Saturday, 7 March 2015

Analysis of Winter Field Day 2015

  1. THINGS THAT WENT WRONG:
    1. The mast on the club comm trailer is not up to the task of operating in cold weather. First, it was frozen, and then, would not hold air after being thawed out. The seals are likely the source of the troubles.
    2. The club portable generator would not start. I recommend we store it with some gas plus stabilizer and start it up at least once a month.
    3. The Sharon Hall location is extemely noisy (RF noise) and conditions were extremely poor all weekend.
    4. The Sharon Hall acoustics are poor for voice communications and the chatter of guests and members present make it difficult to operate.
  2. THINGS THAT WENT RIGHT:
    1. The location was excellent for visibility to the general public creating some “off the street” visits.
    2. The site worked very well for antenna placement with no interference between the stations noticed. Six antennas deployed (160,80, three muti band verticals, 2m beam)
    3. The kitchen facilities worked extremely well for food and refreshment prep.
    4. The press showed up giving us additional advertising of the hobby and club.
    5. Using just a home made hand held antenna with a hand held radio, two satellite contacts were made.
    6. The trailer generator starts and works very well, handles the load, including a heater in the trailer.
    7. The tower trailer worked perfectly in the cold weather conditions.
    8. Everything went according to schedule and we were able to start by noon and the clean up went quickly.
  3. SUMMARY:

    Overall, the event went very well for a first time activity for the club. We met our objective, to quickly (in 4 hours) establish an emergency communications site in winter conditions. Band conditions are out of our control but we did make contacts in spite of this. Local RF noise was an issue here but the other advantages of the site made it a good choice overall. Also, we were able to discover where we have weakness in cold weather operation (generator and mast) and hopefully we can work to resolve these issues.


Steve VE3UT
Club Field Day Chair

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