SPRARC FIELD DAY 2000
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by Reg VE3GKB ====

There was a rumour going around a week or two before the event that field day was going to be cancelled this year because of a lack of mosquitoes. This, as we all now know was not true, and for the third year in a row the valiant personnel of Windsor's retirees' club sallied forth to show the flag.

A new site had been selected and was at the back of Holden Farms in what I thought was Windsor, somebody else thought was Amherstberg but according to a young fellow that lived there it was Tecumseh South. so much for the new boundaries. The location was great for our purpose although anybody with a low slung vehicle probably feared for their exhaust and oil-pan on the approach!

Rain had been forecast but did not materialize and by eleven hundred hours EST activity was at it's peak. Ted, HOS and Harold HDT having learned from last year, proved that they could put up a very functional 40 meter cw vertical almost as quickly as the army personal put up the tents.... and they have had had plenty of practice!

Twenty, eighty, forty SSB and six meters followed suit in a quiet, efficient manner that would have done credit to professionals. There was no ten/fifteen meter this year but maybe next year we will have six stations going instead of five.

First contacts were made close to 1400 hrs. and continued at a pretty good pace. Saturday night brought torrential rain but no damage to equipment or personnel was reported. Fair weather had returned by Sunday morning and last minute contacts were made by tired and somewhat bedraggled operators.

At the time of writing I am still one log missing but this year's and last year's ARRL entry forms will be published later in the club newsletter.

"VE3WRC 4A ONTARIO"

To the best of my knowledge this is the first time that the Retirees' club has participated in field day so it is sort of a historic occasion.

For twenty four hours contacts continued to be made, many near, some far. The logging program took care of any possible duplicates with a warning that a station had been worked previously. I do not intend to mention everybody by name that took part, for fear of missing somebody and thus doing them an injustice. All those that participated were invaluable. While some slept, others kept watch, while some operated some logged, and so it went on the clock around.

Sunday's morning sky was overcast but shed no drops. The aroma of Barb's bacon and eggs pervaded the early air arousing appetites even where there had been none. The night watches in the 20 and 40 meter tents were about ready for relief and so, were relieved. We settled down for as many contacts as possible during the last remaining few hours. By now the "dupes" were many and contacts with the weaker stations had to be sort. That's easier said than done because just as you are trying to read the weak station's exchange and qth some adjacent giant that you have worked before opens up and blasts his signal into oblivion. Of course, that's all part of the challenge and a bit of persistence always pays off.

Too soon the army folks were back to reclaim their tents and the event was winding down. The involvement of the army was initiated by Dick VE3GSU and tenaciously pursued by Ed VE3NGN. Many thanks to both of them. One of the army personnel was Cpl. Fred Passer VE3FFP. Thanks to you too, Fred.

Spirits were high, everybody seemed to have enjoyed the experience and plans were already being proposed and discussed for next year. This year was great but next year it will be even better............... Maybe it's an old man's imagination, but I got the impression that the camaraderie and the co-operative spirit of the club was at a high point right about then.

Masts were lowered and antennae stowed. Farewells were said and we drove off.

I hope, and I think that we left our host's fields as well groomed as we found them.

The final count? 891 contacts and a lot of fun!

Kindly submitted by Reg VE3GKB

 

Field Day 2000

 

Updated September 2010


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