Field day is probably one of my favorite events in ham radio. It’s the day when hams from all walks of life get together for a common goal – to contact as many stations as possible within a given time period! (that & have as much fun as possible doing it!). This particular event is my first (Winter) Field Day, which isn’t run by the ARRL, but it is promoted by the ARRL 🙂 There’s all sorts of planning that goes into such an event, i.e. location, gear, food, power requirements, etc, but I’m lucky to have some really capable & friendly folks in the N5OAK who have been planning the event for quite some time! I think this will be the N5OAK’s first actual entrance into the contest.
We’ll be using a site out in Luling, TX with lots of space for antennas! I’ll be stringing up, tuning & trimming a new portable OCF that I can use whilst HF mobile. I originally had plans to put up a vertical of some sort, but verticals usually require a bit more deployment time, and as such, I wanted to keep my setup & break down time as quick as possible. (I learned that lesson from the last field day!). It’s no fun breaking down a station in the pouring rain with mud all underneath you & your gear!
We have 6 operating stations planned so far, some will include VHF/UHF capability, and you can bet that we’re going for that satellite QSO bonus! An extra 1,500 points! I think we’re also going to be using our own power generation equipment, so that’s another 1,500 points!
I’m most looking forward to this field day because it allows a lot of different modes to be worked, and I think events like that really bring folks together, because lets face it, not everyone does voice… not everyone does cw… not everyone does digital. An event like this can allow hams who are proficient in those areas to really show others, and give them an opportunity to try something that they might just be surprised they like! (I’m especially looking forward to the Satellite qso tutorial!)
My station will be designated the voice station, so I’m planning on using my Kenwood TS-480SAT, and an off-center fed dipole. I’ll also have a headset this go around, as well as panadapter capability. Might be a bit much for field day, but if we’re already going to have laptops for logging purposes, I’m going to take advantage and put a panadapter up! I have an HP S140U external portable monitor that runs on USB power only that will serve as the panadapter screen, while the logging software stays on the primary screen, cool huh? I’m planning on capturing the whole event on film/camera, so stay tuned! I hope to hear you on the air for WFD, look for us & work us on the bands as N5OAK!
If you’re interested, check out WinterFieldDay.com for all the official details & rules.