Field Day 2023
After Action Report
- 10A We had 10 stations that worked every band and most modes.
+ The power bonus multiplier definitely helped to give us an edge.
- 10 stations will probably be our maximum on the wood lot property.
On Saturday, we were hit with a solar flare that blacked out part of the country for up to 20 minutes. This also wiped out 10m for us and caused complications for most of the upper bands for close to 8 hours, with the exceptions of 6m and 2m. 40m and 20m were the work horses for the remainder of the day, with 20m pulling most of the weight. Sunday rolled around and after a brief delay due to weather in the morning, everyone was back at it and all bands were back open, with the exception of 10m. 15m was the work horse for us on day 2. At one point, we had 3 stations, running 3 modes on 15m. Digital was the obvious leader of the pack.
After comments from almost everyone who operated at the event, the following were the take aways.
- Everyone who responded was thrilled with the layout and placement of the stations and their ability to run without interference from other stations.
- Logging software was the biggest concern, with the majority finding the current platform difficult to use/not user friendly/or cumbersome in general. N3FJP seemed to be the most popular among those who operated. We need to decide as a club, which software we are going to use. Networking all of the stations will eliminate confusion about who is operating on which frequency and on which mode. Everyone using the same software will also make it much easier for the person (Craig1) who is responsible for putting all of the information together to be sent in for the contest.
- We fell short in several areas and there has been clarification in those areas since to eliminate those short falls in the future, such as which station(s) can handle the education, visitors, and youth, who would like to participate with us, who might not be licensed operators. Another area was lack of a warm body to consistently man the 2m station. This is one area where everyone, including Technicians need to lend a hand in the future. We also fell short of our goal for getting elected officials and first responders, even though it was the most to ever be a part of the event. Next year, perhaps we can get closer to our goal to maximize those points.
- We also fell short on making a sat com contact this year. After the fact, most think it’s a good idea to have more than 1 person versed and able to make this contact.
- Most everyone commented that they were impressed with how well everyone worked together to get all of the stations up and running in a timely enough manor to ensure that everything was working properly and that there was no interference between stations. A huge thank you to everyone who helped with antennas, stringing coax, dealing with laptops, finding extra extension cords and extra coax, hunting down needed jumpers, and in general, lended a hand with tents, radials, food, taping off areas, and running to the store when needed. A lot of needless downtime would have occurred if everyone hadn’t pitched in.
- Something new for this year that also seemed to be an improvement, that most people were happy with, was people designated to greet visitors and sign them in, take pictures/videos, and play gopher when needed. Several people helped with this but Ryan Arno played the biggest hand in this area. It was suggested that in the future, we consider having 2-3 people to handle this duty, if we are going to continue to compete at this level.
- Lastly the elephant in the room, which simply can not be ignored and needs to be addressed……the underlying divide about what Field Day is supposed to be. We need to decide as a club if we are going to be a social club as a priority or if we are going to compete as a priority. With the layout we had, there was room for several to many campers along the north end of the property, which would have completely suited our needs as a club for those who wanted to camp and socialize, with plenty of electrical outlets for everyone to use, and still have the layout we did for operators to compete in the manor we did. Not everyone was ok with this though and unfortunately, there was disrespect shown towards the Roth family, instead of properly communicating with those who were responsible for the planning and layout. This CAN NOT happen again, in the future. There’s plenty of room for both operating and socializing within this club and at this event, without losing track of the fact that this is a contest. There is definite room for growth in the coming years, on the operations side of this but if it’s not the club’s priority, then that needs to be decided as a whole, by the club and needs to be addressed sooner, rather than later, so this kind of situation doesn’t happen again in the future and isn’t something that is uncomfortably ignored until the next event. With the OSPOTA event around the corner, this club needs to decide what direction we are going to go and how to handle this going forward.
A lot of people helped to make this event the success that it was and a big thank you goes out to everyone involved. There were a lot of late nights, a lot of equipment testing, and many expenses incurred to make this all happen. Congratulations as well to everyone, for everything, and the team effort to get the end result we did. We can achieve big things when we all come together, as a club.