Monday, 31 January 2011

Winter Field Day - - - - - - The Aftermath

Well it was a great weekend for Winter Field Day. VE3FRG operated as a multi indoor station. On Saturday we had light snow and -5C and on Sunday we had heavy snow and -18C, and luckily there was very little wind.

The narrow road into the cottage was interesting as it was not properly ploughed out, and the “slide all over the road” factor was high, but we all made it safely, including Bill-VA3WOW, who arrived from Belleville.

Once we unloaded the small mountain of gear into the cottage and got the wood stove going it was back outside to string up the antennas. It took us a little over two hours to get two dipoles in the air and run the coax for them. Dave-VA3ORP erected his vertical and radial system on the lake ice and that took him over an hour to do. 

It really is amazing just how much longer it takes to do simple things in the cold weather, and with heavy gloves on.

It took a good five hours for the cottage to warm up to a comfortable level, but after seeing the photo’s of Bob VA3RCS standing out in the cold operating I shall not complain…….because I know Bob would never let me forget it :-)

Don-VE3MNE made his normal field day supper...."Gilroy's Gourmet Road Kill Chilli", and as usual it was superb, Bill-VA3WOW contributed a very nice bottle of cabernet merlot, called "Cape One", it's a blend of Canadian and South African red wines and was outstanding. 

Operating wise we made 70+ contacts, 35 on SSB, 1 on PSK31, and the remainder on CW. For the most part the daytime propagation on the bands went from “bad” to outright “bloody miserable”. But on Saturday evening 160m was just hopping with CW signals, but no SSB was to be heard. George VE3SIQ operated 20m to good success, and Don VE3MNE and I operated 80m and 40m SSB and PSK.

We made a number of good DX contacts on Sunday morning including, EC2DX, Imanol in San Sabastian, Spain, YT1A, Vladan in Kraljevo, Serbia, PI4DX a club station in Walsoordeu, Netherlands, and IK6CWQ, Lou in Torrebecchia, Italy. We also completed a QRP CW contact to Paris, France, but I do not have the CW log to note the callsign.

VE3MNE & VE3SIQ working the bands
Sunday morning I checked into the Pothole Net and had three short QSO's with ED-VE3GX, Glenn-VE3XRA, and Ernest-VE3EJJ.  I was hoping to have a short contact with Bob-VA3RCS or Martin-VA3SIE, but they where nowhere to be found.

The antennas all worked as advertised, so Bob-VA3RCS can share the glory :-)

View over Leggat Lake
VA3ORP setting up the "Blue Pill" vertical
Photo by VA3WOW

VE3CLQ and VE3MNE checking out the digital station
Photo by VA3WOW

View over the lake and the 80m OCF dipole
Photo by VA3WOW
Another view of the digital station
Photo by VA3WOW
VA3ORP's car and operating position


  1. > I was hoping to have a short contact with
    > Bob-VA3RCS or Martin-VA3SIE, but they
    > where nowhere to be found.

    We had some issues on our winter field day outing, Bill.

    Our plan was for a daytime hike up to a mountain summit.

    Our hike up to the summit took longer than anticipated so we had only enough daylight left to hike back down the mountain.

    So we walked right past the area on the summit where we would have deployed our stations without doing so.

    We did have emergency supplies which would have allowed us to survive an unplanned night on the mountain but that was not part of the plan :-)

    We enjoyed the snowshoe hike though.

    Perhaps next year...


    PS. Will update my blog at with a video of our snowshoe hike later this week...

  2. do have adventures!!

    Glad you got home safe and sound, but sorry we didn't get to make a contact. Looking forward to the video.


  3. Bill,
    Congrats on the outing and very pleased the W3EDP worked for you. How was it on 160??? Sorry I missed you though.... Maybe next time....

  4. Bob, It worked fine on all's a keeper!

    Thanks for your advice and suggestions on it!