An emergency situation huh? A hurricane strikes and
leaves a large swath of destruction. 80 percent of the cell
phone and 2 way towers are destroyed and undergound cables are
flooded or ripped apart. There is no commercial A/C power and
the telephone lines are all dead. Hams are called on to provide
vital emergency traffic relays and basic communication to and
between affected areas.
Here is where the sarcasm begins. 23 ham transceivers
are brought to an open field where 10 60 foot towers with
tribanders are installed. 5 15kw generators are driven to the
local gas station and their fuel tanks filled with fuel. 20 hams
get all the radios cabled and fired up while 5 data ops. get the
modems configured and on line to the I-net. The hams save the
day! NOT!!! What's wrong with this picture? Basically the same
thing that's wrong with field day.
Field Day has strayed from its basic tenet of providing
an actual and real life emergency communications drill in
preparation for the real McCoy. Field Day should be limited to
Batteries and small generators, 100 watt power levels, small,
portable antennas, and basic communications methods.
(voice,cw,packet) The idea is to set up portable emergency
communications in the fastest time possible after a disaster has
happened. 20 dedicated and knowledgeable operators don't easily
assemble in fast time with all the above equipment. A good
percentage of the participants I have met at a field day
exercise don't even know how to connect up an amplifier to an
I don't think filling up large fuel tanks, buying a few
cases of beer, having 2 or 3 dedicated cooks, and connecting to
the internet is going to be possible after a major disaster.
Field day strayed away from the basic premise of
emergency communications on a dime and became just another
contest long ago. This is why I and many others I know, won't
get in on it. Field Day need a major overhaul!
It has become a joke...
73 Ken n4uk
EM84xp South Carolina
Mark your calendars! 12, 13 July 97
"Internet 6M DX Contest"
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