The Field Day That Almost Wasn’t

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Tents clustered in the central park area. From fore to back ground: 40m, 80m, 20/10m

Field day 2015 went off with only one real hitch; the weather. Normally the end of June has some nice, early summer weather. Daytime temperatures in the high 20’s, nighttime sweater cool. This year we were treated to a fall storm delivered with perfect timing on our Field Day weekend. Being a hardy lot, we still managed to get some wire in the air and some signals into the ether. While the number of contacts is surely down compared to past years, getting on the air at all is an achievement in these circumstances. With sustained winds of 40 km/hr, gusts up to 80 km/hr, and a steady rainfall of 1 to 3 mm/hr, this was a significant storm that affected most of the northeastern US and Canadian great lakes.
The storm took hold during Saturday afternoon, and stayed with us through Sunday morning. Mother nature let us set up and tear down in relative peace.

This year’s site, Valley Park in East Hamilton, provided a lot of shelter from the wind, but didn’t do much to protect against the rain.

The information table was awash, literally. Rain, wind and brochures don’t mix very well. Ginette (VA3EW) didn’t get to show off a lot of her work.  We did have a few visitors drop by and take the tour on Sunday. The Fire and Ambulance services stopped by to say ‘hi’, and we did get a small notice in the papers.

We operated as a 6A site. Stations at start-up were:
Mardy (VE3QEE) on 80m voice
Scott (VE3QU) on 40m voice
Jim (VE3JS) on 20m voice
Paul (VE3HTF) on 15m voice
Ahmet (VA3TUR) on 10m voice
Ron (VE3ZX) on 40m digital

Mardy had to leave the air when his gear got rained on and he had to take it home to dry it out. Paul stepped up and took over 80m when 15m turned out to be dead.

10m was also very quiet. 20, 40 & 80 stayed viable for most of the weekend. We didn’t raise a 2m or 6m antenna due to the wind.

Roger (VE3UFZ) put in a valiant effort on 15m digital, but equipment problems kept him from the action.

Equipment problems also plagued our GOTA station, which never really got off the the ground. Brian (VA3BGN) was slated to run the GOTA, but his radio just wouldn’t co-operate. Jim turned his station over for GOTA duty  as Mardy tutored some of our newer graduates on Sunday.

The best band of the weekend was 40m, with all of our digital contacts and the largest part of our voice contacts.

Be sure to check out the field day pictures page for pictures of the action.

Thank you to all who came out, for your moral support, guy rope wrangling, coffee runs and logging. Mark, Gregg,  Sherry, Georgette, Carol, Al and Samantha, and thanks Dan for the cake and pizza. Hope I haven’t missed anyone, my apologies if I did.

Congratulations to all of us for surviving Field Day 2015, baptism by storm. (T-shirt, anyone?)

Your field day co-ordinator, Ginette (VA3SEW) and her faithful sidekick, Ron (VE3ZX)