Field Day 2020 Recap – W5ODJ

It didn’t start with the normal hustle that comes with executing a well thought through plan.

In fact, it was pretty benign. I was in my chair at the beginning and tried to make a contact in the last minutes. Casual “Search and Pounce” was my M.O. for this event.

The bands were in such good shape! In particular 20 meters. My noise levels were very low on all of the bands with 80 being an exception. It was fun to hear everyone still out there trying to make as many contacts as they could. Getting a new contact was as easy as spinning the dial and logging.

100-200 contacts and at least 1 digital contact was my goal.

The times I was sitting at my desk I also left 146.52 open in my headset. I was surprised to hear all the chatter on that band this weekend. I ended up making 8 FD specific contacts on 2m simplex. A first for me. Lots of people were out on hikes and making FD contacts with HTs. I also talked to a few people outside of FD. That’s always fun.

Another goal I set for myself was a Field Day specific digital contact which I did in the last hour of the event. That’s not easy to do. If I do digital contesting and want to log and have control of the radio from two programs I have to work on some communications on my desk. Both the digital program and logging want to have access to the radio at the same time. I have the gear, just need to hook it up.

At 2pm today it was like someone turned the electricity off. All of the bands were empty again. This Field Day was over.

In spite of it being a Field Day of One I had a good time. The “clean up” will certainly be easy.

As I push away from my desk I wonder … maybe the hustle will return in 2021.

73,

John
W5ODJ

Field Day 2012 – Eight years ago.

Where does the time go?

I don’t remember all of the details of this particular Field Day event. I do remember It being a another well-run activity and was followed up by a de-brief the evening the Derecho came through Virginia. Hard to believe that was 8 short years ago.

What followed the Derecho was 7 days of over 100ΒΊ weather and no electricity at my home for 7 days. It was interesting for sure. I was prepared for this thanks to all my work with radio, Field Day, ARES and EOC.

Could you do without electricity for 7 days?

What about 24 hours?

Today you may be able to test that theory.

Do you recognize anyone in the photographs above?

For me 8 years ago was a very chaotic time in my personal life. Trying to keep corporate job while running a local business was not an easy thing to pull off. I quit that job and sold the business(es) since then. Life is much more placid.

But it is also very quiet. Very, very quiet.

Field Day Site 2012 – Now covered in trees.

In the past few days I’ve prepared my station to work some in this year’s Field Day. I’m not going to kill myself trying to make contacts so this year is about the fun of making contact rather than the tactics.

If I get a wild hair I’m prepared to run a frequency at high power and log it all in real time. So we’ll have to see where this goes. No plans to show up on any top 10 list this year.

I’m happy to report I have no engineering problems with my station so I can just sit down and operate. Part of eliminating the chaos of 8 years ago has afforded me the time on my own station that I did not have the time to do then. And to do it properly. Time has taught me how to do things right the first time or at least wait until I can do that.

The last ten years have been interesting times for sure. So many life lessons learned. I’m thankful that through all those lessons that radio has been at the center of it all. it’s the one stable thing I turn to each day to distract myself from the noise of life.

Every year at this time I remember those who have been instrumental in my life. While I don’t remember all of the details of time passed I’m thankful for those who have been there with me.

Where did the time go? Not so sure. But thankful for the time I spent doing this.

Have a great Field Day 2020. Maybe we’ll hear each other on the air.

73,

John
W5ODJ

Mini Field Day 2019

Compared to most years it was very quiet at my QTH this year.

I’ve been going into and out of making contacts as class 1D section VA. This is the first time I’ve used my own station for Field Day in 10 or so years. I’ve primarily worked 40 and 80 meter phone.

In preparation for Field Day I get my instance of Windows up to date with the latest patches then turn patching off so my computer doesn’t reboot in the middle of a contest. Then updated N1MM to the latest, created a new database for 2019 FD with all the parameters I’d normally use to create a log at the end. Even though I do not plan on submitting a log this year I wanted to go through the process.

It’s messy but it’s mine. You are looking at 20 years of “organization”. πŸ™‚ I’m still tracing some of the wires.

The bands have been very active with a station about every Β½ kilocycle. It’s interesting to try to work so many so close together. I suspect the band will go back to normal tonight in the evening when everyone tears down their site and goes back to their daily lives.

I didn’t think I’d miss what we’ve done at LARG over the years, but I do. Those were fun times when we were all working together to achieve a common goal. Our first time to win a 5A category was in 2012. That year we came 12th overall internationally.

We did it again in 2013 with a first place finish in 5A and even better ranking internationally at 6th place. And then in 2014 we did it again by finishing first in 5A and even better at 4th place internationally. You can find all that information on our history pages.

I hope where ever you are you’ve been able to enjoy Field Day this year.

73

John, W5ODJ