16. Field Day Prep

Greetings again from Clark County, celebrating its Bicentennial and 57 consecutive days without a tornado!

Many of us participate in Field Day, the annual equipment and skills test sponsored by the American Radio Relay League.  With Field Day just a month away, it’s probably time for an equipment check.

For example, I fired up my 20+ year old ICOM HF rig this past weekend to try a radio check with the National Hurricane Center amateur station, only to discover that I left my outdoor antenna connected during a thunderstorm and no longer have a first receive amplifier stage!  I know this because I switched to the AM broadcast band and only picked up two Springfield stations.  Oops.  But because I checked it last Saturday I have options (repair and/or replace the rig) to still work Field Day.  I actually think I’ll do both.

Checking out your equipment a few weeks in advance may well help you avoid one or more unpleasant surprises when you set up on the Saturday morning of Field Day!  Until then, don’t forget to disconnect your outdoor antenna when not in use.

Submitted by Michael Schulsinger, N8QHV