Field Day 2009

It’s not too soon to start planning your Field Day activity! Just ask the operators from the Oakville and Burlington Ontario clubs who did a joint club effort last year. I’m a member of the Oakville Club and have worked many multi-operator contests including several Field Days with these guys. (That’s my photo of Mike, VE3QSK, Greg, VA3GGF and Rod, VE3RHF working from the SSB tent at the Field Day site.)

Over the years we’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work especially when it comes to Field Day. Much depends upon whether your effort is aimed at holding a “field-day” activity or working the “Field Day” contest. The reason I put it this way is Field Day is both a get-on-the-air activity and a contest. Some years we’ve gone all out contesting (which means two or three transmitters on the air at all times running on CW and SSB) and some years we’ve gone more toward let’s get everybody on the air (kids, XYLs, visiting politicians, neighbours, friends, CBers) and use as many modes as possible and as much equipment as we can dust off and have a ton of fun. Either way works great.

Looks like the two-club effort paid off for Oakville/Burlington in a third-place win in the 3A low power (100 watt) category with 1059 QSOs resulting in a score of 3942 points. The TCA listing shows they had 35 participants!

I’ve been attending Field Days for almost 50 years now (That’s not an uplifting thought. It’s right up there with how many 11-year sunspot cycles I can look forward to.). Back in the old days the Skywide Club in Toronto owned a massive noisy gasoline generator (affectionately called “The Moose”) which sat on its own trailer and powered the two or three transmitters. BTW we’re talking tube transmitters and receivers. One of the guys used an ARC-5 transmitter running 75 watts on 40 meter CW into a ZL Special (it was a two-element wire beam that looked like a trapeze and got out like crazy) and I think the receiver might have been my Dad’s (VE3FWR back then) Hammarlund HQ-170A which was state of the art in those days. The actual “field” was located in what is now the heart of downtown Streetsville, a busy part of Mississauga, Ontario. Back then, it really was a field.

If you want more information about Oakville/Burlington Field Day activity have a look at the March/April issue of The Canadian Amateur. Visitors are always welcome. Field Day 2010 is scheduled for the June 26-27, 2010 weekend and more information is available from the ARRL here.

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