Putting the Fun in Field Day!

Hey, all!

KE0LMY here!

Most years, I focused on getting contacts on Field Day. SOME people might say I am a TEENY bit competitive. I tended to focus more on the contest aspect of the event, rather then the heart of what Field Day was actually created for, way back when.

This year, with our inaugural run in Benton County, Bigfoot (Roger aka KD0WXT) worked so hard on the county’s Em Comm trailer that we HAD to really stretch her legs. With some ingenuity and resourcefulness, we had a set up that had us booming into stations hundreds of miles away!

We had a great cookout with Stephen, Debbie, and the kids! The food was fantastic and we even had some good jokes/puns to put on Facebook!

The highlight of my fun has its roots in past Field Days. For the last two years, I have earned the nickname Julie (after Julie on The Love Boat) because I always carried a clipboard.

This year, I added a whole new level of entertainment when I inadvertently had my clicky pen taken away! Apparently I have a “clicking the pen” habit when I am looking for contacts across the bands! When they gave me my non-clicky pen, I was so sad!

But not to worry! Some time later, Renee traded me back my clicky pen for some time on the mic!

Speaking of the kids: Renee (KE0LMZ) and Alex (KE0YGT) did a plethora of jobs and were so happy and motivated to help our club with our first Field Day!

Let’s start with Renee:

She served as our official Safety Officer, adding safety features to the operations area. She helped Bigfoot deploy the Em Comm trailer’s new push-up telescoping mast. She kept the team hydrated and saw to other needs. She also logged for me for long stretches!

And now, Alex:

Alex helped with A LOT of the setup and breakdown for the event! He was also fantastic at hunting for contacts for me. Since I went with a paper log, he made sure to cross reference and check for duplication before alerting me to another possible contact!

It was awesome to see my two kids take such an active hand in the event!

They also learned to make a tape measure antenna of their own like this one Bigfoot made (pictures of theirs to follow later!):

On to a very awesome gentleman who brings our only CW talent and ability to D.A.R.K.’s first Field Day: Stephen Swerline (KF6DRH). Stephen and his wife Debbie have joined us for previous D.A.R.K. events and cookouts. They are always jovial and helpful!

Stephen was able to make CW contacts both at the event site, as well as from home! We were so excited to have this option to expand our Field Day activity!

Our day was not perfect by any means! We were prepared to do digital for the event, but an ill-timed Windows update caused us some issues we weren’t able to fix until 5:30 PM local time on Sunday. That was SO FRUSTRATING! We also had a weight slip on one of the telescoping mast braces which caused some problems. We have a list of improvements to continue with on the trailer, but overall, it performed beautifully!

We plan to make next year’s Field Day even better! We hope more members can take part and we will be in a great location to interact with the public more!

73,

Sam Henley KE0LMY