Field Day 2014 a primer only

Field Day as usual will be the last week-End in June at Haney Village/museum by the Lookout tower.
Setup will be on Friday June 27th at a time yet to be confirmed. We do have a few members already committed for the setup and more bodies are always welcome. There may be some added entertainment during antenna rigging if Bill brings his compressed air antenna launcher.
In related news, the trailer has been cleaned up and re-organised by Ron, Dave and Simon. Ron has written up a report on the work done and has also drawn a schematic of the interior detailing the location of all the equipment. This trailer report was presented by Ron at the last regular club meeting, May 8th. Copies will be left in the trailer.
As a result of this Spring clean several issues arose;
The coax may need to be tested and replaced if necessary.
Several items required for Field Day and any other event were in the past supplied by Ron and others. We should get our own stuff and keep it in the trailer instead of packing it back and fore each time.
We should consider acquiring the following items either by donation, purchase or trolling garage sales;
6 folding chairs
3 table lamps
2 folding tables, a 3×6 and a 2×4 would fill the bill.
4-6 extension cords, 15ft each or thereabouts.
1 lightweight stepladder 8ft should work.
A few lengths of good guy rope 50 footers.
If anyone has a surplus of any of the above it will be accepted gratefully, contact me at 250-804-2049.
I will also check garage sales, thrift stores etc. for chairs, tables and lamps.
We can of course buy what we need and any purchases would have to be approved at a regular club meeting

Field Day 2013 is approaching fast but first;

My last entry was about my first Field Day. Since that time I have been unable to participate in any others, not from a lack of desire just circumstances. This year hopefully I will be a bit more involved. But before we get into that we have one thing we must accomplish, a little background first. You may well remember my tale and experience on putting up the antique tent and the manpower and “expertise”required? Well no more, the tent has been disposed of to a good home and we wish the new owners the best of luck and happy camping. We now have a new structure to work on and on Saturday May 11th will be the unveiling, launching, maiden “voyage” of our new tent. Apparently it is possible for one man to set it up but we don’t know yet which man that is, hopefully we can determine that on the aforementioned Saturday. Volunteers are encouraged to attempt this feat and the successful contender will be lauded, feted and forever remembered, well may be not. If we do not find that man we will do it the old fashioned way with a crew.

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My Introduction to Field Day

I do not recall the year of my first field day but it could not have been too long ago as I am a very new ham and still learning but then aren’t we all. Becoming a Ham takes more than just attending classes and passing the exam, that is just the beginning and the following is part of my journey into the intricacies and mystique of amateur Radio
First of all I passed the exam with enough of a pass margin to entitle me to work HF and credit for this must first be given to excellent, patient and diverse instructors. This meant I was entitled to spend more money on HF stuff than the basic VHF gear but that is another story. The next step is to attend the weekly coffee and lunch gatherings and for a new ham this is imperative. It could be considered continuing education with a bit of story telling and discussions on solving the problems of the world. The long time hams are always willing to share their knowledge and answer questions. Technical stuff flows from HMN, KDK and OHR quite readily and RLE is bursting with knowledge on the operation of the Club, meetings, history, P.R. projects etc. Regarding the history of the club RLE is ably abetted by BOD and that is just a glimpse of the knowledge that can be gleaned at coffee or lunch from a few of the club members.
Now, touching briefly on HF I have been encouraged and at times nagged slightly, have I mentioned I have a hearing problem, really, to get on HF. I have a roof that is now safe to walk on so I guess I will get the vertical stuck in the tripod, throw a few radials around and probably guy everything, hook up some coax and give it a whirl, how is that for tech talk? I am learning!
Getting back to Field Day, which is another step in the learning process, I was privy to some of the preparations as they were discussed during the aforementioned continuing education classes. Most of it was over my head, Dipoles I vaguely remembered from class, G5RV and some sort of Beam was totally foreign as was a few other terms used. There was also somebody called cranky who was apparently from out of town, why have him if he is that cranky. Cranky was mentioned so many times, when he was arriving, where to put him that I had to ask. It turned out Cranky was a crank up tower and I ended up having a fairly close relationship with the cranky thing, going up and coming down.
Field Day arrived and I showed up at the Haney museum site by the old look-out tower. If I remember correctly the first order of business was to erect a rather decrepit guyed walled tent of indeterminate vintage, it has since passed on to another organization. Putting up this tent takes at least six to eight people, I will resist the temptation to interject here “ how many Hams does it take to put up an old canvas tent?”….” anyway, the tent was being held up by numerous bodies inside when we realize that the guy ropes were on the inside, that’s not going to work! Well we start again and get it right. Cranky arrives by this time and it is all hands to the windlass, up it goes, sticks, give it a shake and crank again and slowly it pierces the sky, quite impressive. Of course there are numerous wires hanging of it and giant TV type beam wobbling around at the top, all foreign stuff to me. This is turning out to be an interesting day and we haven’t even got a radio turned on yet, we still have to fire up the generator, tie a mast to a sturdy fence post and hang more wire. Apparently we haven’t got enough wires up in the air yet, antennas that is, see I am learning, so we have to fire another one up and over a tree. I am assured by RLE that this is a simple case of using fishing line a weight and a slingshot, I understand the principle of it, and is done on a first attempt, usually. I have since forgotten how many times HDY and myself assisted RLE in this task, perhaps it was our “help” that delayed the final deployment of this antenna. Finally everything was ready and operators were anxiously standing by to get on the air but that too is another story.
All in all it was an interesting, educational and fun filled morning.
And I am still learning, slowly.
Note that no names were used in the foregoing to protect identities.