Saturday, July 25, 2015

Field Day 2015

Field Day was a mix of operating, experimenting and some club relations for myself and a friend who is thinking about getting into the hobby.

Justin, my friend from high school, is thinking about getting his ticket, so I offered to come out to his house and setup for field day, as I wanted to operate with my equipment for a period of time before heading out to the club station.

We setup my KX3 with the KXPA100 in Justin's back yard.  Antennas included a G5RV Jr. 40m - 6m dipole and an Alpha Antenna Ez-Military vertical on a painters pole.  We started the day with antenna SWR problems, as we couldn't tune the G5RV.  After coming home and posing a few antenna questions on the Elecraft reflector, I should of cleared the antenna memories and placed the PA100 in manual mode instead of auto.  Lesson learned!  The Alpha Antenna worked great as a vertical.

We ran as a 1E station all day, as we had a small generator for the equipment.  It worked great and kept up with the load.

Mid afternoon arrived, and the storms arrived.  A small cluster of thunderstorms literately had eyes on us, as they came in from the direct north, a very untypical thunderstorm path.  We pulled tarps over the equipment and headed inside to eat the rest of the BBQ wings we grilled a few hours earlier.

We made around 25 contacts before heading out to the St. Charles club to look at their field day setup.  The bands were in a crappy mood on Sat afternoon.  I think we made every club contact in Massachusetts, as that was the only state we could hear for at least a couple hours.  The east coast finally opened up and we made most of our contacts out there.

I left Justin's house around 7pm and unpacked all my items.  Took a quick nap and then headed out to our club station in Stacey Park in St. Louis.  I operated from around 10pm to around 2am before heading home due to the amount of bug bites on my legs and arms.  Not sure how many contacts I made at the club, but California was open and worked many stations on the west coast.

After it was all over, I learned some good troubleshooting skills, found out how much crap I used and didn't used after carting it all into my car and what I need to bring next year!