Another field day is in the books. The abundance of 1Ds and the ability for them to work each other certainly changed the dynamic of the event. It was more difficult to hold a frequency, but we changed around our operating style and ultimately put up our best score yet.
This year we planned to have 3 dedicated CW operators, 1 dedicated digital operator, and 2 phone operators. Between the permanent stations (and the pile-ups on them) and the band conditions, we adjusted our operating plan a bit. 2 of our 3 CW stations spent the weekend as full-time S&P on the bands they were working. One of our phone stations ended up doing mostly digital (where the playing field was a bit more even for lower power stations) and only a few hours of phone. The phone we did do was during peak times on bands we know we’re good on (cut dipoles on 40 and 80 strung between tall trees at about 50ft AGL). We’re very happy with the results.
Band conditions were interesting. 20 was a dog on Saturday. Our CW op racked up points, but phone was a brutal slog with everyone about equal in the noise and difficult to make a contact with. As if that wasn’t enough fun, we had storms coming across Lake Erie in the evening, providing plenty of static crashes on 40 and 80 to contend with. We really didn’t make many 40 phone contacts until Sunday morning.
Conditions on Sunday were a lot nicer. The only thing we could have asked for would have been a bit more of an opening on 6m – it sure was impressive earlier in the week!
All in all, many Qs in the logbook, the generator made it through another year – even with the multiple “hot refuels,” everyone caught up on sleep today and, as always, many 807s were consumed and in the recycle bin. We do hope we hear folks on the air again this year commenting on the ample liquid refreshment supply.
Thanks to everyone we worked this weekend, from the Black River Radio Ops.
73 de NW8S