Field Day 2024- Part 1

By | June 24, 2024
Closing crew on Sunday

On June 23, 1778, General George Washington and the Continental Army were camped in Hopewell, New Jersey, just down the road from Rocky Hill. The weather was so hot that soldiers died of heat exhaustion as they marched in woolen uniforms along what is now Route 518 to the river crossing at Rocky Hill. The morning of June 25th they climbed the “Rocky Hill” and marched past Rockingham, a large farm house, to Kingston, NJ, where they rested in the heat, continuing at dusk on their march to the Battle of Monmouth.

Four years later, Rockingham would become George Washington’s final war-time headquarters. The building is now a state historic site (on Kingston-Rocky Hill Road).

On June 22, 2024, a couple of dozen ham radio operators climbed the Rocky Hill, near the site of Rockingham to create a communications facility, for ARRL Field Day 2024 #ARRLFD

Laura, Rob, John D. and FT8

Just as in 1778, Field Day Saturday was dangerously hot. Heat indexes were over 100, temps in the mid-90s (for four days in a row). Fortunately, Cushla and John F. brought water and ice cold drinks. They also brought canopies to keep us shaded (and enclosed at night). Nobody wore wool.

John C. and Barb A. got the urge to camp out, so they brought their RV — thankfully with air conditioning — a much needed place of respite from the relentless heat. The RV also provided freezer storage for Kay’s Italian Ices, an excellent noon-time snack shared with the group.

The site itself had been prepared and weed-whacked on Friday by Josh, Norm, Jim G, Cushla and Bob, and Charlie D. The site is wide open, covered with gravel. That meant lots of sun… everywhere. Fortunately. we could set up tents near the southern tree line, and get a little bit of shade… which helped! Norm, Kevin, and Josh used “nut launchers” to throw fish line over trees. This raised our dipoles to respectable heights. Jim got his drone up over the top of the best tree, but could not set the line. The method was very promising though; maybe next year.

Dinner Time

Taking a break

Cushla provided Dinner– cold foods for a hot evening. John D. provided Belgian Waffles on Sunday morning, and Laura, fresh from the “Golden Horseshoe” of Ontario, provided lunch on Sunday.


Tom Devine WB2ALJ (SEC for Southern NJ Section) chats with Rebecca
Ron Fish, KX1W, ARRL Affiliated Club Coordinator for SNJ, talks with John D.
Bill Kelly, American Red Cross, presents Charlie D. with certificate “For demonstrating the capabilities of Amateur Radio to work in less than optimal conditions.


Speaking of “Less than Optimal,” thunderstorms made radios crackle from the start of the contest at 2 PM to 3PM or so, as Trenton and Edison had rain, but we didn’t. We did stop operations several times based on radar images.

Then at 5:30 PM, the sky opened, with lightning and 0.3″ of rain. Everyone was safely in cars or the RV, and equipment was mostly safe under the tarps… only some note paper was ruined. The weather, however, did not cool down. Heat continued through 2 PM on Sunday, though no more thunderstorms threatened.

The sun did allow us to make plenty of solar contacts on FT4 and FT8.

That’s a wrap!

Josh, John D, John F, Laura …. Pack it up!