WOW! That is all I can say about Field Day. WOW! If you missed it you missed one of the most exciting and fun Field Days in recent history. It all started off with GREAT Weather! Can you believe it was 66° at 7:00 am with clear skies. You could not ask for better weather all day and through the night. No need for a special cooling station and no need to run find tarps to cover equipment due to rain.
We got the weekend started off going over last minute plans and directions during breakfast at Denny's. From Denny's we departed in different directions heading out to take care of individual responsibilities. Mike Martin and Amberly headed over to pick up the tower trailer, while others headed to the park to start unloading and setting up equipment.
One of the most significant upgrades to this year's event was the addition of network logging and computer rig interfaces. This addition greatly simplified station operation as the band and mode was automatically entered into the log with information directly from the radio. The addition of a local area network also meant that the logs were automatically combined into a single log. This made duplicate checking much more accurate and often pre-populated section and class information when additional station contacts were made on different bands and modes. As with any technology, the network would sometimes lock up requiring a re-connection to the database. Once you learned how to do this it was quick and easy.
Like last year, the club operated again as a 2-Alpha class. Some members worried whether two stations would be enough for a club our size. What most folks don't realize is that the GOTA and the VHF stations don't count against your base class. In the end we had plenty of operating stations available for the members who wanted to operate. Hopefully, we will see an increase in the number of members wanting to operate next year and we will keep those radios humming during the entire 24 hour period.
Over the weekend, we had almost 100 people sign-in falling short by one person with 99 folks signing in. According to the sign-in sheets we had 63 members and 36 guest sign-in. We had a couple of other visitors stop by to check on us from the Olivette Police Department. They were working and did not sign in. We even had a member of the press Christian Cudnik from Ham Nation and the "100 Watts and a Wire podcasts." All in all, I would say that is a pretty good turn out for our Field Day.
At the present time, George Waddell our IT Committee Chair, reports that we made 692 contacts on Field Day. The breakdown of these contacts are as follows:
As I look forward to next year, I think this year is going to be hard to beat. The weather was the best that I have seen in 10+ years and the equipment worked as planning. Who knows, next year might surprise us even more.
DE K4LSU, Craig