CQ CQ CQ #HamRadio Saturday: Summer Field Day – UPDATED

ham radio badassIt is Field Day today.  Alas, I am not out there.  I my try to get out to my usual outdoor spot, the cemetery on the hill above the parish.   It is really high and the denizens don’t mind.  And it is lovely.  Also, last fall I left a 40 dipole strung up in the trees.  It should still be there and in good shape.

Because I had to move from the Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue to the Cupboard Under the Stairs, I don’t have a place for my rig or, rather importantly, an antenna.   I haven’t figured out a work around yet.

I am doubly frustrated right now, because I had intended to take the Extra exam this month. It simply didn’t work out.  I have been in the wrong place and the right time, or the right place at the wrong time.  Therefore, no joy.

Never give up!  Never surrender!

I’ll get it done this summer.

Anyway, I wish my fellow hams, especially clerical hams, a successful Field Day!

If you are involved with Field Day, send some photos!

I created a page for the List of YOUR callsigns.  HERE  Chime in or drop me a note if your call doesn’t appear in the list.


So here’s what happened next.

I had asked my local Elmer to shake the tree a little to see if any VEs could administer an exam before the end of the month.  He made some calls and subsequently assured me that it would be pretty hard to pull off.  For that reason I was a bit bummed.

Then, lo and behold, I had a phone call – actually VM – from a local VE. I  returned the call today and reached her as she was involved in … wait for it … Field Day.  It happened that that the place where they were set up was lousy with VEs!  She asked around and we set up an appointment for my exam for Thursday.

I was so inspired that I got my radio and other stuff out of storage, went to the parish cemetery – where the aforementioned dipole is strung up – and made some contacts.  At first I seemed not to be getting through the chaos, so I swapped cables and – BAMMO – I got some contacts before I shut down.

I also had a lovely Oriole come to visit, too.  That was a bonus, since now I can’t have feeders.

Alas… with my phone alone:


But wait!  The inspiration continued.

I decided that I would find the hams who were holding their Field Day.  Using the interwebs I deciphered their location and off I went.   Eureka.

Since I had never seen any sort of Field Day set up, I was pretty impressed.

They had several antenna up, of course.  One is an end feed wire antenna that several hams were using simultaneously through a multiplexer.

Yes, friends, hams get to use bad-ass words like multiplexer.

I met the VEs who will meet at my place on Thursday to put me to the test.  Nice people.

Therefore, I feel like I am back into it again, after a forced hiatus.

Meanwhile, after the good fortune of the day, and after having earlier written what I wrote, I may just dub my radio The Omega 13.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. MWindsor says:

    The bands have been bad enough lately that I haven’t even tried to get the radio out. Being QRP does have some disadvantages sometimes.

  2. 20 was pretty good afternoon then exploded as grey line went thru. started racking up 6-land right after dark…and then segued to 40 after sun went fully to sleep. not bad, I think solo, bagged a little over 125 between cw and sideband contacts.

    73 de wb0yle

  3. MWindsor says:

    Hey Father Z,
    What kind of radio are you using there?

    [Kenwood T-140S into a 40m dipole.]

  4. Allan S. says:

    At a field day now trying to get my first ever non-fm contact…

    QTH Wolfe Island, Ont CANADA


  5. Allan S. says:

    …and…busted. No contacts. Really don’t seem to have much of an ear for picking out call signs from the clutter, nor can I accurately record a call sign. No successful QSOs.

  6. MWindsor says:

    I’m going to get my radio out and give it a shot. According to dxmaps.com, there’s an opening on both 10m and 15m that looks promising. Anybody want to try to meet and try the Zed-Net again?

    Allan, what frequency?

  7. MWindsor says:

    Well, everything above 20m is closed from my location, but I can hear some voices on 20m. Anybody out there?

  8. MWindsor says:

    No joy. 20m and 40m seem to have closed down now.

  9. Allan S. says:

    MWindsor – sorry, I had left before posting my *FAIL*. The other guys were getting contacts, just not me. It was like we were both listening but they were ‘hearing’ if that makes any sense.

  10. LarryW2LJ says:

    Hey Father Z!,

    First chance to read your blog as I haven’t been home for much of the weekend! ;-)

    Our group operated 3A battery, so we were limited to 5 Watts in that category. We put up a beam on a fiberglass stepladder “tower” for the SSB station. My CW station had a W3EDP antenna up in the trees and we had an 80/40 Meters dipole for the SSB team for overnight.

    I took a break to attend Saturday evening Mass, but for the rest of the weekend, I was behind the key. In all we made over 250 CW contacts, over 100 SSB contacts and about a dozen or so digital contacts. We tried to make a satellite contact, bu that was a no-go.

    I’ll send you some photos and plan to put some up tonight at http://w2lj.blogspot.com/

    I don’t quite remember hitting the sack last night – but it sure felt good after some 24+ hours in the field!

  11. LarryW2LJ: That sounds pretty intense. Kudos.

  12. jameeka says:

    Good luck, Father Z!

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