Field Day 2007 Practice
Today we got together to practice setting up for our Field Day event on June 23rd. As this year was to be the club’s first solo Field Day, we thought it would be wise to do a trial run in advance of the big day and work out any problems. Of course, if it was a wet morning we would all stay home and just think through what we could have been doing. But we were fortunate with the weather and were greeted with a broken sky this morning.
So we were off to the site for a 10:30 start. Our goal was to review the actual location for the event and to then set up some of the equipment and do a few trial contacts. As Stuart, who was to provide the radio for Field Day, was not able to make it today we planned to use Ralph’s portable setup – an Icom 706. I brought a battery and my 220Mhz radio in addition to the 2m radio in my car.
I arrived at Blackie Spit at 10:30 to see Deme sitting at the side of the driveway and a blocked road to the main parking lot. It would seem that a movie company had been using the area for filming during the week and had blocked off the lot to protect their equipment which was filling the area! Not exactly what we had planned! Fortunately a city parks worker just happened to come by and was not impressed to see the area blocked off. He went on up on foot to chat with the security people and was able to get us access to the site and area we had been planning on using.
So in we went around 11AM to start our mobile setup and trial run. Security asked us to be careful as there was an expensive car prop parked right in front of the area we were planning on using. After our event we all had a good look at this car, it was interesting how they modified it for the film.
There were 7 of us out for the day which was a good turn-out for a practice. We deployed Ralph’s go kit which comprised his buddy stick and Icom 706 radio. We quickly made a couple of contacts – the first was with a station in Hawaii. We also heard a Russian station, and worked a couple of CW stations. So though the band was quite quiet, we did demonstrate that we could effectively operate from the location in portable mode. Lloyd brought a 20m antenna that he built and we tried it out. It was quite an interesting design and we were all surprised at how well it performed seeing as how small it was. Since we didn’t have a tuner we decided to not try transmitting at this time. Ken had brought his 1000 watt generator and we tested it out, it is quite quiet and was more the enough to power our needs. So after we proved the location and setup for radio operations, we decided to enjoy the spot and chatted for a while longer. We also held our monthly meeting a day early.
We then packed up the items and headed our separate ways. It is a nice location and today’s activity was a fun excuse to get together to play a bit of radio. We did have three separate groups of individuals come by to ask about radio and what we were doing. This is an encouraging sign as raising public awareness is the whole reason we are coming out to this spot in June.