Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Field Day 2011 - The Results

Another successful field day is over!   This year Frontenac ARES operated as a 5A station, covering all bands from 160m to 6m. 

Our weekend started early Friday morning when myself, Don-VE3MNE, Tim-VA3TIC and Dave-VE3DZE met for breakfast at the Star Diner on Princess Street.  After firming up some plans we left for Don's cottage on the shore of Hay Bay, about 45 Kms west of Kingston.

The gang arrived at the cottage about 0930 hrs and first to go up were the antennas.  We erected a 160m OCF dipole, two 80m OCF dipoles, a 20m Delta Loop, a 15m vertical and a 10m / 6m fan dipole, and we also put up three screen tents, two for operating and the third for eating.   It was a long busy day and we didn't stop to have lunch, about 1900 hrs we left for Picton to have supper at the Texas Grill.  This is the fourth year we have supper there, and this has now become one of our field day traditions.

The weather was hot and sticky on Friday, cloudy and unsettled on Saturday with a little bit of rain during the night.  Sunday was a cloudy day with a little bit of sun....and of course just as we started to take everything down the rain started!

On Saturday morning the rest of the crew showed up, George-VE3SIQ and Martin-VA3AKY, and got their stations put together.  Once everyone was ready we installed our notch filters and tested for interference from each other.  Everything worked well except for the 10m notch which had to have emergency surgery performed on it, but we eventually had everyone up and running.

The SFI hovered about 96 all weekend with the 'A' index around 6 and the 'K' index at 2.  The bands where, for the most part, quiet, but not really good.

The 160m and 80m station didn't fair too well.  The 160m band never opened up at all and hardly any stations where heard on it, and the 80m band was only a little better.  The 40m station, while busy with stations on the eastern seaboard, never opened up and went long to the west coast.

The 15m and 20m stations carried the load with plenty of activity and many contacts between the two stations.  Our 10m station did very well, making over 100 contacts.  Six meters was a bust however.

I would be very remiss if I did not mention that this year was the very first field day for Tim-VA3TIC.  In fact Tim (now known as the "Duke") has only been a ham for about 6 months.  We put Tim on the 20m station, and stood back in amazement as he racked up 425 contacts!  It's great to see that his many years as a CBer were good training for him as a contester!  

Overall we did 1014 contacts on five bands, and we're happy with that score.  After all the main thing is to get out there, do the set up, fix any interference issues, operate and have fun.......and we did that.  Many thanks to Don for the use of his property and for doing the cooking.

Oh yeah, the only thing with Tim is to keep him away from the trees at all cost.  He has a really nasty habit of attracting falling tree branches when we were putting up the antennas.

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