Thursday, June 18, 2015

Field Day Preps and Father's Day

As I told my wife this afternoon, "I'm in Field Day Mode".

Reserved the trailer this morning, and got my laptop out and spent the afternoon updating all the software on it that needed updating.

I didn't do that last year, and wasted a couple of hours updating it "enough" that Windoze would quit squawking.

I also didn't set up all the equipment in the back yard, and test it, last year, so all the tales of woe I had were brought on myself by me. I had taken incompatible equipment (rotator motors didn't match the control box), left things at home because I'd taken them out of the "Field Day" equipment boxes that I thought were all properly packed, and other errors caused by not doing a trial run before declaring the equipment good-to-go.

That's NOT going to happen this year, as I'll be operating my satellite station on the Iowa, and if that operation doesn't go smooth. I'll have a serious amount of egg on my face, and our Amateur Radio Association will look kind of stoopid!

SO.....tomorrow morning all the stuff will be dragged out of the garage and gone through, sorted out, and checked. Saturday morning I'll start assembling the antennas, preamps and power leads, coaxial cables, and rotors. Generally takes me about two hours the first time, as I find my tools and the specific hardware used to hold it all together.

Sunday is Father's Day, so I'm going to have fun, and if the antenna system is put together, it only takes about 30 minutes to set up the radio and laptop, and I'll operate for a bit.

Sunday afternoon we're going down to the Iowa for "BBQ's and Brews", their Father's Day celebration.

That leaves Sunday through Tuesday as the shake-down run. Wednesday is "Grey Radio Day" on the Iowa for me, and Thursday is pick up the trailer and dismantle the station. Friday my son is coming over to help me load up, and then down to the ship, lug the equipment aboard, and set it up. We'll light it all off Friday for the smoke test, and then Field Day starts Saturday at 1100 local.

I really want to be ready for the first satellite to come over the horizon this year, unlike last year when I really didn't get operating until late Saturday afternoon!


  1. I may take the motorcycle out there for the Saturday event to check it out. If I see you there, I'll say "hi".

    1. Just fixed an error in the post.

      The Father's Day even is SUNDAY, not Saturday!

  2. I'm still kinda jealous about you getting all that time on the old battlewagon. Or any older Navy ship, for that matter. Enjoy!

    1. It's an honor to be allowed to "work" on her!

    2. And if you ever get down this way, look me up and I give you a tour.

  3. You're in your element now! :-) Enjoy and go forth and do good!


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