.520 or 146.550. From time to time I would hear a brief QSO and then it was gone.

Of course, don't forget that we did have our own personal field day prior to going on vacation. 2 weeks before vacation we did go up to the field and set up all the stuff and made a few contacts. That was actually one of the first times I made any HF contacts.

Fast forward to Field Day 2009. This year we brought up the following for our operating situation:
- Yaesu FT-450
- LDG 200AT Pro Auto Tuner
- Power Supply
- Lenovo Net Book for computer logging with N3FJP's Field Day contest log, which we then exported seemlessly into our ACLog.
- A 1800 HP Gas Generator
- ZS6BKV Multi Band Dipole

I think that covers the equipment. Of course we brought snacks, fans, and a percolator for coffee.

Once we arrived and had some hot dogs that we picked up from a convenience store we got to looking around and found that one of the ropes we left up there for the antenna had gone missing. This rope by the way was a bit in the edge of the woods and out of site. The other rope is in plain view so we wondered why they only took the one. Well we assume it must have been hunters. Anyway, we got another rope up in a tree for the operation. This was just a temporary fix. We didn't have the sling shot or a fishing pole so we resorted to tying the rope to a bottle of Gatorade.
It wasn't much longer and we had the equipment set up and we were ready to call CQ. I spent a couple of hours calling and ended up with a total of 60 contacts. Robin (AJ4IJ) worked for just a little bit. She was pretty wore out from running around during the day getting supplies for the evening and getting things ready to go. Ashby (KJ4EGJ) towards the end of our evening finally decided to work some stations and ended up with 16 contacts. I was so proud. Mom (KF4SSI) and Dad (KU4ME) didn't work any. Dad was pretty tired from working on the Jeep all weekend as was I. That's right, we did get the Jeep in running condition. She still needs some work but at least she isn't spewing radiator fluid anymore.
As a final note, Robin had found earlier on QRZ'd that the QSO Radio Show was broadcasting on the air for Field Day and were taking calls from Field Day stations all over the world. Well it was around Midnight when Robin and Dad got the big idea about calling in and handed the phone to me. So I took the cell phone and made the call. I gave them my information and it wasn't long after that they called us back and I was on the air speaking with Ted Randall (WB8PUM) about our setup and our Ham Family. As a matter of fact on Ted Randall's site he has a streaming rebroadcast of the show.
So this year's Field Day was considered a success. We got setup in short order and in total made 82 contacts between us. As I know it, Dad worked some stations the next day but at this time I forget how many he made.

That's all I got for now. Stay tuned as I plan on posting on my contest experience and results over the first year of my Ham life and The First Annual 470 ARG 4th of July QSO Party special event. Until then, 73 and Good DX to all.

Tim - AJ4JD

P.S. You can get another view point on our Field Day adventure over at Robin's Blog.

Our Trusty Side Kick Enjoying Field Day

Robin Enjoying Field Day

Mom (KF4SSI) and Dad (KU4ME) having a blast

The Rope Raiser

Me (AJ4JD) calling CQ

The Net Book with the Beacon of Light
that provided us with Internet access

The Station setup

Ashby (KJ4EGJ) at the helm

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