so Field Day 2017 is coming up, and the process has started to get plans into motion.
Field Day is one of the most important traditions that we have in Ham Radio, and it is certainly an important tradition for our club. Traditions, however, have a tendency of going stale if the same formula is followed year after year, and if planned too routinely, it can feel like too much like an obligation after a number of years.
This year, it would be great to venture a little from the script, and open things up. There are rules and structure that we still have to abide by in terms of the Field Day contest itself, but, those rules need not put a damper on those elements about our hobby that make it fun.
This year, I want to encourage everyone to focus more on having fun during Field Day. As a club, over the years, we’ve proven that we can compete, and compete very effectively. We don’t need to push that point as hard. We can use the event of Field Day to experiment, play, test, teach, learn, and socialize – basically to bring forth the best aspects of ham radio during the event.
So how do we accomplish this while still holding to the basic rules of Field Day? We do it by allowing for flexibility with our stations. We still create a basic structure with our setup, but we encourage experimentation during the event. Have you recently purchased a new HF and haven’t had the change to really put it through its paces? Bring it and have it run on one of the assigned bands for a little bit. Have a new antenna? Bring it, and see how it performs in a contest situation. Bring your Lil’ Pup receivers and put them through their paces and check out the bands visually. Do you have a fully mobile HF setup that works well? Show up with your mobile setup, stress test it, and give the station people a break for a little bit. Bring an RTL-SDR stick, laptop, Arrow Antenna and see if you can pick up a satellite transmission, even if you just want to try and listen. Even if you only have an hour, come and try your hand at a mode you’ve never done before, or work a band you’ve never tried.
Let’s make Field Day 2017 an event of exploration, experimentation, play. on trying new things, switching things up, and just have fun doing it. And when you get buggy eyed, or fatigued – you stop! Grab a bite, grab a drink, and chum around with your fellow club members and have a leisurely conversation about what you learned, tried, experienced. Bring your kids, grandkids, wives, friends, neighbours – anybody you think who would get a kick at what we do, and whom you think would enjoy a form of experimental play.
I look forward in working towards making this our best Field Day ever in the way that it truly counts – that we have boat loads of fun together!
More to come!
Joe de VA3POR