Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Field Day Approaches

Field Day is NEXT WEEKEND! Wow, that came fast. It feels like yesterday that I was bemoaning the fact that I had to work the entire weekend of FD2012. This year, I don't and I've been preparing my family for my absence long enough now that they roll their eyes when I continue to remind them. So I'm in full planning mode.

I was hoping to run QRP CW as a 1B station this year, but I've been slacking a little in the learning department and my CW is still way too shaky to commit to an entire weekend of CW only. I will still try to gather a few CW contacts with patient ops, probably in the wee hours of the morning when the pile-ups are few and far between and less people will be listening to my shaky fist. For the most part, I'll be operating SSB. 

I've thought long and hard about where to celebrate this year's festivities, but my equipment is weighing down (literally) my options. Because I will be working SSB, I only have a full size 100W rig available. While I have no problem losing the computer and paper logging (see THIS post), my transceiver alone will draw more power than I can easily carry. Since my house is 100% solar powered during the day, I may operate from the QTH and utilize a bank of AGM batteries I have stashed for just such an occasion. That feels a little boring though. Maybe I'll set up a tent and "camp out" for the weekend. I have 9 acres to spread out in and plenty of trees to test out some quick and dirty antenna deployment options. Who knows?

It's times like this where I really miss being a part of a club. I still have had zero luck getting in touch with anyone listed on the ARRL club list for Northern NJ. I'm hoping to wrap up my mobile install tonight, so I can start monitoring the local repeaters and maybe find a few other like-minded hams to steer me in the right direction, or to start a new club with. Until then, I need to get ready for next weekend. 

What are your plans for Field Day?

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