Thursday, April 16, 2020

Whither Field Day?

So far, among a myriad of events, Hamvention has been cancelled. I saw on Facebook this morning that is has been announced that Friedrichshafen has been cancelled in Germany - and that was scheduled for mid-late June.

So where does that leave us for Field Day?

According to an e-mail that Hudson Division Hams received from our Hudson Division Director, N2RJ:


"At the time of this email, there have been no rules changes to Field Day. The Programs and Services Committee has considered the issue and has decided to not make any changes. I am disappointed, especially since there could have been rules that encouraged social distancing. With that said, the show must go on. I sincerely hope everyone who wishes to participate in Field Day is able to do so, even if you are operating from home.

I will still advocate for common sense changes, but as it is, there is not much support in the PSC for it.

Regarding site visits - unless there is a significant positive change to the CoViD-19 situation I will not be visiting Field Day sites this year. But if you wish, we can meet virtually via your favorite video
conferencing application (We have Zoom, Skype, Jitsi, Facebook and Facetime) or you can send us a short video of your field day operation and we'll put it up on YouTube and our other social media. Or just send us photos and we'll put them up. - N2RJ"

Personally, I would hope that all this is just a bad memory by the 4th weekend in June. But something in my gut tells me that it's going to take a while to get back to anything we consider "normal". This isn't going to be like flicking a light switch back to the "on" position.

Even if we're somewhat close to normal, by then, I'm wondering how much Field Day participation might be off this year, particularly in states that were really hit hard by COVID-19. The South Plainfield Amateur Radio Club is in a "wait and see" mode right now. As it gets closer to the beginning and middle of May, I surmise we will be making a more concrete decision about what we're going to do. As a matter of fact, by order of the Governor, currently all State and County parks in New Jersey are closed and are off limits. Our mayor followed suit and closed all town parks as well. For the past six years, our Field Day site was in a County park.

Sadly, the concept of doing Field Day from home is a big yawn for me. It's not the event itself, but all the social activity and camaraderie that make Field Day "Field Day".  We may have to get creative this year.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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