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FIELD DAY 1995

Teara's Field Day with FCARC



A FIELD DAY WITH FRIENDS...

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[bullet]In 1994, nearing the field day season, an offer was made by several FCARC members and officers to TEARA. This offer was to share Field Day operations. At that time, we (TEARA) were deep into the plans for the 3rd Field Day at Carolina Pottery in Smithfield and decided to follow through with them. By the end of field day weekend, after fighting bugs and blistering sunshine at our shadeless site, lacking enough help to run efficiently around the clock, and many of us having no rest from Saturday morning until Sunday night...several of us decided that there had to be more fun than this hidden within Field Day. The 1995 Field Day season came, and the offer was once again graciously extended to TEARA by the Franklin County ARC. The opportunity to have field day with a large group of friends, many yet "unmet", was simply too good to pass up.

[bullet]The 2 clubs began to plan for operations, with Field Day Nets called and discussions at both meetings. The anticipation was building...would we be compatible? Would we work together as if we had always known each other? We would soon find out. Many of us already knew each other, and some are members of both clubs.

[bullet]Setup began at 8 AM on Saturday. Both clubs' repeater systems were linked together for the whole weekend to help with talk-in for those unfamiliar with the site. Hams were running here and there, and by 2 pm Saturday the site was radioactive and contacts were made every minute or so. It's quite impressive to see 60+ people running about, each setting up some part of the operation. Co-operation and teamwork was the key.

[bullet]The site was courtesy of Roger, KD4MYE. It consists of several [pond pic] acres of shaded property, a beautiful pond equipped with a pedal boat, and it's own tri-band amateur repeater setup...the Franklin County ARC's repeater tower with 444.25+ KD4BFI, 145.11- KD4MYE, and 53.37- KD4MYE repeaters. Much site preparation was done before the first tent was pitched. The property was treated to control insects (and I must say it worked!). Grass was cut. Restroom facilities were installed. Tent/tower/equipment projections were plotted to determine optimum layout. One couldn't ask for a more perfect Field Day Site.

[bullet]There was a pig picking on Saturday, 3 towers, 2 GP-medium tents, and a large pond for fishing (when we weren't operating!). 2 mess tents provided kitchen, dining, and BS areas. 3 generators provided power for lighting and chargers, and most of the equipment ran from battery power. AB4VJ was the primary call used, and KD4BFI was the Novice/Tech station call. There was constant repeater communications for talk-in and supply runners. Keyers, microphones, rigs, a Satellite station, packet station, VHF all-modes, computers, lots of aluminum and wire, rotators, and lots of amateurs...what a combination! Meanwhile, contacts were being made...

[bullet] A storm rumbled through about 5 pm on Saturday, and the tents had to be evacuated for safety from lightning...but that didn't stop the crew, and some operations continued from mobile stations on the site until the storm blew over. We all know how determined hams are... and contacts were going to be made no matter what!

[bullet]Members from both clubs and even total strangers were found in the tents operating under the supervision of someone who knew what to do. Hams from many counties were there at various times, and representatives from several clubs stopped by throughout the weekend to operate or simply enjoy the fellowship.

[W2OJD pic]

[bullet] New and interesting modes were demonstrated to intrigued onlookers and more contacts were made. It was not your typical hectic contest environment...there were kids playing about, people learning new methods, and several even getting their first experience of being "on the air". Truly what field day is about!

[bullet]Operations continued on through the night, with people coming in and out, changing shifts and duties as needed. Sleeping operators were found about the site as others "plugged away" at even more contacts. Sunday morning came, and the next fresh gang came in to relieve the tired operators. Various "bonus points" activities were performed Sunday morning by those who were familiar with Field Day, and they really helped our overall score. Operations continued throughout the day on Sunday, right up to the 2:00 PM (18:00Z) bell when all operations had to stop.

[bullet]Tear down time...and swarms of people descended on the site to dismantle everything. Stations were disassembled and antennas removed. Loads of cables, coax, drop cords, patch cords, lighting, and power distribution were disconnected and stored away. Tables, chairs, and tents were loaded into trucks. There was a lot of work done by a virtual army of people... it was something to behold. Thunder and lightning crept in, and another day would come before the towers were removed...

[bullet]The joint effort between TEARA and FCARC really went well, with over 120 people at the site over the Field Day weekend. The fellowship was unforgettable, the food was delicious, and the bands were in pretty good shape to boot. We operated 2a, and made contacts on HF (80, 75, 40, 20, 15, and 10), 6m, 2m, VHF packet, Satellites, traffic, received the message from W1AW, etc...and well over 1000 contacts were made. It was a most enjoyable weekend for all, and many of us are already thinking of Field Day '96! It was truly a Field Day with Friends!



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