Saturday, 12 September 2015

Field Day 2006

Thanks to Barry VA3LLT for sending these photos in response to the request I made at the last club meeting. Barry said that this Field Day was held at the Sutton Fairgrounds and it appears to be a smaller affair than the one that Steve VE3UT has been organizing of late. Based on the report in the September 2006 Splatter (thanks to Murray VE3IO for the hard copy, the soft copy is not on our web site yet) it looks like Dave VE3SLM was organizing Field Day at the time. There's both familiar and unfamiliar (to me) at least people in the photos so if you can help with the identification please add them to the comments or send me an email.

Bryn VE3VOD doesn't mind looking down
Barry and I agree that we think is Bryn VE3VOD carrying the Canadian flag up the old tower (affectionately known to some as the "BUTT" - I'm talking about the tower, not Bryn of course). The old tower was a scary monster that is now (better) off in some fixed location, rather than being towed around in a club trailer.

Our new tower is made of Aluminum (instead of Steel) and the trailer which carried the old tower has now been improved for stability and road-worthiness. The new tower is a bit shorter too, by design, to reduce weight and improve stability.

The weather looks better than Field Day 2015, even if the turnout was a bit lower. 

There was no mention of the score in the September 2006, Splatter, but there was a long write-up by Judy, VE3JYF, otherwise known as "the Ice Queen". Maybe someone could offer up an explanation for that handle. Anyway, her words are reproduced here for your pleasure. The Ice Queen was a frequent contributor to the Splatter so I miss her even though I don't think we've met

CQ my loves, As many of you know, the last couple of years have been a rollercoaster for my family and I. My father passed away just a couple of years ago, I lost my job due to their bankruptcy and finding a new job hasn't been so easy with my full time family responsibilities, but I have just started a new contract so I'm good 'til the fall. Planning my best friend's wedding is just one more thing and even though it is good stress, it's still stress, so anything to relieve my stress is greatly appreciated. The thoughtfulness of my secret Santa this last Christmas, the anonymous letter nominating me for the Harvey Bell award (which actually caught me speechless), and laughing & talking the night away in-between contacts at Field Day have lightened my world and all have contributed to making me feel alive and appreciated again. I owe you all a big hug. Thank you!!!

I'm happy to report that Field Day was a success in my books. It all started back in December... I started wording the press release, putting together a list of contacts (after losing two computers right after one another and starting from scratch because I couldn't open the backup). Over the months, I sent to all TV, radio and newswire media, to a lot of emergency workers, a lot of local, provincial and federal government officials and even to the Premier, put together the info booth and do the annual maintenance on the camper.

These days, we put the flag on before raising the tower

Now for the drive there, I guess I overlooked one specific part of the van, the clamps holding the muffler, so about 40K in to the trip we hear this faint drop and drag sound... and I immediately pull over to the side of the road... just near old Moonstone corners (ed: is this North of Lake Simcoe near Jarrett?). I bent down and lo and behold there is the tailpipe on the ground. Well, wearing my best Field Day clothes and a change of clothes inaccessible due to efficient packing, I had to get down on the ground. Fortunately it was only the clamp that had let go, unfortunately I couldn't find the heavy gauge wire I always carry... oh @&*%, that's right I had taken it out of the camper an used it when I sewed the backdrop for my friend's wedding photos... and hadn't remembered to replace it... luckily Mom found an old, really old, coat hanger, you know the ones that wouldn't bend under a torch... well it worked, but not before the local kid came out to the road with his dog saying that 'if my dad was there he could of fixed it in thirty seconds'. I just smiled and thought to myself, if either my dad or my ex was still around, it would still be me under the camper, trying to feed the coat hanger through the bracket and crimping it around the almost glowing hot muffler. I don't follow the typical gender stereotypes, I guess that's why I'm a ham and a lady, my folks gave me the freedom of choice and the knowledge of how to think things through logically... I enjoy the best of both worlds.

So I was down on the the ground wrapping the wire around the tailpipe, when what do I hear but the flushing of the toilet. As anyone who has ever been under a vehicle that has a toilet when it is being flush can attest, my life flashed before my eyes... have you all seen the movie RV? If you have a camper or trailer, this is a must-see. Thank goodness it is functioning correctly and that is all I'm going to say. The repair took a lot longer than I had anticipated with trying to find something to hold it in place and all... Back on the road the drive was pretty smooth after that. This year we didn't see our friendly neighbourhood bear at 12 & 48 or anything else interesting en route. We didn't bring the trailer this time so set-up was a breeze, as the camper will turn on a dime, and putting up the posters and taking them down was easy.

Chow time is always a favourite event at Field Day
Since this was my 2nd trip around the lake, we didn't make any wrong turns this year and arrived a little after 10. I am so thankful it wasn't disgustingly hot this year and many of the club showed up. I am proud of each and every member and their family for supporting your club, thank-you. Anyway we got the camper set up and relaxed a little, sorry I'm not so gung-ho that early in the morning. Besides, I have a workable excuse. I've been working on and off for Field Day since December doing all the public relations... and I enjoy operating on the night shift since I am a night owl. Glen got the display set up beside the camper and it was visible halfway to the road, and after dark it was like a beacon.

On right - Jan VE3ZYL 
Thanks!... Dave & everyone who manned the food station, well done. Thanks!!! And ALL the band captains and their volunteers. Well done everyone, Thank You!!! As I'm sure you all know by now, my heart lies in 80 metres, way back when I started in Field Day, I sat with a young lad and logged for a couple of hours before I talked for an hour or so. The next year they couldn't keep me away. I talked all night with a couple of the best guys in C'wood. It was my best Field Day ever. I still remember the fun I had that 2nd year. This year, as the band started up, I took Beth over to the 80 metre trailer and she made here first contact. I think it was to N1NC, but that was enough for her, and for the logs, as a youth operating it earns us bonus points. Maybe next year after dinner she'll be up for an hour or so... 

Then it was time for me to keep my end of the deal, playing soccer for a while. Rog [ed: presumably this is Roger VE3ROG] joined us and the game was on... Thanks Rog, you are all going to have to ask him the line about what happened to the Easter Bunny some day, it's a real tear jerker. By then it was dusk and time to put all the toys away. Dark comes quickly up in Sutton as there are no streetlights on at the fairgrounds. After Beth went to bed, I headed over to the 80 metre trailer again. Bill and Rog were cq-ing away. Rog left and we carried on. 

Chairs are optional - man's best friend is not
Ron VE3CGR with the Midnight
Shortly after, security made contacts for a brief time, I'll say it again, nice inflective voice young man. So letting them have their way with the radio, a brief walk around the site, beautiful stars, loud music from the 'grad-hall' and it was our turn on the air. We cq'ed and joked the night away. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love to contest on Field Day. I think before I went to bed, I had made 6 trips to the Jack & Jane through the wet grass and my shoes were wet and my feet were cold and by about 2 AM it was bloody cold even inside. Bill turned on the stove, which was much better. Thanks again.

As usual I started to lose my voice by about 4 and there is only one ting that would cure it, stop talking and start logging. By 5:30 it was time for bed, with one last dewy walk through the grass and then back to the camper. I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow, and was awake by 7 as my Mom & daughter are both early risers... so with great difficulty I got up and active.

After breakfast we played for a little while, then the generator was refueled and we worked very hard to get to 100 contacts on 80 metres. We fell a little short of our goal, I think 94 is quite respectable considering the band conditions.

And by 11:30 it was time to throw in the towel and call it a contest. The end result is we should receive the bonus for an invited emergency worker attending the event. Chief John Molyneaux, the bonus for an info booth, and for at least two youths actively making contacts during Field Day. It was a lot of work, but well worth it. We operated under the club's call sign, with 4 stations, under alternate power, and of course in Sutton... VE3YRA, 4 Alpha, Ontario.

The tower, trailers and tarps cam down in a flash and it was time to leave for home, for me six hours away. We drove back from Sutton up around the top of Lake Simcoe; it's not shorter but less traveled and with the camper, I don't go much over the speed limit so I irritate some drivers. We stopped at the A&W in Orillia and while Mom & Beth had a snack, my head hit the pillow and again I was asleep before I knew it, Beth was saying an hour had passed and it felt like I had just dozed off... We headed back along past Moonstone Resort and I noticed that up the other side, the oil pressure started to drop - not off the scale - but lower than the normal range for the camper... So much for getting home and to bed... Luckily there is a gas station to pull off at not too far from there. I added some oil, and we were off once again. Thankfully this did the trick and once at the cottage we changed from the camper/van to the car/van and drove home... and after my shower I feel like a lady again.

As always I truly enjoy the weekend, and I am delighted with everyone's actions, from the tower climber, to heavy lifters, from the band captains to security, to the friend/spouses who 'just' came out to support the cause. I think this was the 2nd  best year... but there's always the chance that next year will be better. This brings me to the point where I am announcing that I am stepping aside as P/R person for the Field Day next year at least. I think I will make it as just an 80 metre operator for the overnight shift, but we'll have to see. I would like to thank everyone for their support and compassion, but I need a break for me & my family. When you're done reading this remember to thank your family & loved ones, even if they gave your flack for going to Field Day.

73's & 88's my love
Take Care 'til next time.

Group Photo (click for larger image)
There are 4 unidentified people under the canopy. From left to right standing looking at the camera: Steve VE3EZ (VE3PIP), Garrett VE3PYP, Jack VE3UU, Jan VE3ZYL, Bryn VE3VOD, Dave VE3SLM, Alan VA3WAH, Ron VE3CGR (with Midnight), Roger VE3ROG, ????, ????, John VA3JI, Tom VE3JPN, Murray VE3IO (VE3ATO), ????

Please help identify those not named in the photo. Thanks! Click on the photo to see a larger version. Send me an email or post a comment if you can help.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Ron VE3CGR for identifying VE3ZYL, VE3SLM, VA3WAH, VE3CGR and VE3JPN.