Field Day 2020 Review

Our Project Manager, Dave Wilkie K6EV, worked FT8 Digital mode feverishly at home for endless hours to help the GOTAhams “Aggregate” Field Day score. Here is a photo of his N3FJP log.

Thanks Dave K6EV for putting in the effort and time on ARRL Field Day 2020!

Some Field Day 2020 thoughts: We know some things, Planning was tough due to not knowing when or even IF we would be able to use our chosen campsite at Bonelli Bluffs San Dimas. Even when they “opened” and we knew we could get there, their management kept changing stories on what/who we could have/do up there. That aside we had little to no roadmap, plan or guidance making all logistics “On the Fly” and Chaotic at best. We need to learn from this and start “Planning” (REAL PLANS!) now for next June. We have Winter field coming in January to help us practice but we could not reserve the same spot at Bonelli Bluffs. We will need somewhere to set up for Winter Field Day (preferably an overnight) if anyone has some idea where we could go? We are fully self contained. our own Power/water/sanitation so even a empty parking lot would work.

We need to create “station captains” responsible for all aspects of a single station i.e. Popup, side shades, table, chairs, radio, tuner, ground rod/bus/wire, feedline, antenna, antenna support, power, logging computer, Lighting, paperwork, guides, manuals, contest rules, waste bin, etc. It would be best to start practicing these methods/standards at our “in the park” sessions. we will need to develop guides/punch lists to keep the Captains and their chosen team members on track.

Another problem we encountered during our 2020 and 2019 Field Day was crossband interference, I believe we can mitigate much of this with “transmit band pass filters” (I came very close to buying some for this field day). I understand it can be done by further separating the antennas but real estate in our area does not allow for that kind of separation.

Things that did go well: many of our members that have spent time “in the park”, and built their “user friendly” home shacks show up with, Power boxes, Solar panels, good tools, Anderson connector kits, Coax connectors/adapters, wire, paracord etc. pretty much ready for trouble and the unexpected. They are always ready to help their fellow hams out of a pinch.

I would love to hear any and all input on this subject. Flame me if you like, I’m just looking to improve this process.