Field Day 2022


Filed Day is an event hosted by the ARRL which has a purpose of bringing amateur radio operators together around the world and test their equipment. “Field Day” reminds me of dragging equipment out into the “field” and seeing what works and what doesn’t. The experimentation piece of radio that I really love!

Jim Wells observing operations while my son, Isaiah, sits behind the TV waiting for the action to begin.

In years past, I have erected and dreamed up some crazy ideas for antenna deployment. Probably my most proud was using a portable clothes line upside down as a tripod and an old power washer tube as a mast. Worked great! This year was a bit more traditional with just an end-fed halfwave antenna strung up in a tree. I did bring my “Go Kit” which includes my FT-891 for HF and Kenwood TM-281 for VHF.

I’m a builder and a tinkerer so getting in the field and seeing what I can make work with what I have gets me excited. Though my antenna deployments were rather tame, we did have an opportunity to bridge our computers together for a combined log using N3FJP’s Field Day logging software. This would have worked without a hitch had my iPhone been able to act more like a router rather than just a hotspot. Enter an old D-Link router the Farmland Conservation Club had identified as belonging to the radio club. Only problem: no power cord! KD9MAB and myself were able to tear her apart, rip the barrel plug (gently) from the board, solder power cables on, crimp on Anderson PowerPoles, and connect to our existing 12 volt system. Voila! We have wifi!

We used the popular logging software from N3FJP which also displays a map of our contacts.

Overall we were able to make some great contacts. 40 meters was our primary operating band however 15 was very useful in digi for getting across the Rockies. I was able to even make one contact to Santa Barbara using 10 meters!

KD9LEY (left) and KD9BGS (right) burning the midnight oil

Our operations began at 2:00 PM EDT on Saturday and ran through 2:00 PM EDT Sunday. At the beginning, we overlapped with the 4H Shooting Sports Extravaganza which brought many youth over to see what we were doing. I’m hoping more than one got the “bug” for radio and will want their mom/dad to bring them to the Hamfest next month to get their license!

As the hours dragged on, our crowd grew fewer and fewer. Eventually, even KD9LEY and myself went to our respective vehicles for a well-needed nap only to awake hours later to the approaching thunderclouds. Some quick action to cover equipment kept everything dry and we were back to operations a little after sunrise. Unsurprisingly, the activity on the bands seemed to follow our “awake” and “asleep” modes (hihi).

CQ FD received on my iPhone on 14.230 MHz

I’m looking forward to the next event which will likely be Winter Field Day. I’m not sure if I’ll be inspired to build something new or go with tried and true. Hopefully just something different!