Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Coming Soon – Field Day

Another amateur radio club I belong to, the Mid Atlantic DX and Repeater Association is putting together a pretty big Field Day event. Ask 10 amateur radio operators what field day is and you will get at least 11 different answers. To me, Field Day is an operating event and contest that is performed in the field with no existing equipment or infrastructure. Of course, home stations can participate, as well as stations that exist in emergency operations centers, personal vehicles, or club hamshacks. MADXRA’s Field Day will be run in the field with generator power and we will bring in all of the equipment needed, including towers, antennas, radios, computers, and so on. It should be a lot of fun.

I’m setting up the stations for the 2 meter band and 70 centimeter band, 146 & 440 MHz. For 2 meters, I will have a great station, with a 14 element beam antenna with 13 dB gain, plus a 150 watt amplifier and preamp. I hope to make at least 100 contacts with that station. I will also have a digital station setup with a small beam to run packet on 2 meters. Two of the big bonus point items I’ll have in those bands is a satellite station, which we will use to make at least one, if not more satellite contacts, and an amateur television transceiver, camera and monitor. We were a little worried about the amateur television setup, that we wouldn’t have anyone on the other end to talk to, but I did find another club that is planning the same thing, and they should be in range.

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