Remembering Field Day 2022

By | July 2, 2022

This year’s Field Day was a great success. Newly licensed ham Fran O’Connell, KD2YMX, shared his impressions of David Sarnoff Radio Club Field Day and some of his photos, too. Here’s his report.

An essay by Francis KD2YMX

I was informed by a colleague/friend from the IEEE that she (Rebecca Mercuri, K3RPM) had received a grant from Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) to train girls and women in the use of ham radio. The project is called M.O.R.E for Make Operating Radio Easier. I asked Rebecca if I can take the training if I bring my wife Barbara. She said yes! My wife and I worked through a few weeks of training with Rebecca, Pat: K2PAT and Don: AK2S. We both passed the technician test by early 2022.

Since then, I had been making contacts and making new friends around the world using the EchoLink Voice over IP application.

When we received our Yaesu FT-65 radios as part of passing the tech license on the MORE project, I immediately started programming it to make contact with nearby repeaters to Plainsboro, NJ. My wife and I use the Simplex mode to stay in touch when close, but out of sight.

I joined the David Sarnoff Radio Club (DSRC) and I’ve been getting a lot of training information and helpful hints from Pat: K2PAT, Henry: KD2VZQ, John: KD2AAR and others.

The talk of the nets of DSRC these past few months was Field Day. I was intrigued to learn more about this event and to attend. Our family are campers, so we are used to being out all day so that aspect was welcome to me.

I planned to attend part of Saturday and just a bit of Sunday’s program. However as I heard more about it, I realized that I wanted to learn how to setup antennas and radios. The camping training came in handy and a lot of the setup involved moving equipment from the cars to the sites and setting up canopies and tables. Thank you to John: NU3E, and John: KD2AAR for taking care of breakfast, lunches and dinner.

HF Maypole at dusk

I was amazed by the setup of the long wavelength antennae. The antenna wires were strung through what would become the “top of the May pole”. After all of the wires were strung (80 meter, 40 meter and I think 20 meters) the May pole was erected by a group of members using guy wires to lift the top of the pole and hold it in place vertically while other members staked down the guy wires in 3 places from the top of the pole and 3 places from the middle of the pole.

VHF/UHF and Off-Center HF antenna “Tower”/ladder

While that was going on, a team member was using a slingshot to shoot a guy wire up over a tree branch. The weighted wire came down from the tree branch and it was then used to pull up an antenna end into the tree.

I was mesmerized by Josh: NG2V communicating over CW. I had never seen that in action. Charlie: N2CTW was trying to cue me in on what was happening, but there was so much activity, that I just had to sit back and marvel.

I got to transmit on 2 meters over phone early Sunday morning on Charlie’s rig. That was neat. I walked around the field and watched Rebecca, K3RPM making contacts on 20 meters using a 5 Watt radio and a buddy pole.

I marveled at John: NU3E making contact with Australia using digital modes. All the things that I studied for in the Technician license was now visible to me!

This Field Day opened my eyes to what can be done with our radios. I look forward to making an antenna that will help me to get more range with my HT. I will also look into buying a radio to work on high frequencies. And I look forward to our next DSRC meetup and Field Day.

Until Next Year…