Field Day 2012

ARRL Field Day logo2012 was the very first year that our club participated in Field Day as a club station. We have been talking about doing this for years, and finally decided to give it a shot. After my success earlier in the year, at the SPAR Winter Field Day (1st place in my category), my ego got a boost and stimulated my contest spirit.


We selected an easily accessible site, near town with plenty of facilities nearby. Heading SOUTH from Winnipeg take Hwy 59 until you reach the village of St Pierre-Jolys. Turn WEST onto Hwy 205 which is a right in the center of town. Continue WEST on Hwy 205 for exactly 1km where you will arrive at the baseball diamonds on your right.

Initially we intended on cutting the grass in a small area, only where our operating tents were going to be located, due to not have access to a large mower. Spending a few hours with the weed-eater, and some additional time with the push mower and we had a VERY small area cleared.

As luck would have it, Richard VE4KAZ had a contact that lived nearby and had a large tractor mounted rotary mower! Wow did that sucker ever make quick work on the long grass! This turned out to be a major advantage to us when setting up the large tower and antennas in the field. Loosing parts, or even a small body is easy to do in the tall grass.


We began setting up the support equipment Friday afternoon. This included the operating tents and shelter, the camper and so much more. We needed to setup the generator, fuel storage and run all the electrical cabling. Richard showed up late in the day after experiencing some difficulty on the highway with the custom built tower trailer.


Our station got on the air quickly at the start of the contest. We fairly soon that a 2A category was not realistic with limited amount of operators. Next time we work out a schedule ahead of time, and ensure we have adequate antenna separation.

Performance on 20m using the beam was quite good, with at least 80% of contacts completed on this band. For the most part we found a free piece of band and held it as long as we could. By evening time on Saturday everyone was hungry, and VE4DDW provided home cooked pulled pork on a bun and fresh home cut french fries.

Gord VE4GLS tried hard to get some action on both 6 meters, 2 meters, and 70cm. The bands were extremely quiet the entire weekend, but he was able to get a few folks to cooperate so it wasn't a total loss.

The radio started to get more silent as we neared midnight, while we moved around the bands trying both 40 and 80 meters. Not much happening, and a very high noise level on 80 meant that the last couple of us decided to hit the sack for some sleep. Darcy VE4DDW was first up on Sunday continuing on 20m with Gord VE4GLS arriving shortly after 6am.

Tear-down time came too quickly, and required plenty of work from everyone involved. Luckily most of the equipment came from VE4DDW which lives just a minute down the road. Many thanks to Gord VE4GLS for the use of the beams, tower and lots of expertise!

The final score!

        Band  Mode  QSOs    Pts
           7  LSB     20      20
          14  USB    503     503
          50  USB      1      1
         144  FM       1      1
         144  USB      1      1
         420  USB      1      1
       Total  Both   527     527



Large Mower

Getting help with the grass!

Blown Tire

I'm no expert, but I think this was your problem!

Main Tower Setup

Setting up the main operating antenna - Three element tri-band beam with rotator, and VHF vertical - VE4GLS, VE4KAZ, VA4CQD, Alex

Main Tower UP

The big HF beam is UP and ready to go! - VE4DDW, VE4GLS, VE4KAZ

Prepping the 60ft tower

Prepping the 60ft portable tower for 6m and 70cm. This one takes some time to do right. - VE4GLS & VE4DDW

60ft Tower being raised

We made it to 20ft and now on the way to 60ft! - VE4KAZ, VE4DDW, VE4GLS

60ft tower up and ready to go

60ft tower up in the foreground, and the HF tower to the left

Alex calling CQ

Alex calling CQ under the careful supervision of VA4CQD

Welcome to Field Day

VE4MHZ hanging her home-made banner

Thanks to everyone for their help to make a successful FIRST Field Day!


Get free Dreamweaver templates and extensions at