Saturday, June 25, 2011
Today and tomorrow is the famous Amateur Radio Relay League's Field Day world wide. Field Day shows how a group of ham operators can gather quickly and set up communications from any spot. Recently, this was another life saving reality when amateurs provided essential communications for the devastated community of Joplin, Missouri.
I think my first organized Field Day was at W8LT when I was a freshman at Ohio State. The group set up the antennas and equipment and generators out east of Columbus. Since I was a decent CW operator I was always asked to participate in Field Days. CW is short for continuous wave broken with a key to form dots and dashes for letters and characters or Morse Code.
Later, I participated in Highland, Brown, Clermont and Clinton County Field Days all over southwest Ohio. The idea is show you set up by a certain time and communicated with other stations next door or around the world. We never won first place except at Ohio State, who was really competitive, but we had some pretty good showings.
I should have some good field day stories but I can't think of any at that moment. All I remember is setting up antennas and equipment, fast CW as long as I could stay awake, crashing and getting up and doing it all over again.
The Highland group is operating just 5 miles east of here and having a covered dish dinner at 5 this evening so we might go over and re-introduce ourselves.
I have several years of QST Magazine I might bring to give to someone, they were valued to me as a kid when I read them from cover to cover.