7/02/2010

Field Day Fingering 2010--N2SE on the air from Darlington Park




After a year off due to the 2009 ALPCA Convention in Erie, PA  conflicting with Field Day weekend 2009, I entered this Field Day with  my own laptop and a new antenna. As in previous posts I mentioned I now havea Toshiba laptop which I use remotely whenever possible. So this year I can truly call the station my own! Paul,KC2CJW brought the Pompton Lakes OEM vehicle which was  decided to be my home base. It was definitely one of my more interesting setups because I also toured the van to check out there radios and of course what was in them. This year the 10-70 club, callsign N2SE, setup a station at Darlington Park just down the road from our usual location at Campgaw Ski Lodge. It seems the county scheduled their hazardous materials recycling day the same day as Field Day weekend. However it worked out fine because the attendance was down from last year. We were still a lively group

I did have some problems with my new Buddystick  antenna.First of all note to self NEVER listen to dad when he says the antenna wire is long enough. I showed up aty Fieldday with an eight foot piece of coax and they all laughed at me.. After getting  over the initial snickers the guys set me up with a thirty foot piece of coax and I thought I was off and  running. I didn't get too far because I was missing every call. A station called CQ and he would get a major pile-up. I looked down at my radio to  find my SWR was out of whack. So with the help of Tim KA2A I adjusted the coil to 20 meters, which was a little better but I was still getting clobbered. I thought this year I would be racking in the contacts, but it didn't work!!

The 20 Meter calling frequency is 14.070 but I find that for Field Day hunting a little closer to 14.071 nets better results sometimes. One of  the biggest problems is unlike other PSK contests hams jump on PSK just for Field Day weekend and don't understand how the mode works. People were calling CQ right on top of me and I just couldn't get a clear shot. So my solution was to just hunt for other stations calling CQ, which proved to work out a little  better, but I still wasn't racking the contacts in like I did in previous years.  Then there was a ham who is always on PSK who wasn't participating in Field Day. Courtesy only goes so far because he was answering people calling "CQ Field Day" and then trying to have a regular qso. I tried to avoid him.

Like every other year I have worked Field Day, there were things that worked out perfectly while other stuff was disappointing. Although like always I had a lot of fun, slept better than usual  too thanks to Mike,W2MLS's camper. Everything in the end worked outand I can't wait to do it all again!!

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