[CQ-Contest] Field Day is a Joke...

Ken N4UK ramirezk at emi.com
Mon Jun 30 08:54:28 EDT 1997

         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"
  See http://www.uksmg.org/awards.htm for rules!

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