Ended up spending more time on this event than first envisioned. Did only CW, managing 1,252 QSOs. 40m was the “money band”. My attempts to “open-up” 10 & 15 m were ineffective as the numbers show.
It took most of the week but I did finally manage to get all stations for the original 13 Colonies and the two extra stations.
They were tough this year! WM3PEN either used CW or FT8 every time I looked to see where they were operating. I did not have FT8 installed on my computer nor do I really know how to use it. I managed to install the software but was not successful in actually making it work in my favor. So I waited for CW which I finally accomplished tonight.
Speaking of CW I worked 4 of the 15 stations using CW this year. The Tuesday night nets really helped me get this done! I still need to get better at this mode but I’m doing OK with it. Enough to help in a contest anyway.
On the operator side of things I’ve managed to put in 6 hours of work this week. In that 6 hours I have worked 859 unique stations. That’s about 143 per hour. It gets pretty crazy at times.
I hope to work another hour or two tomorrow. Maybe I can top off the list at 1000 for 2020.
This is always a fun event for me. This year was the hardest for me to finish but it was rewarding using some new skills to make it happen.
A quick reminder that the 13 Colonies event starts tomorrow. For more information on the event you can go here. 2020 Event Dates / July 1 (9AM Eastern) to July 7 (Midnight Eastern).
I’ll be operating one of the K2B stations. Of all of the contests I have done this one is the fastest pace by far. Because there are so few operators in Virginia our state, one of the original 13 colonies, is highly sought after.
Last year I had a rate of about 200 QSOs an hour. That’s one about every 18 seconds. I know that when I sit at my desk I have to be on my toes because they come at me fast.
While I am going to be operating I’ll also be getting the “Clean Sweep”. I enjoy doing this each year. Tracking down the bonus stations is always a hoot.
Spotting is not only allowed but encouraged. So if you hear me calling CQ give me a quick spot on DXSummit.
Maybe we’ll hear each other on the air this week!
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 100º 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.
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.
Had a good turn-out for this evening’s 75m SSB net. Check-ins included:
- K8SYH Bill
- W5ODJ John
- KE4S Dave
- N4CF Mike
- KG4UPR/m Brian
- W4PMP Chris
- K3WD Bill
- W0MPM John
- N3NL Al
- K0ZR Jeff (NCS)
Most of the discussion during the net centered around the upcoming Field Day weekend and people’s plans for operation. A large percentage of the check-ins plan to do some operating during the event which commences this Saturday at 1 PM EDT.
Signals were just average this evening; all stations were Q5 or better.
Only KE4S migrated to ten meters for further conversation.
Hope all is well with all our members (as well as others…..)
Jeff, K0ZR, NCS this week
John, W5ODJ, thanks for sharing your thoughts on Field Days past. Yes, we certainly “did it big” and many of us have “big memories” of those times now in the history books. It was truly inspiring to see people, some whom you had not seen in some time, “show up” and we would together put all those antennas and radios on the air. It was certainly something to be proud of and feel good about. I do hope sometime again in the future those “fires of RF enthusiasm” can be rekindled and we do it again.
Today I randomly ran across some old photos from Field Day 2011 and 2010. It reminded me of the good fun, sweat and community we have shared as a club over the years.
These early years were transformative for me as a younger ham. They would sharpen my love of the hobby while increasing my engineering and tactical prowess. Some would argue that the latter would not have taken much! Ha.
Then I was a General class operator not yet having achieved the class of Extra. That would not come until later. My call was WB5ODJ. I would soon drop the B from my call.
As I ready for the weekend for a Field Day of One I’m reminded of all of the people I’ve met here in Loudoun County who included me in a social club of radio hams with open arms. I’ve watched this club grow together and go on to do some pretty amazing things over the years from launching and tracking balloons to these huge field day efforts.
For those that have never been able to experience a field day as large as the ones we have I hope one day you will have this opportunity. The events of late have made it very hard for anyone to gather and do anything including mustering for an event this large.
Ten years ago this week truck load after truck load would start to show up dropping things off for the big event. People would start to lay things out in their heads how the event would actually unfold after months of planning on paper. There were cables to build, groceries to procure, meals to prepare, antennae to build, towers to erect and stations to set up.
Then Friday folks would descend on our Field Day site and start to work on building for the event. It was a noisy, often chaotic, and busy time of excitement as we worked together to figure things out. And we did always figure things out.
The event would start at 10am Saturday. People from all walks of life would come join us for lunch, dinner or breakfast. Big stories would be told while operators worked to get as many contacts as possible in 24 hours.
Then… POOF! It would be over.
Things would be taken down. Everyone would leave. Like it never happened. Every stick of furniture, tower section, cable, radio, computer and trash bag was gone.
You’d have to walk in my shoes to know what that felt like. Like family you haven’t seen in a long time was leaving and you knew you wouldn’t see them again. Some for a long time; Some never again.
It’s quiet here now. There is no noise. There is no chaos. There is no erection of towers using sketchy engineering methods. No tall tales. No lunches or dinners. No shared paths.
I miss the chaos.
Have a great Field Day 2020 where ever you are.
80m – 3675 KHz on 19JUN 2020 Open 0100Z
Listening 3816 KHz for General class ops to check-in
K8SYH Bill, Net Control
10m – on 28.405 MHz open 0133Z
Just a reminder that our scheduled meeting for June will be held this Saturday, June 20th at 0830. This meeting will be hosted virtually.
We look forwarded to you joining us then!
- Anyone can join in view-only mode using this link
- Members on the LARG Reflector can join using the calendar invite that was sent to all members
- Visitors needing access should contact firstname.lastname@example.org