Why We Like Field Day

This past weekend I spent Field Day with two long time friends.  It wasn’t the biggest, best, most-attended, highest-scoring Field Day I’ve participated in, but it was good to do this annual ritual.  I’ve always loved Field Day, and it’s perhaps my favorite event.  I think my initial attraction to it was combining camping and the outdoors with my love of radio.  Today I see it more as something that brings everyone in our diverse hobby together.  Field Day captures nearly all of the components or

facets of our hobby into one event: casual operating, contesting, learning, construction, emergency operations, construction, socializing, and of course, eating good food.  No matter what each of us does in amateur radio or what modes we like, there is a place for everyone at Field Day.

Setting up for Field Day is stressful, no doubt about it.  For those of us involved in organizing these events at one time or another, you question whether it’s worth it.  Then there’s the weather, often rainy, sweltering, or a combination of both.  There’s never enough time to setup and you never seem to have enough hands to help out.  But when everything gets underway, it’s all worth it.

Field Day recharges me for another year of operating.  Now that I’m back in the home QTH and off today, I’m thinking about the next Field Day… what can we do better and easier, and make more fun.

4 thoughts on “Why We Like Field Day

  1. Well said! I took part in my clubs (W8BAE) field day event for the third time this year. As you say the stress level builds leading up to the weekend but once everythings is up and running it’s worth it for sure. Although my son is not that interested in radio he loves camping and fishing so he had a great time as well. I operated about 50/50 CW and PSK-31 on 40 meters. Our club puts fun in front of serious competition -Go crazy with making contacts if you want or just casually operate however you like. This relaxed philosophy is how I think field day was ment to be and provides lots of fun and good memories for us.

  2. The real question is: how did the FT-897D play on Field Day? :-) Did you have N1MM controlling it?

    W3MF and I visited a few sites on Saturday. Always wanted to do that on Field Day just to see what the other local clubs are doing. Visited the Hazleton club (Anthracite Repeater Association) and the Murgas ARC at Frances Slocum State Park. Two very different operations! ARA is extremely low key. Murgas is not. Looked like they were all having fun.

    1. Quite well. I controlled the 897 with N1MM no problem, and I did something different this year for CW keying. I put my keyer in K1EL Winkey mode and controlled it with N1MM instead of doing the usual RTS/DTR controlled CW keying line. It worked great, though I think I found a minor bug in the N1MM Winkey interface code. I figured I should start eating my own dog food, as they say (does anyone really eat their own dog food?).

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