6/29/2006

Field Day Fingering 2006--aka N2SE back on the air Part I

Ok if you didn' t read last year's post regarding the Amateur Radio Field day go back and take a peek! Even though this wasn't my first Field Day, it certainly was the best because not only did I use my own radio, I got to actually stay up during the entire event instead of going home when the bands just starting to heat up. Over the past year I became real close friends with the 10-70's VP, Isaac,NJ3C, he's gotten me to the meetings this year ands has really helped me setup my base station right, though I'm STILL not finished! Anyway Isaac,NJ3C, knew this year he was going to try to get me to stay overnight, it's not like we sleep that much anyway!! So anyway I had my radio and arranged for a laptop, "borrowed" a table that was in the lodge and patiently waited as Paul,KC2CJW, built my station. Paul and Issac had an unspoken deal, Isaac would get me up there, and Paul would set me up. Well after a handful of tying different laptops to see if they worked with my radio, we finally got my station up and running. Now like I said last year I do PSK-31 which is radio done via the computer. It's a lot more complicated then IMingt because i t's done via ham radio air waves. Last year Paul did a lot of the grunt work , kind of the same as this year, but I was a bit more comforterale on my own. The weather was kind of cruddy this year so I setup shop inside which was a bit crowded because the ATV station was also setup right behind me. However I managed fine partly because someone was l ooking over my shoulder the entire time. I didn't mind in fact I enjoyed the company. Being in the lodge also gave me unlimited access to t he soda (alcohol-free weekened) and more importantly the bathroom. The only downside was I wasn't used to th e software to connect the computer to the radio, so that made things a bit "interesting"".
As for the contacts I didn't bump into my "friends" from Mississippi, KK5K, but I still racked up 70 contacts. Half of them were thanks to my one of my ham radio "mentors" Jerry,NO2T who decided not to put up his own station but just keep an eye on me. We both picked off a couple dozen stations before he went home around 1:30 am(remember this is a 24 hour event). Jerry and I were like two guys going hunting, we kept each other going, took turns at just burned up the airwaves as best we could.
When it was all said and done we had stayed up until 2:30 in the morning logging. By that time Jerry was falling asleep in his chair. We looked at each other and without saying one word, shut down the station. I did attempted to stretch my back, but the damage had been done. So I did the next logical thing, I made my way down the hill to Isaac's tent and unwrapped my sleeping bag. (Note to self: BRING A MATTRESS PAD NEXT TIME) Isaac was hot and heavy on CW so I just collasped on my sleeping bag.
I awoke promptly at 7:45 to find Isaac asleep so I got up as quietly as I could, well not really but he was dead tired so it didn't matter. When I got back up to the lodge I found Jerry already going. He went over to get yet until refill of coffee! We racked up another couple of QSO's and then decided to call it a day!
To think I'll be doinlg all again next year...........hopefully with a bigger bottle of Advil!!!!!!
73 for now

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