And as always, I am excited and looking forward to it. This year I am Bee #17, and I am planning to set up and operate from Washington Rock State Park in Greenbrook, NJ. Washington Rock State Park is a great venue to operate from as there are plenty of tall trees and picnic tables.
I know it's 10 days away; and that things can change drastically, but so far, both WeatherUnderground and Accu-Weather are calling for clear skies with high temperatures in the 93-95F range (35C). So a good amount of sunblock will be the rule for the day (hopefully).
The PAR ENDFEDZ 40/20/10 will most likely be my antenna choice for the day, although I might bring the W3EDP. The EDP takes up more real estate, and takes a bit more effort to get set up, but it's a proven performer from both home and our last two SPARC Field Day efforts.
Speaking of Field Day, I saw a few of the guys from SPARC at a CERT training session last night, and our entry has been compiled and is being filed with the ARRL, maybe even as we speak. We qualified for a bunch of bonus points and we had way more QSOs than we had in previous years, so we have our fingers crossed and we are hopeful that we did well.
Again, not so much that Field Day is a contest, as we actually try to compete - but with ourselves by upping our score from the previous year. However, if we do well in our category, that looks and sounds good to our benefactors in town who aid us in acquiring the park and proclaiming the week as "Amateur Radio Week" in town. It also puts a good light on Amateur Radio in general, and allows us to "brag" in the local town paper that South Plainfield did well. So for SPARC, it's not so much the reward of a good final score as it is the chance to put Amateur Radio and emergency preparedness in a good light, as well as the opportunity to build a better rapport with the community.
That indeed seems to be happening, as we have seen an increase of visitors to the Field Day site over the last three years. A few the first year, more last year, and even more this year - with a few who actually searched us out using the ARRL's Field Day Locator, and a few who came as a result of advance publicity in the town's two local news outlets.
72 de LarryW2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!