Field day is the fourth Saturday and Sunday of each June. It is the highlight of the year for me. While we use two club meetings to talk about all the important details of field day, I thought I would take a moment to encourage everyone to work on a few things before the big event.
- For SSB operators, turn on your HF rig and do some listening. SSB is a lot different than the FM off the repeater and if you aren’t accustomed to the sound, it takes a while to get back in the groove. Add to that the cacophony of people on the bands and its wild. Now is the time to make a few contacts. Even if they are weekend quick contest contacts.
- For CW folks its time to fire up Morse Runner. For those of you unfamiliar, its an excellent contest simulation program. Start playing 5 minutes a day to get yourself ready! Of course nothing is a substitute for getting on the air, so get on the air this weekend and make some contacts.
- Your favorite side dish or dessert. We are going to need lots of food for ourselves and guests. Don’t be bringing something you wanted to try. Bring the good stuff. 🙂
- Practice smiling and greeting new people, maybe even your handshake. I know that its hard to believe, but the purpose of Field day is to introduce the outside world to our little hobby. You might even practice your story on “why” you love this hobby. New people want to hear it, but the short version. They have 50 more to hear!
Regardless of your preferred mode, make it a point to spend an hour operating or listening at the other mode station. Most of you know that I am a CW guy, but I made SSB contacts last year at Field Day. I have a whole new appreciation for the difficulty of picking out call signs in a pile up!
Its never too early to prepare!
What is your favorite field day tip?