CUARC’s First Field Day
Well it has been a week since Field Day (FD) and so it is time I gave a report on how it went.
As previously mentioned I have been involved in establishing an amateur radio club at the university where I work. For this FD, the first one for the club, the Carleton University Amateur Radio Club (CUARC) teamed up with the Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club (OVMRC). Since February there have been 14 new amateurs licensed through CUARC so here was a chance for these newcomers to gain some operational experience and to mix with some very experienced amateurs in the OVMRC.
The site was the very front of the grounds of the Canada Science and Technology Museum, by the lighthouse. We ran a 4A operation as VA3RAM and the CUARC contribution was a 100W SSB station on 10m and 15m. CUARC used two antennas, an off-centre fed dipole and two nested full-wave vertical loops for 15m and 10m. These were built by the students, the dipole prior to FD and the loops on the day. The antenna building was a good exercise, translating theory into practice and the antennas had low SWRs on the required bands of 10m and 15m when checked with my Autek antenna analyzer. There was quite a lot of interest in the antennas from other amateurs and I will describe these in detail in a later post.
On Saturday 10m was open so operations started on that and it was great to see the thrill the CUARC members had when making contacts on the antennas they had built. As the afternoon wore on there was a move to 15m. CUARC members mixed with the OVMRC members and were given the opportunity to run the other stations. A great report on this is given in a post on Bob’s, VA3QV, blog.
Field Day is a good time to get operating experience and some of the CUARC members took this opportunity, others were a little ‘mic shy’. One notable operator was Campbell, VA3CNS, who did an excellent job at calling CQ on 15m and logging stations one after another. He was almost running a pile-up for a while. Another highlight was Maria, VA3MMI, working 80m with Bob, VA3QV, and receiving some NTS for the International Space Station. This is detailed in Bob’s blog post. One contact that I made that pleased me was when I was manning Ernie’s, VE3EJJ, 40m station and I logged W1AW. Nice to work a station I had heard so often on CW.
The weather was a little damp and not too hot. Overall, not unpleasant weather which helped to make the 24 hours manageable, even on only three hours sleep.
Overall a great FD and very enjoyable.
Special thanks to Ziad El-Khatib,VA3ZEK, for most of the photographs.