Field Day 2012
The White Rock Club participated in the international Field Day event from a new location this year. Our site for the previous two years was busy with community events and so we were provided a spot in the soccer field of Peace Arch Elementary School which is on the eastern side of the city bordering Roper Street. The site was wide open and ideal for setting up antennas so we were quite hopeful it would be a good day for us.
Ralph and Deme arrived at 9:30AM and Eric shortly after. The three of us immediately started to carry items out to the field and to organize the mast, tent and dipole wire antenna. Once the tent was up we hoisted the mast and anchored it in place. Ralph stretched out the NW leg of the dipole to a cement wall and then we tied off the SE leg to a tree. By now other club members had arrived so getting the antenna up went very quickly and we were soon trying it out with the IC-7000 radio that is part of Eric’ Go kit.
We soon discovered that the area had a very high noise floor and we were not hearing much of anything! Club member Stuart was just back from the Far East and though tired he was operating from home - two miles away - and he had a hard time both hearing our signal and us his. This was not very promising but start time for Field Day was now upon us and so we started off using the dipole and made only a few contacts. Being quitter disappointed with our results, Ralph thought he would try his 80 foot loop antenna in an inverted-V configuration. When we first set it up we had the feed point in the middle of the base leg but this gave us a very poor match and so we shifted the feed-point to a corner. Suddenly we had a very good match and a much lower noise floor, now we could hear the stations on the bands.
We were able to work stations across the continent with the loop though CW proved to be our most successful mode for the day. Various club members took turns operating, some on phone others with various types of keys. Fortunately for our numbers, Ralph persevered and made most of our contacts. So despite the noise floor caused by all the residential power lines which made radio work difficult and the locked washroom facilities, we all had a fun time. As has become our custom, we operated for a few hours until we were feeling radioed out - this time it was at 2:30pm. So before all the help left we packed up the gear and got safely back inside before the rains started up again! In the final count we made 47 contacts spread across from local to California across all the way to Florida.