Winter Field Day - 2017 January 28/29
Hard to believe that the date is January 29th while I work contacts during the Winter Field Day.
In this photo, I'm located on a high butte overlooking the badlands of southeastern AB near the ghost town of Dorothy. The temperature a balmy 10 Celsius with a full blown Chinook eating away at the snow, or what was left of it.
In this photo, I am operating with myFT-897D connected up to the 10-60 meter vertical that I built back several years ago. This antenna continues to please me with how well it performs, and being resonant everywhere 10-60 meters, its simple to use without the need of a tuner. You will find more on this vertical antenna spread throughout this gallery as well as my antenna gallery.
The FT-897D has the optional batteries located in the battery tray at the bottom of the transceiver, although in the photo, the transceiver is being powered by the 30 caliber power-can that may be seen just to the side of the solar-panels.
The solar-panels were connected to the power-can, and were doing a respectable job of keeping them near the top in charge. If I would have operated long enough to threaten to deplete all the batteries depending on the lighting conditions, like continuing to operate into the night, I had my very compact 500 watt inverter-generator with a Genius 7.5 amp battery charger to re-charge all of the batteries if required.
Field Day is not just for summertime anymore, as the Winter Field Day Association (WFDA) was taking place on this January 28-29 weekend, and it was a terrific time to prep my equipment for the ARRL Field Day in June.
This annual event’s stated purpose is to encourage emergency operating preparedness in the winter, but it’s also an excuse to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors.
According to the WFDA, getting ready for emergency communication in a winter environment is just as important as the preparations and practice that take place each June during ARRL Field Day, and — let’s face it — it’s not cold and snowy everywhere during the winter months, as on this day with the temperature pegged at 10 Celsius while I was set up on this butte overlooking the badlands of southeastern Alberta, and it couldn't have been any less like winter.
Winter Field day got its start in 2007, is not restricted to North America. All Amateur Radio operators around the world are invited to participate, and there are three entry categories — indoor, outdoor, and home. The rules are similar to those for ARRL Field Day. Operation will take place on all HF bands except 12, 17, 30, and 60 meters, as well as on VHF, UHF, and satellite. The event runs 24 hours. US and Canadian stations exchange call sign, operating category, and ARRL or RAC section.
The WFDA encourages both group and solo operation, and if you’re not up for an outdoor winter adventure involving Amateur Radio, you can operate from the comfort of your shack. As the WFDA says on its Facebook page, “The object is winter fun!”
In this photo I am working Brian VE3CRG located near Ottawa in Ontario, and with conditions reasonably good on the bands, the contacts I made were a lot of fun.
Click on the photo for a closer look.....
Listen to the audio from one of the contacts that I made on this day......
A week ago to the day, I was playing radio in 2 feet of snow, of course it was 250 kilometers west of this location in the southern Alberta Rockies....