Field day is only 33 days away, so here is an update on our efforts.
I announced this on the two meter net last night (Sunday, 20 May) but I will pass it along in this e-mail as well. The Olympia Amateur Radio Society has accepted our Field Day challenge! Whichever club gets the fewer number of overall points will host a meal or picnic-type gettogther for both clubs. Whether we are guests or hosts, this will be an outstanding opportunity to meet the Thurston county hams and rag chew about our mutual interests.
Our current plans are to operate in class 3A like last year. My idea is to have one rig on cw, one on phone, and one on digital. We plan on grabbing the bonus for 5 solar powered QSOs, so we will shut one rig down while we get the five solar powered contacts.
I also plan on us operating a GOTA (Get on the air) station. This is a freebie position that permits newly licensed or inactive hams and the general public to operate and make contests. A great opportunity bring out your kids and/or grand-kids to participate. We will need volunteers to act as control operators for this rig and also someone needs to volunteer a rig and antenna for our GOTA operation. Another need is for a control operator for the GOTA station. This individual would preferably be an extra class, so the GOTA station can operate anywhere in the bands.
Setup is planned for Friday afternoon. The rules permit us to start setting up at 11:00 am on Friday. Camping at the Field Day site is encouraged, so those with RVs–bring ’em out. We plan on a”pot luck” meal on Friday after setup is complete, so think about something to bring. It is certain that coffee will be consumed and there is a remote possibility that an adult beverage might be imbibed as the stories unfold. If it is allowed, we’ll have a campfire to sit around. Hopefully we will also copy the W1AW Field Day bulletin on Friday night or Saturday morning.
Stan has (sort of) volunteered to set up a wireless computer network so we can keep the logs coordinated. At last count, Stan also planned on bringing his rig, which I have penciled in as the digital station.
I will furnish the cw rig, a TS-570. I plan on building an multi-band open wire-fed dipole antenna for the cw station. We will string the antenna in the trees at the site. I really need some help as far as another cw operator or two. My days of iron man operation were left in my youth. For the cw operating position, I plan on using my motorhome or setting up a table outside under the awning. If we need it, I have enough ac power to supply one of the other transmitters.
Ray says he will furnish a rig, antenna and operating position, and possibly two. Last year, he did the phone operation, and I figure on a repeat performance this year. He also desperately needs some operating help. In a perfect world, there would be two qualified operators on each operating position at all times during the 24 hours of operation. One operator would operate, and the other would log. Using computer logging programs makes it easier to avoid duplicate contacts, but it still is great to have two sets of ears listening for calls, classes, and sections. If Ray brings two rigs, the second one could function as the GOTA.
It would be nice if we had a manned welcome booth, but I don’t think we have enough people to cover it. We plan on sending out the Field Day press release to the local media, and I have drafted letters to the local elected officials. If one or more of the politicians show, it is worth bonus points. Likewise, we need to invite one or more officials of agencies to whom we provide communications support. If one or more of them shows up during Field Day it is worth still more points.
I know that this is a lot of work, and perhaps it seems like a competition. In some ways, it is– but it is a heck of a lot of fun, and if we give it a real effort we can show that there is such a thing as a free lunch!
I am unable to attend the next club meeting, but I hope we can get everything on track and have a successful Field Day.
Don, W7WST, MCARC Field Day Chairman