Monday, June 29, 2015
Field Day 2015
Field Day, when ham radio operators worldwide take to remote locations to get a little outside their comfort zone and operate under slightly austere conditions, was last weekend. Not exactly roughing it in the heat of the summer, we operated from a classroom on the MS Gulf Coast Community College's Jefferson Davis campus in eastern Gulfport. Even though we had air conditioning, it was still a learning experience to haul radios, antennas, and solar gear to a remote location and get on the air. I don't have final numbers for the entire club, but we managed several hundred contacts over the course of about 18 hours. I bagged 20-ish using PSK31, a common digital mode, on 20, 40, and 80 meters. 20 was a zoo and it was hard to be heard amongst the din of digital whistles, 40 was too quiet – only made one contact there, but 80 was a lot of fun. Ah hey, the whole thing was good.
I think the whole "field" part happening in late June works better in more northern climes. Considering that this largely originated in New England, it kind of makes sense. However, we're making up for it with several fall-winter-early spring Club campouts. It fits in better with the local climate, and is a lot more pleasant.
Field Day is OK, but to tell you the truth I think that cool weather camping is more my style. Still, something different, something fun.