I’m putting some finishing touches on my packing for field day 2009. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a yearly amateur (ham) radio event. To the American Radio Relay League, our primary US club, it’s an “operating event.” To some it’s a contest, to some it’s a public relations opportunity, to some it’s a emergency drill, to some it’s a chance to make a lot of contacts, to some it’s a social event, to some it’s just a day to go hang out in the mountains and “play” ham radio.
This year I fall more toward the last option. In years past I’ve run field day for an emergency communications team, some years I was operating to for points, one year I did VHF only… This year? Well, this year me and my 6 month old border collie are going to head up in the mountains somewhere, park the trailer and enjoy the weekend. Joy couldn’t go this year due to work, I didn’t have any prior commitments with any team or club so jasper and I will be flying solo.
I’ve got a spot picked out in Boise county (no the city of Boise is in Ada county) it’s not as remote as I’d like to be but given time constraints it’ll do. For you VHFers it’s on the grid line of DN23 and DN24. I’ll be operating as “W7ATC 1B ID” I’ll be operating 100% QRP (5 watts) too. I’ve done some QRP Field day work in the past, but never the whole event. Mostly PSK31. To get the computer ASUS EeePC and radio within my battery/solar power budget for 24 hours I have to run low power. Actually I will probably only work about 16 hours of the event, technically looking at my power budget I could run 20 watts but dropping down to 5 gets me a higher points multiplier.
For those of you who are ham radio operators. I’m trying to set up a schedule with a couple people, here is my plan for
(all times mountain)
7.285mhz SSB at 8:30pm
14.285mhz SSB at 9:00pm
14.070 PSK31 at 9:30pm
Saturday morning before field day starts I’ll be monitoring 7.268.5mhz SSB from 10am till 11:30am it’s the “Noon Net” frequency.
It should be fun, always is. Operating at QRP power levels this year is going to be a challenge.