Yes it's the Monday after the last weekend in June, that means it's time for Field Day Fingerings 2008!! Once again I transmitted with the 10-70 Repeater Association from inside the Campgaw Ski Lodge in lovely Mahwah New Jersey. The past three years running I have been doing PSK-31, but this time with my new Yaesu FT-897. Believe me it made all the difference In the world! Like every other year Rocky had to struggle with the computer not noticing the interface right anyway but with a bit of trouble shooting I was running by the traditional 2:00 start. This year my co-pilot was Tim,KA2A (yes I love that call too. Now if we can only get him to get ham license plates) who was jumping on my station every time I got up to stretch which unfortunately was quite often. In the end though we both roped in quite a few stations.
There were two major pluses this year, one I had the FT-897 so I was able to bust through some great interference and second, unlike in previous years, I really honed my skills with the macros over that last few months while working from home. I was just more comfortable about operating and felt I really have become an old hand at Field Day. One of the easier ways to get contacts is not only calling CQ which is the best way but also following other folks calling CQ. I hooked a few just when they completed a contact I jumped. The macros did save me a lot of the times and I only typed in the log entries.
Probably the best thing about this new rig is you can truly "grab and go" The new USB interface does make things easier in the long run, when the right drivers are installed!! I can honestly say the Field Days from my point of view have consistently gotten better over te last couple of years.