Monday, 29 June 2015

Field Day 2015 - - - - - We Survived !!

The portable beam goes up.
Field Day was an interesting experience this year.  From lousy weather and bad propagation, we had it all.  Field Day actually started for me on the Wednesday before when Don, VE3MNE, and I went out to Hay Bay to the property Don owns out there.  Wednesday and Thursday were great, the weather was warm, hardly any bugs.

This year, as we normally do, we operated as a 5A station, made up of four SSB and one Digital positions.  We did change up the antenna list this year.  The line-up was an 80m OCF dipole, a 160m OCF dipole, a 20m beam,  two 31' verticals, a 10m/15m fan dipole, a four element 6m Yagi, and a ten element 2m beam.  Friday and Saturday morning was spent getting these antennas in the air.  

During the lead up to Field Day we had three CME hits, which of course threw the good propagation out the window.  The numbers at 1320 UTC on June 27th didn't look good at all: SFI=100, SN=28, A Index=10, and K Index=2.  Those numbers, while changing a little, stayed almost constant throughout the weekend.

We also spent Saturday morning tarping the tents after seeing the projected weather forecast, two of the SSB stations and the Digi station where located in tents, and there is not much shelter out at Hay Bay from the elements.
The 6m and 2m "tower" made from a 32' ladder.

At 2000 UTC on Saturday the driving rain and strong winds hit, and it rained and blew heavily for the rest of the weekend.  But, nobody got wet, the tarps did their jobs, and all the radio's survived!   Things were so wet and windy out there we actually left everything setup out there when we left Sunday afternoon, and we will go out Monday morning and take everything down in the beautiful weather we have that Field Day is over !!

Even with the poor propagation we still managed to better our score from last year.  The 20m band was our top scorer with over 500 contacts, the 40m and Digi stations did pretty well too.  Unfortunately the 15m and 80m stations didn't have much activity on them, both of those stations made a respectable amount of contacts - but nowhere near normal, and we only managed to make a single contact on 6m.  

The second Field Day site our club operated was near Odessa at the QTH of George, VE3SIQ.  They also did very well over the weekend, especially as Geoge only moved in to this QTH a few weeks ago.  This year due to the number of ops who wanted to take part we had to do two sites, and we hope this trend continues.

Overall it was a successful weekend at Hay Bay, finishing with a total of 1385 contacts.  I think we may have kept our standing from last year, but we will wait and see what the final scores are when they are published later in the year by the ARRL.

Tarped up and waiting for the rain at the Digi station.

2015 Field Day Map.....only Newfoundland is not filled in!!

Remember........364 days to go till next Field Day !!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment