My first ever field day is over…………

The Saturday afternoon sky
Not sure why but I have never taken part in any field day, I can remember there have been some years were I was busy. I have often seen field day setups as I drove from here to there but as I said I have never been involved in one. Well 2013 field day was my first I was not with a group from a club but did it on my own. Not because I'm not into clubs but was not sure if this year I would be busy doing other things as Julie's
Saturdays operating position
relatives are in from England. It turned out I was able to get some time in on Saturday and Sunday and I had a blast. I was operating search and pounce and was using my KX3 on battery power only. I did bring along my spare battery but did not have to use it either day. My antenna was a mobile whip and I stayed on 20m for the contest. I was reading on twitter how 10m and 15m were dead. Funny thing too I was also reading other twitter posts of how this was a field day with very little action on the bands. I found things to be very busy and I was always able to make a contact....well hear them but maybe not make the contact. It sure was a change to not have my PC with me during a contest. I was hand writing my log and also having to run down my contact list to see if I have worked the station already. I did get a few "worked B4" but that was due to the fact I was not able to see them in my log sheets. At the start of the contest I was getting asked to repeat my category almost every contact!! That told me I was for sure messing something up, turns out I was
Sundays spot...lunch time
Sundays weather
sending B1 and not 1B as a category....sorry to all those who I threw off at the start of the contest. Once I got the exchange sorted out all was going very well. The weather on Saturday was touch and go there was very severe weather clouds moving overhead all the time. I must say for the time I was out on Saturday I did not have rain at all. On Sunday it was once again very humid and HOT HOT!! The nice thing about Sunday was the bad weather seemed to had taken a good long break. On Sunday I went to a different spot, it was a nice park just north of me. I did have some folks stop by to see what I was up too but none hung around to long. When the contest was over I was on the air for only a total of 4 hours and I made 50 contacts CW only. I was operating at 4 watts on the internal batteries of the KX3.  I had a nice time and was able to give the Elecraft KX3 a good workout. So as I said this was my first ever Field day and I will for sure be putting this contest in the calender for next year.
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

8 Responses to “My first ever field day is over…………”

  • Alex, g7kse:

    I’m planning on doing my first the weekend after next. This time on VHF but I’m guessing I won’t be in the sun!

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Alex, do blog about the event and let me know what you think of the whole contesting thing!

  • John Mann-KK4ITN:

    Last time I went to field day was 1979 in Connecticut. I figured I needed to go this year. Well I picked up a friend ham and we headed over. We roamed around and saw some real neat set ups. We tried to strike up conversation but nothing but old guys talking in small groups to one another. We asked questions but most answers were short with no explanations. Over on a side table were a few handouts to prospective hams. After setting up they all just huddled and no one really spoke at all. I had asked a few questions about a certain antenna but the gentleman acted like he was too busy to answer, but turned and spoke to another man.
    Needless to say we left after about an hour. I think their club should be called the ‘private’ ______ County Amateur Radio Society.

  • Joe KB3PHL:

    John – KK4ITN. sorry to hear about your bad experience on Field Day. I really don’t understand why alot of older Hams are so rude & indifferent to younger Hams. They seem to forget that they were once young Hams too. They also forget that one of the purposes of Field Day is to promote Amateur Radio to the general public, so that they can learn about & become interested this great hobby that we Hams all love. Not all Ham clubs are like that so you should continue to attend more Field Day’s in the future & just avoid that old farts radio club.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning John, thanks for stopping by the blog and taking the time to comment. Great feedback and very honest. I must say I had the same situation happen to me as well. I was with my wife and she was not impressed at all. It was my first time I saw an Elecraft K2 in action. I asked some questions but was met with one word replies and more or less “I’m busy move it along”. I have not been to anymore FD’s but not for that reason just have always been busy. The little FD I did was on my own as it was a last minute thing.
    Having said all that I do believe people are all different and sure as shootin most if not all the blog folks I have met here on line are great hams. There has to be some of these ham’s at FD as well. I would as already has been said give it a go again. You may be surprised….

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Joe, I should take your advice as well I had the same FD experience as John did many years ago. It did not keep me from FD just a busy skid did. I have been to one or two club meetings as well and was not a very positive time. It’s like going to church there are all the clicks. I am going to take your advice and give the clubs a go again and see how it works out.

  • Joe KB3PHL:

    Hi again Mike, I also have had the same negitive experiences with a Ham club which is why I changed to a different club. Although the Field Day’s with the other club were generally fun & positive, there were some members who tended to take Field Day a little too seriously. For example they would get annoyed with you for not getting alot of contacts in a certain amount of time as if you were a seasoned contester. Field Day is really not a contest even though alot of Hams refer to it that way. There is no Certificate reward or prise for getting the most contacts. Just the satisfaction (or bragging rights) of getting the most contacts. Field Day is supposed to be an annual exercise of our ability to set-up as we would in a real emergency & a fun event where we as Hams get out of the shack & enjoy our hobby outdoors & of course expose the general public to Amateur Radio.

    Joe KB3PHL

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Thanks Joe very well put.

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