Hello, hams and friends, de KJ7UN!

This is a reminder that Field Day will soon be here. The on-air contest starts at NOON on Saturday, June 24th and goes until NOON on Sunday, June 25th. There is a count-down clock on our home page. We will start around 8am on Saturday, raising antennas, tower deployment and station set up. The first CQ goes out at Noon.


It is a 24 hour event where stations all over the United States set up in remote locations and practice getting HF stations on the air under emergency power (batteries, generators, solar, etc).  As if mastering that feat weren't enough, then we all compete against each other to see who can make the most contacts with the most stations in the most states on the most bands in that 24 hours.  The public is welcome and encouraged to come and see what we do.  For some of us, this is our most fun contest!  But it's also a chance to practice our emergency deployment of communications and the ability to pass traffic to other states, in the event of a natural disaster (or any disaster, really).  So, some people come to Field Day to set up and practice emergency comms, some come for the contesting, some come to learn about ham radio, some come for the camaraderie and camping trip and all of us come to enjoy the potluck on Saturday night.

Field Day is, again, out at Dale (W7NAV) & Irma Heidner's place in Belgrade. Directions and even GPS coordinates are on the GHRC website here.


Lawn chairs, bug spray, water & drinks, food (food to share for the Pot Luck, too), sunglasses, handhelds (for antenna raising comms and more), spare batteries, your VE badges (for those helping with the test session), umbrellas and anything else that makes camping or day-camping fun! There will be a port-a-potty on site - but bringing extra TP is always a good move!


There will be THREE stations running this year.

Two will be contesting (2A Class): One on SSB (phone/voice station) and one on CW (Morse Code station). Feel free to visit those stations, join in if you like contesting or just watch if you want to learn.

We will also have a third "Field Day Fun Station" running again this year. Last year, it was the GOTA (Get On The Air) Station and according to ARRL rules, it made points for the club. HOWEVER, this year the ARRL made the rules so confusing, so lengthy and so convoluted, that we couldn't comply with them and make that station any fun for any of us (let alone actually figure it out). So, instead, we decided to have that station up and running as our Field Day Fun Station. You can make Field Day contacts, listen on the bands and have a good time, without the stress and pressure of contesting. Remember that you must have a license of the correct class for the band/frequency/mode you are operating, OR you must have a licensed operator of the correct class near you that is your "control operator" to oversee your communications. You can use your call sign (if you have one of the right class) or your control operator's call sign - but since we are NOT officially running that station in the contest (wanting to stay a 2-alpha class) please do NOT use the W7ED call sign. That is reserved for the contest this weekend. We will have a sign on that trailer with the call signs of operators that have volunteered to help with that station, so just find the hams on the list, or ask someone who they are, and they will help you. You DO NOT have to be licensed to have fun - we will attempt to have experienced operators at or near that station at all times to help out and teach you how it works! (If you want to be on the list of Operators to help with the Field Day Fun Station, please email us! A General, Advanced or Extra Class license is needed.)


If you have never contested before or want to build your contesting skills, there are many occasions during the 24 hours when there are slower times - times when there aren't so many stations on, and a newer contester can get their feet wet, learn to listen or practice without having 20 stations calling them at once or trying to break a pile-up. If you want to get into contesting - or you've done it a few times and want to get better, just ask N7FLT, KJ7UN, W7LR, KE7X or anyone else running the contest stations when a good time is to jump in and learn, and we'll help you out! We've all cut our teeth on some late night Qs and that's the best way to get good at contesting. It's so much different than just rag chewing. (I plan to TRY to cut my teeth a bit on the CW station, when it's REALLY slow and LR or X aren't hammering out Qs for the contest.) If you're just not sure you're ready for that, you can simply enjoy the Field Day Fun Station and practice there.


The potluck starts between 5 and 6pm and goes until we're all bloated or the food is gone. (Just kidding - no one usually bloats.) Bring a dish to share! Ideas: potato salad, veggies, melons, casseroles, chips, dips, pies, cakes, ice creams.... Just be sure to have a way to keep food cold or warm it up. Someone (I forget who) is in charge of getting a grill for us - so you can bring your own meat(s) or fish(es) to grill up! Remember that this year the IEEE folks are joining us in the afternoon to learn about ham radio (someone should be in charge of showing them around and giving a "spiel" about it... Dave??) and they are bringing pop and chips to share too!


Harley, KI7XF, will be arranging a fox hunt again. (Fox hunts are "hidden transmitter hunts"). His hunts are always fun and field day is a GREAT chance to learn all about it with a few folks who have all the gear and you can tag along. If you're already an experienced hunter, you already know what to do!


Harley, KI7XF, will be the VE Coordinator for our test session on Saturday afternoon - around 2pm. If you want to test at Field Day - there will be a session available. You can email the club now to let me know and I'll forward a list on to Harley so he can be prepared (especially if anyone wants to test for CW, it would be good to know that ahead of time). But we will accept last minute testers too! Just find Harley at Field Day before 2pm and let him know you're interested.


Senator Gary Perry is going to try to make it this year. Not only do we get points for having an elected official at Field Day, but it's a great chance to give him your support, ask him questions, or yell at him if he did something you didn't like. He's a really down-to-earth guy and if you have not yet met him, this is a great opportunity to introduce yourself.  Be sure that someone takes the time to show him around and tell him what we're up to!


Remember that, as in years past, the media is invited and sometimes attends.  (Who's handling that this year and do you need any help?)  Sometimes it's a small newspaper, but TV has been there too. So get your hair and nails done, just in case (no, don't do that - but remember media might be there!)


Starting early Saturday morning, the first activity to be involved in is the antenna placements and raising. There is a beam that goes up on the GHRC crank-up tower. There may be another beam we will raise into the trees with ropes. There might be a "wire beam", if we find all the parts - and putting that up is very interesting indeed! We might have a few j-poles and I heard tell of an Inverted V or something similar. We need lots of help to raise them, pound stakes, help with ropes and guy wires and such. Let's not forget to tie some flagging on the wires, so people don't accidentally drive on them or trip on them!

Then, we will need help with cabling to the antennas, generators for the stations, setting up radios & computers and testing everything so that we are ready to get on the air at NOON.

KI7XF may need help with his fox hunt.

KI7XF will definitely need help with the VE Session from our VE hams.

We will need help setting up the Potluck and getting all the food out and ready to serve. Someone will need to be in charge of the grill and getting that ready to go! Then, we'll need help cleaning it all up.

Sunday, we will need help reversing everything and taking down the antennas, rolling up cables (the KC7EWZ-method) and putting everything away and clearing out. We need to leave the camp area clean and clear on Dale's property.  THANK YOU to Dale and Irma AGAIN for letting us use their backyard/field for Field Day!!!!

Hope to see you all there!  Feel free to post questions or comments to the GHRC Reflector list at (remember you have to be a subscribed member to post to that address - sign up here...!)

73 de KJ7UN
GHRC Web Admin & Goddess of the Ether
GHRC 2006 Vice President