[TowerTalk] Wire Antennas Only For Field Day

Jim Thomson jim.thom at telus.net
Thu Jul 6 01:43:04 EDT 2017

Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2017 17:51:23 -0700
From: Grant Saviers <grants2 at pacbell.net>
To: Tom Osborne <w7why1 at gmail.com>, towertalk at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Wire Antennas Only For Field Day

<A good point, "it's not a contest", but every club has different goals 
<as does the ARRL beyond "emergency test".  Our primary club goals are 
<increased participation, learning, and promoting ham radio.  So 
<operators range from coaching newly minted, never spoke on HF to hard 
<core contesters, one cw and one ssb stations plus a GOTA and VHF/UHF.  
<Every operator has a different style/goal & skill/experience level.

##  The results are still listed as contest scores... which is good.  It provides
a bench mark for each  group.   IE: they can then compare their...score  from one
year to the next to the next... and see at a glance if they have improved ..or not, and
what works and what doesnt work.  They could also try various setups, and evaluate
both the ants, any interstation interaction,  gen issues, and all other issues..and do all of 
that well before hand, like 1-3 months ahead of FD.   In any real emergency, like NK
dropping nukes on our heads, the stations would be required to be on the air for a 
heck of a lot longer than 24 hrs, more like weeks.   So you really require a plan B for
longer term, sustained operation. And if the real emergency is in NOV, in the middle of
storm season,  you had better be ready for that scenario.  Or worse yet, in middle of winter, at
3 AM, with a blizzard and an ice storm.   Setting up ants and stations in June is a walk in the
park by comparison.   You may not be able to use your favourite mountain top FD site in winter. 

<However, making it really hard for newbies with QRP or poor antennas, 
<won't bring many back when they find just the QRM and logging challenges 
<pretty daunting.   It is easy to forget how well experienced ops hear, 
<run short and fast Q's, and multitask the logging work vs newbies.

<So, keep the "rules" as they are is my vote.  Keep FD a big tent for ham 

## agreed. Poor ants,  compromise ants, + QRP = a frustrating disaster.   Its
not reliable for   emergency coms. QRP is not for newbies, its a specialized art form. 
100 watts + lousy ants = reduced effectiveness.   With a kw, you are in and out in seconds.
Even 500 watts is  7 db stronger than 100 watts..and thats a bunch.    500 watts is what I 
would consider the bare minimum for any mobile steup..to be effective, esp on 80 + 40m. 

<And FD is a "gateway drug" to real contesting for some newbies I've 
<coached. :-)

<Grant KZ1W

##  and here I thought the 813 tube was a .. gateway drug. 
What might well work better for a real emergency, is having
a gen set, or UPS power, solar, wind, batteries etc....for home stations. 
Any home station is better built, already built, pre-tested, and ready to go on
the air at a moments notice.... provided you have AC power to run stuff.  Or run everything
on 12 vdc, or have at least one 12 vdc xcvr for emergency use.  In a pinch, one could run coax
from home station ants....  to your car in the drive way.   Grants  2 el 80m yagi would work a lot better
than any 80m mobile ant... in his parked vehicle. 

##  Solar cycle sucks.   The emphasis should be on 160-80-60-40-30m..and maybe 20m.   Any home station
with a reasonably good low band setup + kw,  would be way ahead of any  FD setup in the bush with a TA-33 jr,
operating on a dead 20-15-10m band.   During the daytime,  if 20-10m is a dead loss, the lower bands may well fare even worse,
which puts  40+30m at the fore front.   Of course this all depends on  where you are trying to talk to..across town, the
next town over,  or 1-4 states over, like 100-1500+ miles away.   The 15M stack, fixed on JA... if you are on the west coast,
probably wont do you much good. 

Jim   VE7RF

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