Ham Radio Field Day 2016: San Jose CA

What is Field Day?

Field Day is Worldwide event that involves more than 35,000 Ham Radio Operators. The purpose of Field Day is to encourage Ham Radio operators to use their equipment in a simulated “emergency” or “power outage”. Operators will use portable energy ranging from gas powered, to solar powered radios. If that wasn’t enough fun, it is also a contest where you can score points for making contacts.

My Experience

This is just a little look at what I experienced this Field Day. It was actually my second time at a Field Day event. I signed up for 3 slots:

  1. The GOTA (get on the air) Station (2 Hours)
  2. VHF Station (1 Hour)

Setup Day

Before we could actually  be on the air, all of the equipment had to be setup and tested. Its a good thing they did because we found out that two of the radios that were supposed to be used did not work. I guess this is part of Field Day as well.

The next set of pictures were on the day of setup.

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This was Setup Day. There weren’t too many people this day. These two canopies would later be the info booth and the GOTA Staion.
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The GOTA Station getting ready to be plugged in.
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GOTA Station connected to a portable battery pack.

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This is the antenna we would be using for the 2m VHF Station.
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Some of the guys eating dinner.
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Some of the guys setting up the antenna for the GOTA Station which operated on 80m-10m
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Here is the radio that was used inside the M37 Comm Van.

Field Day in Action

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Part of Field Day is to promote the use of Ham Radio to the public. We operated in a public park and this is what you saw when you arrived or were driving by. You can also see the GOTA Staion in the background.
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The GOTA Station in action. Ray is in the middle and he was the Control Operator for the GOTA.
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Ray was tuning up the radio for a visitor we had. I think we scored double points for unlicensed users.
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The ICOM 706
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Here is the complet setup of the GOTA Station. From left to right: The laptop that logged all the contacts. An external speaker with noise cancellation. Antenna tunner, watt meter and another noise cancelling box/thingy.
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Our VHF station clearly running on solar power.
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Most of the contacts made were later in the evening.
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Two radios were used for different purposes. Again, a laptop for logging the contacts.
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And it wouldn’t be Field Day without a field expedient antenna. One of the guys brought his butane soldering iron, and made himself a 70cm antenna for his HT. I thought this was really cool.
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Here is the M37 Comm Van. It is fully operational on the road and on the air.

 

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Next Year?

If the Lord wills, I plan on doing it again. I have been considering doing Field Day by myself  just to test what I am capable of doing in an “emergency”. Until then, be Blessed.

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