ARRL Field Day 2017

Posted on1 CommentCategoriesField Day, Portable, QRP

I had the pleasure to participate is this years ARRL Field Day with Tracy, VE3TWM and Randy, VE3OZR.

The site Tracy found offered plenty of room for antennas of all types. We were going to be using two antennas for this single station effort, 1B GTA designation. An 80m thru 10m off centre fed dipole and a 40m thru 6m mini windom. The antennas would be supported by telescoping fiberglass poles. More on this later.

I arrived Friday afternoon about 3:00 pm. Tracy had already been there a few hours and had begun setting up the station.

VE3TWM Field Day 2017 QRP Station
VE3TWM Field Day 2017 QRP Station
Tracy, VE3TWM preparing the OCFD
Tracy, VE3TWM preparing the OCFD

The first antenna to go up was the 80m thru 10m OCFD. The site had four wooden poles in the ground available, which made for a great support for the 15 metre fiberglass pole. As I stated earlier, the site offered lots of room for the full length antenna in an inverted V configuration.

During the Field Day weekend, Tracy took the time to video our activities. Here is his video on the 80m thru 10m OCFD. This antenna was a real performer throughout the weekend.

We operated the entire event with 5 watts SSB on the Yaesu FT817ND. You will note the Yaesu FT897D was on hand as well but only as a backup. That’s me in the shades by the way.

Randy's, VE3OZR, Food Shelter
Randy’s, VE3OZR, Food Shelter

 

By this time, Randy, VE3OZR, was well on the way setting up his quartermaster area for the weekend. Randy mustered all his culinary skills to keep us well fed and energized for the entire event.

Once the contacts begun it was important to stay nourished in order to be successful.

The second antenna we would be using this weekend was the 40m thru 6m mini windom. Supported on a 40 ft fiberglass pole and guyed.

This antenna needed to be kept away from the OCFD so we could not make use of the wooden poles on the site.

Tracy, VE3TWM and Randy, VE3OZR, preparing the Mini Windom
Tracy, VE3TWM and Randy, VE3OZR, preparing the Mini Windom

So it was now my turn to give our second antenna an on air test. While several stations gave us favorable reports, there was skepticism that we would be successful during the event.

Field Day can be a challenge, especially operating 5 watts SSB for the entire weekend, but as you will see, things worked out not bad at all, considering the band conditions were not optimum.

The Station is Ready to Go.

ARRL Field Day 2017 Station Shelter
ARRL Field Day 2017 Station Shelter

In my mind, Field Day captures so much of the spirit of amateur radio. Elements include portable operation, contesting (as serious or casual as you wish), testing out new equipment, camaraderie and let’s not forget the food (thanks again Randy). I also slept in a tent for the first time in about 40 years.

40m was the go to band, but Tracy had some success in the morning hours on 20m. 98 contacts were made for the weekend and lots of fun doing it.

“Many amateurs believe running a 5 watt SSB station during Field Day is an exercise in frustration. What they don’t realize is that if you connect your QRP transceiver to a good
antenna, you’ll make a lot of contacts.” – Tracy, VE3TWM

Image Credits: Paul, VE3EBY
Video Credits: Tracy, VE3TWM
Food Credits: Randy, VE3OZR

Be sure to check out more videos from Tracy on his YouTube channel Outdoors on the Air.


73,
Paul, VE3EBY