Field Day Frenzy Part 1: now what?

Plan A: team up with OT1A again. Use his gigantic terrain again. Use his electronics, I provide the antenna stuff again. Too bad he had to cancel his participation. There’s always…

Plan B: maybe my local club would like to do FD CW? Too bad the key members are probably out of town that weekend. There’s always…

Plan C: rent a van to haul all the stuff to my backup location. Use the van as a shack. That would eliminate the need for a tent. Too bad the terrain is inaccessible for the moment. The vegetation grows like crazy and already comes up to my knees and the owner only plans to mow it in a few weeks. There’s always…

Plan D: ask a passionate contester, who shall remain anonymous, to team up with me. That way I could look for another terrain and have an extra pair of hands to set up and to get through the slow hours. I have perfect terrain in mind, but I’m a bit reluctant to ask the owner. Don’t know why though. Having OM Anonymous join me would be an incentive to ask it anyway. Unfortunately OM Anonymous answered ‘maybe next time’ so I’m stuck with….

Plan E: do it on my own again. Here in my back yard. That has lot of benefits: you can’t forget to bring a thing, clean rest room, no need to move all the stuff away from the house etc. Major drawback: my garden is a bit too small to install the antennas that I had in mind. I cannot ‘go long’ with the ropes. And I don’t have the high supports to keep the wires off the ground. And I centainly don’t want a compromise. I’m in to win, or suffer while trying. ‘Die trying’ is a bridge too far.

So that leaves me in a sticky situation. I now need to completely rethink the antennas. And make, tune and test them. And I have spent hours over the last six weeks to get the antenna raising system (a/k/a the portable mast) to work. Plus I need to make sure the WinKey and CAT work on my Win10 laptop. And what about the generator? It hasn’t been used in two years. I just started it once last year to see if the engine worked and it did. But will it this year?

So currently the status is: I’m trying to get everything ready for Region 1 Field Day CW. If I manage to pull that off, I might participate. Then the last key factor is the WX. I don’t want a repeat of the 2014 scenario.

The field day that wasn’t

2 replies on “Field Day Frenzy Part 1: now what?”

Years ago, I did an article for the National Contest Journal called something like “The Joys of Field Day,” where I laid out Scenario F:

Get some non-contester ham friends together and accomplish 2 things:

1. Actually get a temporary operating capability up and running without really planning in advance.
2. Get some non-contesters to actually call CQ and run stations

That’s pretty much what I’ve found to be the most fun in US Field Day – when that falls apart (it often does) I retreat to Scenario E, mostly to just help other FD operations achieve objective (2) above, but then to just run fast until I get bored…

Hi John, thanks for commenting.

What you try to achieve is very hard over here. Not many hams, even less interested hams, and most hams don’t leave their comfort zone being their own local club.
Actually, I fit that description too, especially when it comes to operating. I’m not a team player. That’s because I expect the same level of commitment of those who would be on my team.
I hope to be ready. There still is a ton of work to be done. And I keep changing my mind about a multiband vertical or monoband dipoles or a ladderline fed dipole with a smart tuner and whether to use extra low antennas and RX only antennas etc…

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