Field Day 2019 was quite a success! Despite a late start in the year, and a large number of last year’s heavy-lifters being on vacation this year, we had a good turnout and had fun. A big hand goes out to Abhilekh Virdi (W6WV), Bob Muller (KB6CTX), and Steve Merchant (K6AW) for helping me with all the setup. Jonah Blossom (W6HKE) and his girlfriend stopped by and helped for a bit too. Thanks to Theo (KK6YYZ) for securing the park, and Brian (K6BPM) for lending us his wifi gear.
We had two stations this year: the Rover with the SteppIR antenna and a 40/80 dipole, and a second station set up on a table in the field under an awning with a G5RV dipole on three fiberglass poles at about 35 or 40 feet in an inverted-V configuration. Denis Franklin (W6EW) kept us all company while operating HF independently from his vehicle. The best story of the weekend involves Orvel Black (NA6J). Orvel attended an SBARC meeting about a year ago and chose to swing by Field Day for a couple of hours this year to check it out. He has his Extra class license, but he has been waiting to get his morse code skills up to around 20wmp before “allowing himself” to transmit, although he listens frequently. He was so excited by the Field Day events that he decided he had to get on the air and he made his first-ever HF transmission from Field Day. After returning home, he decided he had enjoyed operating so much that he came all the way back from Ventura to operate from about midnight until past 7:00am Sunday morning and he made well over 100 contacts during that time. He told me it was “a day of firsts” for him and “Absolutely a great experience.” His enthusiasm was off the charts. This alone made it all worth it.
Abhilekh made a couple of CW contacts and many SSB contacts. Steve Merchant was our heavy hitter with 412 CW contacts over the course of about eight hours. Orvel made over 100 contacts in over seven hours. All in all we had 592 contacts across the 2, 20, 40, and 80 meter bands. Our point score submitted to the ARRL was 2,662 (although, true score will be at least 35 points less due to some duplicate QSOs). Last year our point score was 2,236 for 553 contacts. Last year our score was heavily influenced by all the bonus points we achieved including attendance by our ARRL Section Manager, GOTA station, National Traffic System message completion, and many more, while this year we also achieved the natural power, 100% emergency power, and media publicity bonus, the real points driver was Steve Merchant’s 412 CW contacts. We get DOUBLE points for morse code contacts, so this created a big boost to our points total. We also get double points for digital modes, so we may want to strive to use all three modes next year.
Click here to check out the statistics that I compiled from our log file. After clicking on the above link, you can simply click “Next” (in the top right corner) multiple times to get an overview of the various statistics, but you’ll find a WEALTH of info if you spend some time digging (many of the pages have buried links to fun things that you won’t stumble across simply by clicking “Next”). You can go down very long rabbit holes in almost every one of the 48 menu items (it isn’t just a flat file). For instance, click on the various MAP links under SUMMARY for a map showing contacts on ALL bands or any one band. There are even KMZ files you can download if you are into Google Earth.
For more about ARRL Field Day click here. For last year’s results (this year is still being tallied), click here. If you’d like to join the SBARC Field-Day Mailing List for future Field Days, click here.