Another Field Day is coming up in a couple of weeks and once again I’ll be playing radio with fellow WA4USN club members on the USS Yorktown with CARS. I hope to spend a little more time operating this year.
I’ll also be paying closer attention to the generator and battery hook ups to learn how to set up the rig in the shack on portable power. Hopefully the weather is nice and the propagation is good.
Had a most excellent time at Field Day yesterday on board the USS Yorktown with CARS. I was put in charge of IT, which meant setting up the two laptops and a little local wifi network so that they could communicate and share a log file.
At 1800UTC (2PM EDT), the chaos the activity started. I spent the first few hours in seek and pounce mode (S&P), tuning around 40m at first and then moving up to 20 and then 15m. Was able to rack up a bunch of contacts, but it wasn’t easy. Thunderstorms to the southwest and in Georgia were causing static crashes because of the lightning. I’d be trying to work some strong stations, then 20-30db of noise would just wipe everything out on the frequency for a second or two. That went on for a few more hours, and then the rest of the evening was relatively clear. Then the problem went back to trying to pick out the Field Day exchange with neighbouring stations or groups of Boy Scouts stomping by behind us drowning everything out (the usual chaos).
I stayed on the Yorktown until around 10ish. A few other club members operated and got some pile ups going. I spent some time hanging out at the CW and digital station, taking photos and helping out with the logging on the phone station.
Field Day on the Yorktown offers a great view of the harbour and the Charleston penninsula while we’re operating.
This is the CW and digital station in action. Last year the CW station was set up in the club communications trailer out on the pier, but didn’t work out so well there, so it was brought up to the ship this time. The digital station was having a similar problem with noisy bands that we were having on the phone station so I don’t think there were too many contacts being made there.
Back for more Field Day fun today until 1800Z (2PM EDT) and then breaking everything down.
If you’re on the air for Field Day today, listen out for WA4USN. It might be me that’s operating!
Like last year, I’ll be helping out with the CARS Field Day activities over on the Yorktown. Now that I’ve got a little bit more radio experience under my belt, I’ll be able to help out more with the preparations and will enjoy playing with the radios more than last time.
In preparation for Field Day, I’ve been given the task of getting the club laptops ready: installing updates and performing maintenance, updating the logging software (N3FJP), and getting them networked together so that operators at each station can see what’s going on.
Thanks to Tom/AJ4UQ, this past Sunday I got the chance to play radio once again on the USS Yorktown operating as WA4USN. This time Connie/NR4CB/@Bionic_Nerd was there and we managed to work almost 40 contacts from 4 countries including St. Croix and Croatia (Connie was doing most of the working). I think 4 or 5 of the contacts were me operating. Whenever Connie got on the air there would be people piling up to make contact.
I also got on the air using my own call sign, but wasn’t getting any responses back. Still working on getting used to talking on the radio, but Connie was a big help with prompting me on what I should say.
It was a lot of fun getting to play HF radio again. Looking forward to getting my own rig set up one of these days.