Trying to stay true to Field Day

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by OH8STN, Jul 5, 2019.

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  1. K9GLS

    K9GLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh this is a good place for my thoughts. The spirit of field day... I just wished everyone followed the rules. I was under the impression that when someone calls QRZ, you say your call sign and if they here you then you both exchange the transactional information (that some people can't stand and say it's just an evil contest) and then at the end the person calling CQ or QRZ usually says "good luck and 73". At that point I was under the assumption of the rules that the person THEN gives their call sign and calls QRZ again. Instead the instant the world hears 73 there is this mass pileup of 1500 watts of desperation (sarcasm on the 1500 watts... just desperation). I know, I know at this point there will be 43 comments pointing out the fact it doesn't make any difference that there would be a pileup as soon as they call QRZ. I like to know in advance who I am replying to. I jot down their call sign in advance so I don't have to go through the bullshit of "you're 5 and 9 plus 20 but what was your call again? again again? Can you give that to me phonetically slower? LOL I digress. Makes it really difficult for people with 5 or 6 watts. Anyway we live in a world where there are no rules, everyone does as they damn well pleases and trophies for everyone why would amateur radio be any different? The picture is my field day operation. I made contacts over in New Hampshire, Texas, Ontario and Columbia, California (1900 miles away on 6 watts) so I was pretty happy. Nope.. beyond happy. I 'm still doing the happy dance! QRP isn't about quantity that's for sure. One contact 1100 miles away can be a rush like no other. Carry on.
     

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  2. W7CJD

    W7CJD Ham Member QRZ Page

    It seems to me "man portable" means having a backpack rack of ham radio gear, antenna mounted and dragging a counterpoise.

    I like the SOTA model, even more so for the big Field Day.

    However, I really enjoyed seeing the vid and the photos.
     
    NH7RO likes this.
  3. WA2LXB

    WA2LXB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Julian, Shawn, Gary...thank you for sharing your single op setups for FD and for getting out into the "field". I especially appreciate Julian's detailed equipment lists and instructional videos on deployment, software and hardware.

    And check out Shawn's Zed page...the picture of the selfie with bovine is hilarious!
     
    W0FW likes this.
  4. N1IPU

    N1IPU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Getting past the nitpicking negative nancy's I am happy to see some getting the idea of field day in context. Getting the gear in remote locations as a single person is a daunting task so use whatever you need to get it all there. Just three days of MRE's and water is a load to bear. I went around for field day to several sites and saw none applying true remote operations.
    Motor homes, gensets, towers and keurigs isn't how I see it but with the aging population of hams it's understandable. Not going to pick on them or you guys who ventured out alone. Thanks for pushing true man portable operations and showing us.
     
    NH7RO likes this.
  5. WA2LXB

    WA2LXB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Julian's videos are inspiring and instructive, as is his website: https://oh8stn.org/

    A good group to join regarding man-portable gear is: https://groups.io/g/hfpack Their legacy site is here: http://www.hfpack.com/

    Another cool site: http://hflink.com/

    I'm FD chair for our association and most of our hams are well into their late 60s and early 70s and some are much older. FD needs to be comfortable, coffee should be hot 24/7, meals need to be prepped and cooked, logging software networked and antennas troubleshot. Our members prefer that FD be inside a fire station or similar if they are going to stay and operate over both days. If we are outside under a pavilion or awning tent, those without campers will operate during the day, but will go back home at night.

    Fortunately our local fire departments are happy to have us use their space, and we enjoy meeting the chiefs and volunteers.

    If I want to do true man-portable, I'll do a SOTA, POTA or winter field day.

    73,
    Hugh
     
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  6. K9KQX

    K9KQX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yeah, I like the minimalist approach W0FW did. I'm not much of an outdoorsman, but in my opinion, having the smallest gokit/box you can bring and an easy to setup antenna that fits in a backpack or easily carried to the site would be ideal.

    So if it were me, I'd prep this for easy deployment
    1. Food... Notice food is number 1, I'm a ham with an appetite... maybe some krispy creme donuts and coffee to wash it down :D
    2. tent, and sleeping bag
    3. Water
    4. Small Mobile HF rig
    5. Magnetic loop Antenna or as a backup a resonant wire antenna. For this I like the OCF as its useful on multiple bands, and less wires then a fan dipole, and no traps. Draw back are finding trees. Alternative to no trees is some kind of adjustable Vertical antenna, but I'm not a fan of base loaded antennas. Tried a portable one, and didn't have much luck.
    6. Batteries, preferably those light weight Lithium batteries.
    7. And finally if possible some kind of flexible solar cells you can fold up. Might not allow you to operate all day, but if I can get on the air for a couple times during the day that works for me.

    For me FD means an exercise in portable emergency communications in a SHTF event. ya might not need to communicate for a solid 24 hours, but proving you can setup quickly, and make effective contacts shows its usefulness when time could be a critical factor. It shouldn't take weeks of planning to go do a FD. The biggest planning might be the initial go Kit preparation, but after that it should take no more then 30 minutes to grab what you can and be out the door.
     
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  7. W0FW

    W0FW Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Agreed.

    I keep a "bug out" bag packed at all times with the essentials for a field station, minus the KX3 since that is used in the shack when I am not portable. I keep a QRPGuy's tri-band vertical which is a quarter-wave for 20 meters, and uses a couple switches and toroids for loading on 30 and 40 meters. SWR is less than 1.4:1 on all 3 bands. I also carry a QRPGuy's 60/80 meter vertical antenna. The tri-bander weights just 3 ounces....and both fit in the palm of my hand when stowed. I use a 20 foot Shakespeare Wonderpole to hold them up since trees are pretty hard to come by out here on the prairie. I normally carry a headless Raspberry Pi for digital modes and a 10 inch Android tablet. The soundcard is a $7 Sabrent USB soundcard that I bought off Amazon, along with a U-blox GPS dongle for accurate timekeeping and precisely pinpointing my 10 digit grid square.
    The entire station is powered from a 10Ah LiFePo 4 battery and that will easily provide 8 - 10 hours of operating at QRP levels....and the KX3's internal Eneloop batteries will provide a few more hours, at reduced power...if needed.

    The whole station fits into a fairly small pack and is ready to go on a moments notice.

    If I intend to operate beyond 10 hours, I'll take a second pack with the roll up solar panel, collapsible camp stove and dehydrated food but I typically don't have that much free time on the ranch.
     
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  8. WU7H

    WU7H Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fun video. Had to laugh about the reason for not putting up a dipole. Launching gear? How about a rock and some paracord... LOL. I've put up a dipole on a few hundred summits in the Pacific NW for SOTA activations without any launching gear. Here is my SOTA station (photo attached), which I've used on week long backpacking trips to do multiple SOTA activations per day. Weighs in right around 2 lbs. Never failed to make plenty of contacts using the original digital mode!

    Keep up the good work - I do enjoy these videos!

    73,

    WU7H
     

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  9. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    My "launching gear" consists of some colored mason line and a 8 ounce plastic bottle with a screw on top. With the bottle about 2/3 full with water, I can consistently get the mason pull line(s) 50-60 feet up into the trees. No overhand pitching! Besides silly, it's just about guarantees an injury to the throwing arm. Instead, I do the "pendulum underhand pitch." Works a charm!
     
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  10. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I applaud this approach, but also think there's a place for campers, generators, even RVs etc. If one sees this as at least in part as an emergency exercise then, depending on the type and extent of such hypothetical emergency, there might be a need for one guy to heroically come hiking in with a backpack, or a need for several people from a club to come set up a field communications center, or anything in between. It's all good to me.
     
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