This year our club decided to participate in Winter Field Day.† We had never participated in it before.† We always try to make sure we have a station up for ARRLís Field Day in June, but this was our first time for this one. This event is to allow hams to practice setting up stations for emergency operations and to just have a good time making contacts as a group.
So, on January 25th, we met at the Oil Springs Fire Station #2, located on the road the leads to Paintsville Lakeís marina.† We spent† a couple of hours putting up several antennas. We had a rotatable dipole, a six meter antenna, a vertical and a fan dipole.† We then setup 4 radios.† We could cover all bands from 80 to 6 meters, though there was no activity on the upper bands.† We had contacts on voice (SSB), digital (JS8) and cw. The bands were not in great shape, due to the low in our sunspot cycle, plus, winter field day doesnít seem to be nearly as popular as summer field day.† We made 46 contacts of which, 17 were SSB, 2 were JS8 and 27 were cw.† One contact to France was made, but he wasnít participating in the event and didnít seem to understand what was needed from him.† We didnít count him.
The weather was not the best on that day.† It was cool and rainy at times.† Mainly, it rained when we were putting up our antennas and carrying equipment into the building. The building we were in was heated and very comfortable.
We had around ten hams show up for the event along with some family members.† Most everyone got to make some contacts sometime during the day.† Since we didnít know what the weather and therefore the participation was going to like, we had decided not to bring food and to just get our food from some restaurants.† We got a pizza for lunch and some sandwiches from Arbyís for supper.
In the evening hours, the bands seem to get worse and we just couldnít hear any stations that we hadnít already worked.† So we decided not to stay the night and at around 8:00, we started dismantling our stations and antennas.† We were out of there and on way home shortly thereafter.
We did have a good time and made some contacts, even if we didnít burn up the air waves.† It was a good experience even though it was not the event that summer field day is.† Of course that event is sponsored by the ARRL and hams have been doing that for many years.† And maybe more importantly, it is the summer when the weather is better and we can open the doors to let fresh air into our operating positions.† Winter Field Day is a much newer event and many hams donít even know there is such a thing.
The club would like to thank the folks at Firestation #2 for the use of their building and the hospitality they showed us for this event and for summer Field Day.† They had the building already warmed up for us when we arrived and even had coffee on for us.† It is a great place for our field day activities and we do appreciate the use of the building.