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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Field Day Is

Craig Buck (K4IA) on July 4, 2006
View comments about this article!


Field Day Is

By: Craig “Buck”

K4IA

Fredericksburg, Virginia

Some may gripe that Field Day has turned into a contest, that it is not a good measure of emergency preparedness or that we are setting up in the “wrong” places, etc. Not I.

Nothing matches the buzz and excitement of Field Day. I still remember my first one in 1965 -under the stars lulled to sleep by the sound of CW. Although I was out of ham radio for 30 years, I am a kid all over again in anticipation. It is like Christmas: on the day after, I am already looking forward to next year.

What's it all about? Why is Field Day so popular?

Field Day is a learning experience. Here's your chance to see new ideas, modes or equipment in operation. Find out what works and what doesn't work. Compare rigs side-by-side for their strengths and weaknesses. Never seen ATV, packet, meteor contacts, transverters, PSK, NVIS antennas or computer logging? We've had or tried them all. Marvel at the high speed CW operators. Stand in awe of the 110 foot tower bristling with UHF/VHF antennas all erected in a few hours. Shoot wires into tall trees with your slingshot. Watch the struggle of supporting an 80 meter extended double zepp (300 feet long). Learn how to say “catenary” and vow to look it up later. Design and build a 40 meter Moxon. Try it out and have it work like a champ.

Sure we thought about it all ahead of time. That's called “planning” and the process is a skill also required for emergency preparedness. The BIG ONE may never happen, but every year, on Field Day, we get a chance to prove what can be done if it does. If I ever have to set up in an emergency, from home, the park or the mountaintop, I know what I need, I know how to do it and I know who in my club can provide the equipment and expertise to make it happen.

Field Day is about camaraderie. It is the time for our entire club to get together and cooperate on a common endeavor. Tempers must be controlled, differences put aside, words chosen with care - all skills that will serve well in an emergency. We relax and swap stories about the one that got away. We debate the hot topics of propagation, antenna design, and all the things ARRL does right or wrong. Together we curse the rain/sun/bugs/cold/heat and praise the lack of rain/sun/bugs/cold/heat. We abandon our bunker mentality, come out of our caves and help each other.

Field Day is a chance to share amateur radio with the community. Here is a story here that never fails to fascinate the public and local officials. They all think we are crazy and we get a chance to prove them right (or wrong depending only on the perspective). Newspaper articles and TV news abound. Visitors stop their cars and get out to watch. They peek over your shoulder and ask questions just when you are trying to dig one out of the QRM, “How did you get that wire up in the tree?” Even a remote mountaintop brings a story for the folks back home.

Can I point to single person who got hooked into ham radio at Field Day? Probably not, except for this one 16 year old kid who went to his first Field Day in 1965, slept under the stars and learned about a hobby that will carry him into old age. Sure, he took off for 30 years but he came back. The Field Day experience remains as fresh, new and exciting as it ever was.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Field Day Is  
by KA5VCQ on July 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
If it weren't for Field Day, then I might not have become a ham at the age of 12. I ran across a FD setup in the local park and one of the operators invited me over to the tent. I was hooked on sight.

That was over 22 years ago and I still get excited when Field Day comes around. My time off is very limited with my current job but I still got on the air this year from home.

73,

Korey--KA5VCQ/3
Towanda, PA
 
Field Day Is  
by WL7CMG on July 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
FB Craig...Glad you're back...!!! Thanks, and here's to next Field Day...!!!
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by K0IZ on July 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I think Field Day is great.

W0ERH, Johnson County (Kansas)Radio Amateur Club.

A number of local hams that are not involved with our club (or any other), stopped by. Maybe some will get more active as a result.

Several of our Tech class hams operated the GOTA station to good advantage. Their enthusiasm for ham radio took a leap upward.

We worked with the local sheriff's communications dept, and used their portable tower. Their people got experience in setting it up.

A new, homebrew, emergency power pack with UPS and big battery was used for the first time.

Various type antennas were used, gaining experience in setting up, tuning, etc.

Many of the wives/girl friends came out for the BBQ dinner Sat evening. Helps spread the interest in/understanding of ham radio.

A number of the public visited our site. Some exposure resulted for ham radio.

Equipment was used under normal and adverse (stormy) conditions. Need for headphone adapters, coax connectors, soldering iron!!, etc caused us to make up more lists for next year.

Operators gained experience under adverse QRM conditions. Some operated CW for the first time in a long while.

Members who coordinated the event got experience in planning, implementing.

And it was just plain fun!!!

NOT BAD FOR ONE EVENT.

John.

 
RE: Field Day Is  
by KG4RUL on July 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Link to our Field Day Page:
http://home.comcast.net/~dzabawa/FieldDay.htm

This Field Day we had a Ham come to operate who is seldom seen or heard from one FD to the next. If nothing else, FD is a time to renew old acquaintances.

DEnnis KG4RUL
 
Field Day Is  
by K5CQB on July 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
It was my first field day with a club and I think we all had a pretty good time. It was very relaxed and I learned a lot about what I would need. We had couple of Tech's come out and participate and I hope this will encourage them to upgrade. We had a few setbacks (namely my 6m antenna which I got the measurments way off) but they were good learning experiences. I can't wait till next year, my goal is to operate solely on CW!

73,
K5CQB
 
Field Day Is  
by AI2IA on July 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Field Day is an annual opportunity you can count on for activity. You can plan for it. You can prepare for it. You can participate in it, not just in one way, but in many ways. You can vary your participation every year if you like. I count my years in amateur radio by my field day pins - one for each year. It is a time when you know you will make a contact. I suppose you could say that Field Day is a time when you can put all of amateur radio into your activities over one short period of time. Now I look forward to next year, and I hope all of you do, too!
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by W2RDD on July 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
One of the best and nicest testiments on contemporary field days I've read recently. And, I don't think it contained a single reference on preparing for invasion by the enemy-du-jour.

Congratulations and thanks for a pleasant, and even nostalgic, article.
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by W3LK on July 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Well said, Craig!

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by K8MHZ on July 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Marvelous story!

Well written and very touching.

To me, you have summed it up well.

73,

Mark K8MHZ
 
Field Day Is  
by K1CJS on July 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Nice story. It's too bad that there are so many of those 'other' type people at some field day sites. You know the type--its my way or the highway. If only everyone out there were like the people who this story is referring to. Sigh......
 
Field Day Is  
by WR1TX on July 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
If it wasn't for FD I would not have become the active ham that I am today, nor would I have learned as much as I have.

To me, FD is a sacred event; it started me on my way in ham radio...and for that I am ever grateful. I participate in the event regardless if it is for a club or for myself, to turn in a log or just to hand out points and pointers.

FD may be a contest to some; FD to me is an event that I will never miss...no matter what.

73 and see you next year for FD 2007!

WR1TX
 
Field Day Is .....................................  
by WA2JJH on July 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Nice artical!
I loved every field day I was in. (well one rain fest did soak an ebay special rig)

Best one fer me was 17 years ago. I used an old original TS-520. The original TS-520 had a fantastic voltage inverter for the 3 tubes in it.

I simply used a long wire and a loaned Drake antenna tuner.

Today, my K2, ATU, and a long wire, resulted a feast of DX.

I might try Solar power the next time. One can get decent panels on ebay. 15V array float charging a $29 5 amp batt. from Rad shack might work well.
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by W6TH on July 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
.

How about me telling of the good old days of field day.

As an example of the year of 1930, when I was just a young tot of 8 years of age, hung up on cw only. Well here is what field day was back in the 30's for a short sample.

The receiver was a Armstrong one tube detector and a pair of Brandes ear phones. The power was a 1 1/2 volt battery for the filament. The plate voltage was a 45 volt battery. The antenna was a random length of 25 to 35 feet.

The transmitter was a single 01A tube in a tuned grid tuned plate exciter, using 5 volts for the filament and a power pack of a 45 volt battery in series with a 90 volt battery for a total of 135 volts on the plate of the TGTP.

We hams didn't call them power supplies back then, but we called them power packs. The antenna was a half wave length antenna and fed with a single wire off center fed for the 80 meter band. The height of the installation was maybe at 15 feet or so. CW was either a straight key or a Vibroplex bug. Most of the traffic was sending messages the National traffic System and was more inclined for the skill of sending and receiving emergency traffic. Sometimes it rained and all that was needed was to cover the ham station with tarps and the ham operator. There were no soda pops, hot dawgs, grilled bbQ, just good old fashioned ham on the bands.

Oh for the good old days.

If I am not bashed on this one, I may have a better one next time as to what and who these operators were of the past. Something to think about.

73 de the old sox, W6TH.
.:
 
Field Day Is  
by KX0R on July 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Craig,

This was a refreshingly positive post! Field Day is always special for me. In 1963 some older hams in Lawrence, Kansas, allowed me, the teenager staying at a summer science camp at KU, to come into their emergency trailer and see their Field Day setup. Later they invited me to sit down in front of a big Johnson Viking, tune up, and operate 20M CW with a shiny Vibroplex bug - my first time with one. What a moment that was...I think we all amazed each other. What a way to step out of your shell! Those guys weren't trying to make a lot of points, and they were delighted to have someone who cared to operate - I stuck with it for quite a while, growing up a lot that evening.

In recent years Field Day is an excuse for me to design and build new antennas and other gear. This year I used EZNEC to create a 20 & 40 meter Bird yagi made of wire and dacron line; at FD in Wyoming, I had the thrill of hitting lots of East Coast stations with my 5 watts and having most of them come right back!

Field Day is a special time, and our experiences and motives vary over a wide range. Our hobby is the same way. One thing I have learned from FD is that you only grow when you push the envelope and step out of your comfort zone.

Carey
KX0R
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by KB4YKJ on July 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Unfortunately the field day I attended was nothing more than a contest. Only about 10-12 turned up but that could be due to the unpopularity of the club.
 
Field Day Is  
by AI2IA on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
To those who may have had a less enjoyable field day than they had hoped for, I offer this suggestion: You can participate in Field Day anyway you like. Be creative. If you were with a group who ran it in an unpleasant way, next time get together with just one or two friends. Go to a park and do it your way. If it suits your fancy, operate out of your backyard or go to some outdoor spot by yourself. Handle as many or as few contacts as you see fit. Put up any kind of antenna you want. Use any transceiver and band that pleases you. You see, the nice thing about Field Day is that this one is entirely up to you. It is completely what you make it for yourself, so make sure you have fun. It is about fun first and preparedness second, because it is Field Day. Above all be resilient. When it comes to your ham radio, remember that you're the boss!
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by AB9LX on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
This year has been my second field day. One thing that I did not enjoy,,, some band captains would make you wait while they are in the middle of a "pile up" while THEY make the contacts,,, then my son is allowed a chance to make a call when it gets quiet and no-one is on the air. Besides that the other events were fun, they had a NEXT GEN tent and my son was able to make a flashlight, go on a scavenger hunt to each of the tents, play a few games and was even involved in putting up a quick dipole for the 15 meter tent in which the original dipole was not working properly. Overall, the two field days were fun and my son is still wanting to join in next year. Oh by the way he did finally get to try the radio and made a contact. He gets on the air with me all the time, he just thought it was "kewl" to get on the air from a tent!
 
Field Day Is  
by KI6LO on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I have always found the positive far outweigh the negatives when it comes to Field Day. I really enjoy getting out with the gang and setting up the gear and interfacing with the visitors, especially the kids. It brings back lots of memories to see a kid's face light up when he or she hears a QSO to a far off place. I can still remember those days of when I could not wait to upgrade to get extra priviledges to do neat stuff. If you aren't having fun at Field Day, your doing something WRONG! It's not about fielding a million dollars worth of equipment and getting a bazillion points to claim top spot. It's about developing skills, enhancing friendships and introducing youngsters (and oldsters) to amateur radio. And possible positively influencing a young person's choice of a path for life. I know it did so for me.

Now having said all that, the only issue I have currently with Field Day is the timeframe. Living in the Mojave Desert we see some really high temps during the period from June thru September, sometimes well into the 100's or 110's. I know that for those in Northern climates, June is a god send of nice weather (usually). I have oftened wondered why Field Day could not be split into a summer operation (like we now have in June) and a winter operation (say January timeframe). Not only would it allow everyone to get different views of similar problems (setup vs weather, etc) it would also allow a bit of change in weather for the event. Think about it, not all events (ie disasters, etc) happen during nice sunny weather. Have you ever tried to drive a tent stake into frozen ground in 5 degree temps with a 40 knot wind blowing. Fun, huh!

Maybe your group would want to do both dates, but some groups/individuals could not make on one date but maybe could make the alternate dates. This would give various possibilities.

Just a thought.

Gene KI6LO
 
Field Day Is a contest with opportunity for more!  
by W9WHE-II on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Field Day IS a contest. Afterall, everybody is 5/9 and you earn points. That's a contest. It looks, feels, sounds and plays like a contest, because it is a contest.

HOWEVER, it can also be a learning/teaching/recruting opportunity. This alone makes it worthwhile.

W9WHE
 
RE: Field Day Is a contest with opportunity for mo  
by N5UV on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, I agree with W9WHE, Field Day IS a contest...otherwise, there wouldn't be a points system in place.

Contests are kinda like standardized tests in our public school system...they really aren't great for truely identifying a student's knowledge of subject matter, but they are the only means available to allow us to tell how well students did relative to everyone else...

But the ONE WAY Field Day differs is that we at least have the opportunity to make it more than just a contest...you can make Field Day into whatever you want it to be, whether it's just friends getting together, bring new hams into the hobby, etc.

Tnx. for the nice post, it's very refreshing given the number of complaint-pieces we've seen on eHam of late.

 
Field Day Is  
by TIMEPILOT84 on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
As someone who works with computers all day, I can say for a fact that it is important to test all of your touted capabilities every few months or so, even in unrealistic circumstances. Now, in my industry, this is primarily because vendor promises rarely meet the realities of their products, and it's crucial to know what the limits of these products capabilites. Even though lives aren't necessarily at stake, we have internal and external auditors that won't accept "well, it's supposed to work" for an answer.

Having a day where you head up to the hills and set up a working station, and confirm that your station will work is important, even if ostensibly, it is "just a game". There's a reason the military holds Wargames, and it's not just to win kudos.
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by NN6EE on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
That's what is so neat about FD you can "make of it anything you want!" A full-blown contest? Sure! Go for it! A emergency preparedness exercise? Be our guest OB!
A 24 hour plus "eating/drinking binge? Where'd I leave the ice-chest and hope there's plenty of beers and sodas in it!!! A social event meeting old friends and making new ones as well? Absolutely!!!

The above descriptions of it's allure are proof-positive that "Field-Day" is a huge favorite for EVERYBODY!!!

Jim/ee
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by NI0C on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
To K4IA: Thanks much for this fine article, which captures the spirit of Field Day.

To KA5VCQ: Corey, I recall working you this FD from K9YA. Thanks for the call!

To W9WHE: Signal reports are not part of the standard FD exchange.

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
Field Day Is  
by N0AH on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
If not for Field Day, 36.08329% of Eham Article space would be empty
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by NN6EE on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
NI0C!!!

You're correctamundo!!!

THE ONLY CONTEST EXCHANGE IN FIELD DAY is something like
"tnx ur 1E EB (Eastbay)!!!

NOTHING ELSE!!!

Jim/ee
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by W6TH on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
.
Field day is a give or take proposition which gives many to complain about.

Contest or no contest field day gets all classes of licenses on the air and away from the computers.

More contests are needed and should be one contest for each day of the week, this keeps the bands occupied.

ARRL, we the hams of America need more contests, more for ssb and less for cw.

.:
 
Field Day Is  
by KK9H on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I couldn't have said it better. I love Field Day for all the reasons mentioned.
 
Field Day Is "what you want it to be".  
by W8KQE on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
'Field Day' is indeed a learning experience for many, and an exercise in emergency preparedness. There are also many operators who couldn't care less about racking up 'contest points', but are in it for the fun, learning, and interest. I, for one, have participated in competitive multi-op FD groups in the past, but now simply enjoy the fun and relaxation of setting up a single 'emergency battery powered' backyard patio station rig, with a dipole or vertical thrown up in a few minutes. Not for the sole purpose of winning a contest, but for giving out some points and making 'laid back contacts' for the fun of it. The portable car charger battery usually gives me a full day of Xmit and Xceive when I throttle back the output power to 40 to 50 watts.
 
Field Day Is  
by KE4ZHN on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Field Day is a great learning experience for sure. Personally, I dont care for the contest like operation of it but it does provide many hams the ability to learn other modes and how to set up portable stations and antennas. This is worth while in itself. The sharing of knowledge and camaraderie between fellow hams. Good stuff.
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by WA4DOU on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Bravo Craig!

This year I decided to try something different: Operated 1B-Battery with QRP, a marine battery and a ground mounted vertical with a few radials. I'm growing more towards the minimalist philosophy in FD setup,operation and teardown. 9 hours and 21 mins. of operation produced 216 cw qso's for a score of 2160. Looking for similiarly inspired individuals to do it again next year.
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by WA4DOU on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Bravo Craig!

This year I decided to try something different: Operated 1B-Battery with QRP, a marine battery and a ground mounted vertical with a few radials. I'm growing more towards the minimalist philosophy in FD setup,operation and teardown. 9 hours and 21 mins. of operation produced 216 cw qso's for a score of 2160. Looking for similiarly inspired individuals to do it again next year.
 
Field Day Is  
by WA1RNE on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
My first Field Day was in 1975 as part of a large Boston metro area club effort. There were stations on 80, 40, 20, 15, 6 SSB/AM and 2 SSB/AM. No WARC bands back then.


For HF gear there was a Drake 4B line, Swan station, a Collins station, Heathkit SB301/401 to name a few.


On VHF, there was an SB110 for 6 meters SSB. On 2 meter AM, we used a 5 watt Heathkit HW-30, a.k.a the famous Two'er "Lunchbox" rig. I think we had one on 6 as well.


There were 3 element yagis for 20, 15, 6, and 2 and slopers for 80 and 40.


The club also had a seperate Novice station set up, consisting of a Heathkit DX-60 and Drake R-4A - which yours truely manned proudly for most of the 21 or so hours I stayed awake, sometimes manning the 40 meter SSB station with a General or better operator or the VHF stations.


10 years later with more of those club experiences under my belt (and a couple of license upgrades), a friend and I set up our own Field Day event at a local site about 255 feet above sea level. (considered fairly high terrain in Massachusetts.) To locals, the site was also known as "The Nike Site", one of many Nike-Ajax air defense missile sites deployed around the state in the 50's.


We used 2 Yaesu FT-101B's and 6 meter transverter, 2 FM rig, a 3 element tribander, 6 and 2 meter yagis.

The highlight of the event and the one that took the most planning was a full sized halfwave vertical on 75 and 80 meters via an 8 foot weather balloon. Power was via 10 Kw generator from our local Civil Defense agency who sponsored the event. Yes, it was way overkill but available.


Over the years, we managed to come up with a few more creative Field Day events like this. The progression towards planning and creating our own event was terrific experience and would recommend that other hams try it at least once.


73, Chris
 
Field Day Is  
by W8LGZ on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
VERY good article Buck! I agree completely. Here's one more who joined Amateur Radio via FD...ME. My Uncle, KC8KL (WD8PVA, then)invited me to operate FD with him in 1980. Well, Jan. 1981 I obtained my Novice ticket. Loved it ever since!

73, Jim -W8LGZ
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by K6CU on July 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
WA4DOU:

Did the same thing here. QRP (HW-8). Battery. Solar panel. Hamstick on a tripod.

Yes, there is a certain "contest" aspect to FD, but if there wasn't, the participation level would clearly be less.

So, have fun. Eat burgers. Work as many stations as you can (contest?). And, just maybe, have some idea of just how well you could perform if your FD setup was the only available source of communication.
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by W9WHE-II on July 6, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
W6TH writes:

"More contests are needed and should be one contest for each day of the week, this keeps the bands occupied"


If there was one contest a week, there would be a lot FEWER hams. Next to arrl's efforts to "dumbing down" the hobby, I can't think of anything more devisive then contesting.

W9WHE


 
Field Day Is  
by W5ESE on July 6, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Excellent post.

This year, I celebrated the 30th anniversary of my
first participation in Field Day, as well as the
30th anniversary of my becoming a Radio Amateur.

I participated this year with a local ARES group,
class 2F (plus a GoTA station), from a local fire
station near San Marcos, TX. We used my call, and
KD5MMM for the GoTA call.

I set up some QRP rigs (80m and 20m Ten-Tec TKIT
1300 series rigs, a 40m Small Wonder Labs SW+, and
a 15m MFJ Cub), powered at times from a gel cell
or a small power supply. I think most of the folks
had never seen these simple, analog, sub-$100 QRP
rigs. Or anyone making a CW contact, for that
matter.

I operated 100% CW, all on simple, low current-
consuming QRP rigs with no PLLs or digital
displays. Good fun.

73
Scott
W5ESE
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by K1OU on July 6, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
So what if some people think it's a contest? It's a great time, not to mention a great sociological study.

How's this for an idea: reserve an area of each band for ragchewers and medicare nets only, and contesters can have the rest of the band?

Afterall, the idea has been mentioned before to have contesters reserved to a cerain area of the band, so in reverse, it makes about as much sense to me!
 
Field Day Is  
by N5XM on July 6, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Tnx, Craig, great stuff. I like the opportunity to be around my fellow Hams, and having the chance to positively influence newer Hams. I enjoy lending a hand setting up, and just the process of working with others is a good thing for our hobby, and for us as individuals. You've heard of the chicken and the egg? Field Day is the chicken AND the egg because you can do it all! Just enjoy yourself, and don't worry about what others like or don't like. Have a good time.
 
Field Day Is  
by KI6ADA on July 6, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Being a Technician and transmitting on my own HF rig. I used the K6BW (club)call sign. I think it got me motivated to get my General ticket. I hope next year I can practice before field day and work a few pileups? See you soon on HF!
73,/Steve
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by KA4KOE on July 7, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Taking my 7 year old son Jordan with me for his first field day...watching him throw wires up in a tree like daddy...sleeping with a Heathkit field strength meter in place of his stuffed doggie.

Thats my boy....he's got it REAL BAD.

PHILIP
 
Field Day Is  
by K6YE on July 7, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Great article and feedback. I went out with the Mile High DX club, here in Colorado, this year (after not being able to participate for two years) and it was a blast! After 45 years of hamming, I had the opportunity to use a great PC program for CW. This makes contesting three notches easier.

I have only missed 4 Field Day outings in 45 years. It is a great non-pressure way to contest, meet new people, and hone one's operating skills sans pressure.
Youn can bet your bippy I will be there next year. Now for CQWW CW! Rock on!

Semper Fi,

Tommy - K6YE
DX IS
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by NN6EE on July 7, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Gentlemen!!!

Obviously W9WHE's comments were coming from a very IGNORANT PERSON!!!

If he spent less time ragging on others out here on "eHam" and spent more time operating on HF then maybe he'd come to appreciate the VAST privileges given to him and QUIT BITCH'N!!!

Jim/nn6ee
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by NL7W on July 7, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Field Day is...

�one of the best, if not the best, ham radio event of the year. Why do you say? Because thousands from all over the country and walks of life (ham or not) in this operating and social event. It's an event where new friend are made and old acquaintances are renewed. And for the most part, it's normally held in America�s great outdoors -- where it should be.

Field day really is the best event of the year.

73.
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by NL7W on July 7, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Let's try this again...

Field Day is...

...one of the best, if not the best, ham radio event of the year. Why do you say? Because thousands from all over the country and walks of life (ham or not) take part in this operating and social event. It's an event where new friend are made and old acquaintances are renewed. And for the most part, it's normally held in America's great outdoors -- where we should all be this time of year (even here in Alaska).

Field day really is the best event of the year.

73.
 
Field Day Is  
by WR1TX on July 7, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Field Day is certainly what YOU make of it, and not what others want you to make it (unless you agree with them).

As for me, I make FD what I it to be. This year it was with a club. Last year I used my own station from my shack. Next year, who knows? I may participate from a park or some other public place. The possibilities are truly endless.

For next year I want to try to do Field Day using only battery power (no generators, no commercial mains). That's part of FD: experimentation. See how far you can go with the limitations you might already have or impose on yourself.

Once again I say, FD is what you make it. As others have said, if you want it to be a contest then do it. If you want to simply test your emcomm capabilities, then fine. It really doesn't matter; Field Day is what you yourself truly make of it.

Trashing the event in this thread and other similar ones like it elsewhere just doesn't do it justice in my own humble opinion. For those who don't like FD, do something else...like underwater basket weaving. Just don't hold your breath as you do it...;>)

73 to all,
Warren / WR1TX
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by WA2JJH on July 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
often is a good time as an equilizer.

!)Nobody has a 4KW in HENRY export or any great amplification.

2)One gets to see operator-N-rig working.

3)Simple antenna's seem to be the norm.

Gee..we may even help each other out.

4)Field day is great for experiencing great improvisation.

5)Field day is fun...however it can really show how hams can provide emergency communications.

6) Field day is a chance to try micropower transceivers thay you built.

7)Feild day is great for trying alternative power sources.

8)Field day can emulate, similate, and explore emergent conditions.

9)Feild day is a good day to introduce HAM RADIO .

10) Its fun.......:) unless WX is $%$%&%$&$ then ):I
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by WA2JJH on July 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
often is a good time as an equilizer.

!)Nobody has a 4KW in HENRY export or any great amplification.

2)One gets to see operator-N-rig working.

3)Simple antenna's seem to be the norm.

Gee..we may even help each other out.

4)Field day is great for experiencing great improvisation.

5)Field day is fun...however it can really show how hams can provide emergency communications.

6) Field day is a chance to try micropower transceivers thay you built.

7)Feild day is great for trying alternative power sources.

8)Field day can emulate, similate, and explore emergent conditions.

9)Feild day is a good day to introduce HAM RADIO .

10) Its fun.......:) unless WX is $%$%&%$&$ then ):I
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by WA2JJH on July 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
often is a good time as an equilizer.

!)Nobody has a 4KW in HENRY export or any great amplification.

2)One gets to see operator-N-rig working.

3)Simple antenna's seem to be the norm.

Gee..we may even help each other out.

4)Field day is great for experiencing great improvisation.

5)Field day is fun...however it can really show how hams can provide emergency communications.

6) Field day is a chance to try micropower transceivers thay you built.

7)Feild day is great for trying alternative power sources.

8)Field day can emulate, similate, and explore emergent conditions.

9)Feild day is a good day to introduce HAM RADIO .

10) Its fun.......:) unless WX is $%$%&%$&$ then ):I
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by KC8VWM on July 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
F riendly
I nsightful
E nthusiastic
L onging
D iplomatic

D uel
A bsolutely
Y es!

:)
 
Field Day Is  
by KG4OHE on July 10, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
My Ham Radio Birthday!

I passsed my first License Exam on Field Day Morning and was out helping string up antennas in a park with the local club that afternoon.

Have looked forward to FD every year and I participate with both the local clubs that I belong to.

FD is one of the best things about Ham Radio.

Bill-WF1L
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by K1CJS on July 10, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
NN6EE said:

"Obviously W9WHE's comments were coming from a very IGNORANT PERSON!!!

If he spent less time ragging on others out here on "eHam" and spent more time operating on HF then maybe he'd come to appreciate the VAST privileges given to him and QUIT BITCH'N!!!"

Jim, I've seen over time that he does twist and blow things out of proportion, then crys about them, so to speak. That's why I say he's got the perfect call:
W9WHinE! Now I just ask if he wants any cheese with his WHinE. 73!
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by W9WHE-II on July 10, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"Obviously W9WHE's comments were coming from a very IGNORANT PERSON!!!"

Ignorance?
I'm the guy that took the time to obtain NN6EE's HILARIOUS response the FCC inquiry that referenced the 23 "instances" of a poorly engineered signal, base and mobile. You should take the time to read it before calling others "ignorant".

W9WHE
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by K1OU on July 10, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
....a great excuse to drink heavily and get away from the wife for an evening, not to mention play radio!
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by VE3VWX on July 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I like the idea of a contest once a week that would be nice!

In reality maybe something once a month or a few times a year. Field day is great, but a whole year is just too long to wait.

As for contesting, anyone who takes contesting and their results seriously, not to mention gets bitter over their own or someone elses results has far too much spare time on their hands.

The group I spend field day with does not even send in our results even though they are very good. We just want to have fun!

73!
 
Field Day Is  
by KK0I on July 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Yes indeed, the Field Day Bug bit me too. I have been a ham since 1974. Got bit by the bug back then from an ad on the military post I was stationed looking for students for a novice class. I was a morse intercept op in the service and had just returned from a tour overseas. I thought, "Hey, this could be a fun hobby." Well the rest was history.

About 20 years ago, I had to move because of my job. It hurt me to take my entire station down with all the time and effort I had put into it. When I moved, my interest had diminished as my new location would not allow me to put up an antenna. About four years ago, I moved to a newer home. My interest in ham radio had only taken on 2 mtrs at best.

Well, now turn the page to today...I attended our local ham radio club's field day a few weeks ago to help work the CW station....and wham...I was bitten again! Just purchased a newer rig and will be putting up an inverted vee in the next week or two....back at 'er again!

Renewed interest in CW and ham radio...
Jack Hill
KK0I
Appleton WI
 
RE: Field Day Is  
by KK5CA on July 12, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
From someone who has worked up to 20 contests a year, and who won 1st Place, Single Operator, Low Power, South Texas Section in the 1996 ARRL DX CW contest, Field Day is not a contest. Field Day is an operating event with some characteristics that are similar to
contests. My Toyota Tacoma pickup has some characteristics that are similar to a Bugatti Veyron, but that does not make it one. Just because I choose to believe something does not make it reality.

If someone chooses to ignore the sponsor, I suppose they can construe the purpose of any event to be what ever they want it to be.

In the opening sentence of the 2006 ARRL Field Day package, Contest Branch Manager, Dan Henderson N1ND, wrote:
-----Not long ago, a couple of friends were asking me some Field Day related questions. One of them, a hard-core contester, was relating that propagation had really hurt their score in 2005 and cost them a chance at "winning" Field Day in their category. I think he was a bit surprised at my response, which was "Well, that shouldn't have been the case. The number of QSOs you make during Field Day is really the least important part of Field Day. The majority of a successful Field Day happens before the first QSO is ever logged."

On page 12 of that package, the Field Day Overview section says:
-----Field Day is officially an operating event rather than a contest. The purpose remains today as it did in the beginning: to demonstrate the communications ability of the amateur radio community in simulated emergency situations.

It continues:
-----Officially, Field Day is not a contest.

And:
-----The success of Field Day is not determined by finishing first in your category or with "bragging rights" over your cross-town rival.

The Field Day Bulletin included this sentence:
-----DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP IN THE CHASE FOR POINTS DURING THIS ACTIVITY.

The operators, and there were many of them, who were calling "CQ contest" (CQ TST on CW) were in error. Those who were calling "CQ Field Day" (CQ FD) were correct.

Contest participants can be disqualified for having too many duplicate contacts and for logging errors that affect their score by more than a specified percentage. Disqualified entries are often listed as check logs at the end of the contest results. This is a common statement:
-----If the claimed score of a participant is reduced by 2% or more, the entry may be disqualified. Score reduction may be made for taking credit for unconfirmed QSOs or multipliers, duplicate contacts
or other scoring discrepancies. If a paper entry with more than two-percent duplicate contacts left in the log is detected, it will be automatically disqualified.

Increasingly, contests require a complete log of all contacts in the Cabrillo format, which are extensively checked for errors and against other competitors (did you work each other as claimed?). These log files are how the duplicate contacts and scoring errors are determined. Field Day entries only require a dupe sheet, not a complete log file, and only a summary of the scoring activities.

Sponsor provided awards are an integral part of all contests. There are not any awards of any type offered by the sponsor for participation in Field Day. This is a common award statement for ARRL contests, which is not in the Field Day rules.
-----AWARDS: Certificates will be awarded to the top high power and low power Single Operator and Multioperator scorers in each ARRL/RAC Section, and to the top high power and low power Single Operator and Multioperator scorers in each DXCC country (other than W/VE). Plaques, if sponsored, will be awarded to the top scoring low and high power entrant in each category overall, each ARRL Division, and Canada.

Among the popular Amateur Radio operating events, only Field Day makes it possible to get several thousand points by working on what are called the bonus points. Some Field Day groups find this more
productive than focusing exclusively on making QSOs. It takes a lot of 1 and 2 point QSOs to equal the 1,000-2,000 available bonus points. Contests are all about making lots of contacts, and do not have bonus points available for demonstrating Amateur Radio
capability to the public.

We keep score during the annual Simulated Emergency Test. I doubt many of us think of the SET as a contest. A numerical score is a convenient method to quantify or measure success or improvement.

Field Day is not a contest, although it does have many of the characteristics of a contest. It fails to meet the criteria to be a contest in many important ways.

Jerry
KK5CA
 
RE: Field Day Is an arrl CONTEST  
by W9WHE-II on July 12, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I am amazed by the number of hams that deny reality. During FD, you compete, earn points, tell everybody they are 5/9, then submit your logs to the contest sponsor. And yet hams continue to deny that FD is a contest. Amazing. I guess it depends on what the definition of "IS" is.

Whatever else FD might be, its a contest. Does it have positive qualities, sure. But its still a contest.

 
RE: Field Day Is an arrl CONTEST  
by NI0C on July 12, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Absolutely-- FD is a contest. W9WHE is correct on this. Look on the ARRL web page, click on "operating activites," then on "contests," then on "results." Field Day is there.

However, W9WHE cannot claim to have been QRM'ed by Field Day contesters, because he keeps saying (even after being corrected on this point) that "5/9" is part of the FD exchange. Obviously he's not been operating during a recent Field Day contest.

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
RE: Field Day Is an arrl CONTEST  
by WA2JJH on July 12, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
It can be a contest of points...yes that is a fact.

I like the contest of setting up and breaking down a NVIS systems faster and better than the dude that brings his ICOM 7800,car and driver! :():

However my Breitling B-1 does have UTC, timer,3 alarms,3 times zones, and night vision compatible display.

Simply great for using other peoples rigs while they are sleeping off all the Barf dogs and stale bear!

Just kidding. However if you want to talk about competition......:)
 
RE: Field Day Is an arrl CONTEST  
by WA2JJH on July 12, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
It can be a contest of points...yes that is a fact.

I like the contest of setting up and breaking down a NVIS systems faster and better than the dude that brings his ICOM 7800,car and driver! :():

However my Breitling B-1 does have UTC, timer,3 alarms,3 times zones, and night vision compatible display.

Simply great for using other peoples rigs while they are sleeping off all the Barf dogs and stale bear!

Just kidding. However if you want to talk about competition......:)
 
RE: Field Day Is an arrl CONTEST  
by W9WHE-II on July 13, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
NI0C writes:

"Obviously he's not been operating during a recent Field Day contest"

Very true. I don't do contests! And that includes FD, because ITS A CONTEST!
 
RE: Field Day Is an arrl CONTEST  
by K1OU on July 13, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
It's a contest. SO WHAT? Deal with it!
 
RE: Field Day Is an arrl CONTEST  
by NI0C on July 13, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I enjoy contests. In fact if FD were not competitive, I would not have driven 600 miles round-trip to participate with my favorite Field Day group the past two years.

Although W9WHE and I disagree vehemntly about the value of contests, his point about hams denying reality was very well taken. This includes ARRL, that apparently talks out of both sides of its mouth concerning Field Day as contest. Although my FD group earned nearly 1000 "bonus points," the vast majority of our total points were made by digging in and making QSO's on the air-- that's what it is really all about. I'm proud of our efforts, and look forward to seeing our club callsign near the top of the heap for the 1A category in this years results.

73,
Chuck NI0C


 
RE: Field Day Is an arrl CONTEST  
by KK5CA on July 13, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Unlike real contests, sending in a "log" is NOT required for a Field Day entry. Only a band-by-band dupe sheet of call signs worked is required. On a separate sheet, the entrant summarizes their bonus and QSO points.

Real contests want the log file, most often in Cabrillo format, so they can check them for entry errors and cross check the top scorers in each entry class. None of this standard practice for real contests happens with Field Day.

Jerry
KK5CA
 
RE: Field Day Is an arrl CONTEST  
by NI0C on July 13, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Jerry, I appreciate these distinctions concerning FD scoring. The way I see it, FD is a still a contest, though, as you point out, it is based more on an honor system. When the ARRL refers to "official" contests, and you refer to "real" contests, I think this is quibbling just a bit.

73 & GL in all your contests!

Chuck NI0C
 
RE: Field Day Is an arrl CONTEST  
by W9WHE-II on July 13, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Whether you choose to send in your log or not, has nothing to do with whether or not FD is a contest.

The question is whether its a formal competition with rules that define the winner. On those points, there is no denying that FD is a contest. Having said that, as much as I hate contests, I must admit that FD has other redeming qualities. Certainly more then the average "contest".
 
RE: Field Day Is an arrl CONTEST  
by K1OU on July 13, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah, it gives people something to talk about ad nauseum.....
 
Field Day Is  
by W4SK on July 15, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
The REAL question is, when will WA2JJH (whoever it is) learn how to post here without posting twice?
 
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