(Editor's Note - This post has been edited and supplemented. I have it on good authority that the author was half asleep while writing on Sunday afternoon. LOL!)
I am starting to write this as I take a brief respite from Field Day. I've come home from our Field Day site to take a shower and go to 9:00 AM Mass this morning. I will head back after to finish out the day.
Yesterday was definitely a mixed bag. We fought the bands, but we also fought the elements. There was supposedly only a 20% chance of rain for yesterday, but I guess that 20% headed to the front of the line. We had intermittent downpours several times during the day. We had four 10 X 10 pop up canopies placed in a row to form a huge 10 X 40 foot tent, so gladly, the operators and equipment stayed dry. However, we lined the open sides of the pop ups with a huge tarp to form sides ..... which quickly became sails. Yesterday turned out to be one of the breeziest days in memory! So we alternated between radio duty and tarp management. I have to say, now I think I know what Major League Baseball Groundskeepers feel like as they rush to get the tarp on the baseball diamond during inclement weather!
And of course, we had our share of computer problems, too. During a re-fill, the generator that powered our "logging network" was turned off and when it came back on, all the logging computers came back on line except for mine, of course! We discovered a disconnected Ethernet cable a little later and that resolved the problem.
After that, everything went rather smoothly, and when Field Day ended, most everyone was happy with our effort. Our antennas were two MFJ-1928s - one a high power model and one a low power model. We operated 3A Battery, so we were confined to running at 5 Watts. Both antennas performed like a charm, and basically we were able to work everyone that we tried. We ran the two end feds at right angles to each other. The CW antenna ran pretty much North-South, while the SSB antenna ran East-West. Interference was kept to a minimum by carefully making sure that we did not operate on the same band at the same time. There was no need for band pass filters this year.
Our new location was good, maybe a little less traffic than we were accustomed to, but in all we had plenty of visitors. We had a couple families come by with kids in tow - they loved seeing the radios and watching us in action. In fact, a few visitors early on Saturday returned later in the day, specifically bringing their children to show them what we were doing. We had some local Hams come and visit for a while and two in particular - Pete KD2ARB and Len WB2HKK came early on Saturday to help with set up. On Saturday evening, two members of the South Plainfield Town Council came by to visit, bearing gifts - pizza! We have a really good relationship with our Town Council and South Plainfield's Office of Emergency Management. It was nice of them to come by and visit - we really appreciate that! We also were visited by a member of the local Elks club, who asked us if we'd put on an Amateur Radio demo at the town wide block party celebration that is held after our annual Labor Day parade.