Friday, June 23, 2006

Field Day Eve

On the eve of Field Day I’m going through my stuff to see what I’d like to use for the event. Field Day is an excellent opportunity to try that new power supply or run of feed line to be sure it is in good working order before it gets packed for your next DXpedition. I’ve got a new Alinco DM-330MVT power supply that needs to be checked out, for example.
This year I’ll be doing Field Day with the PART group of Westford, Massachusetts. The weather forecast for the area is heavy rain and thunderstorms for the entire weekend so their usual venue (a soccer field) would have been a muddy and possibly dangerous mess. Luckily, we were able to obtain permission to operate from a large training room in one of the town’s fire stations.
In many ways, this makes the exercise like a typical relaxed DXpedition in that we’ll be in a nice climate controlled building with power, coffee makers, bathrooms, and tables from which to operate. We’ll also have no obvious way to hang dipoles for our operation (which makes it very much like a typical island DXpedition!).
I’ll be bringing my two Buddipole systems, my 33-foot military mast I got from The Mast Company to hold up a tribander somebody is supposed to bring, and some dipoles including a Cobra UltraLite, and two G5RVs. Like I said, it isn’t obvious how to hang it but I’ll see what I can do.
Finally, things will be interesting because there will be three stations all operating within a small area: a CW station, the SSB station (that I’m running), and the GOTA station. (There will be a VHF station, too, but I don’t expect any QRM from that one.) As we all crowd into the lower bands now that the bottom of the solar cycle is upon us, we’ll see if one station desenses the others when it transmits.
Again, Field Day is an provides an excellent chance to try out all this great stuff you might use on a DXpedition while still close to home. I hope all of you get out there and give it a try!


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