Field Day and sleep?

Field Day 2012 for W2LJ was not to be, so far.

I went down and helped my sister clean out my Mom’s apartment as scheduled.  That was planned and was no big deal – in fact, I enjoyed spending some “alone time” with my big sister.  As we both have our own families now, that just doesn’t happen often enough.

The plan to go down to the Sarnoff Radio Club Field Day site got “kiboshed”, however.  Actually, my sister drove me past the site at around 11:00 AM as we were driving to Princeton to donate some paperback books.  I didn’t see anyone setting up at that point and had planned to stop by later, on my way home.

Of course, shortly thereafter, while packing items in the apartment, my cell phone went off – work. They were looking for a Cisco 9513 switch and line cards for an emergency switch replacement and “could I stick around close, on standby” just in case they needed me to come in and help them locate components?

So after our cleaning session ended, I hurried home just to be available, if needed.  Luckily, I wasn’t needed; but it did put a damper on my plans.

But in the evening, during my weekly Echolink session with my good friend Bob W3BBO, he mentioned his visits to some Field Day sites today and that he might visit a few more tomorrow.  Then it hit me!  Tomorrow!  Maybe tomorrow, when I am back down there, I can hit the Sarnoff site for a half hour or so. And that is assuming they’re still set up.  I know Field Day runs until 2:00 PM; but I know some clubs like to call it quits early.

So for a bit, I lived Field Day vicariously through Matt W1MST’s AmateurRadio.com, where he’s running some UStream of a couple of Field Day sites.  I was watching KC2RA for a couple of minutes when one of the guys mentioned setting up his tent so that he could sleep tonight.

Sleep on Field Day?  What is that, he asked, smiling knowingly?

When I was an officer with the Piscataway club (and was still single, BTW), I did my best to be there for set up, the whole event, and a good part of tear down.  I remember quite a few years where sleep on Field Day was nothing more than a few minutes of cat napping in Rich W2PQ’s pop up camber or Bill W2WK’s trailer. C’mon, man!  We’re there to operate, not sleep!  Who can hit the sack when there’s CW contacts to be made on 80 and 40!

Of course, the end result was being rather bleary eyed and dysfunctional for work come Monday morning.  The other side effect was hearing Morse Code in your head for about 3 – 5 days later until that faded away.  But those were fun days and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for all the tea in China! (Ooops!  Am I still allowed to say that; or is that something the PC police are going to shut me down for?)

Hope you all are having a wonderful Field Day!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “Field Day and sleep?”

  • Preston kf5evv:

    The heat and no breeze kept me from really enjoying field day here in texas it was 105 in the shade with the heat index and its hard to get excited the way the propagation was

  • k8bec:

    Yea really. I got up yesterday morning at 6 am. Was able to get to field day site at around 3 pm. Operated till about 3 am when I took about a 15 minute nap. Was suprised also that 15 and 17 meters were pretty good. Worked Greece on 17m about 2 in the morning. The bands were hopping all day long.

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