2002 Field Day
Mount Gleason, CA June 22-23
This was my first Field Day in over 20 years. I'm happy to report that it was every bit as much fun as I remembered! I had the pleasure to operate with the group from the Jet Propulsion Lab, using the call W6VIO (class 4A).
Two things made the event particularly noteworthy this time around:
Why Mt. Gleason?
Because it's there! Seriously, it is a desirable base of operation for a number of reasons. At 6532' (1991 meters) ASL, it is one of the highest accessible locations in Los Angeles County (LAX Section), offering unobstructed views in most directions. It is nestled
within the Angeles National Forest, part of a range known collectively as the San Gabriel Mountains. The US military also considered Mt. Gleason a good location, as it is the former site of a Nike missile base.
About the Event Organizers
At the local level, members of the JPLARC and CalTech ARC worked hard to make this operation a success, and are to be congratulated. Murphy did pay a visit, but it was certainly not due to lack of planning, or errors in execution.
As a former W1 who has used CT from the beginning, even I was impressed with what this team accomplished. To minimize the possibility of RF interference, and use mainstream technology that didn't require a CT guru to troubleshoot, they interconnected stations with standard Windows networking
via fiber optic links. CT was run within a Dos window. It all worked perfectly...until the computers were rebooted just prior to the start of the test. Suddenly, the CW interface on all stations stopped working. As a result, all CW was sent with a paddle. The network however worked without a hitch, and SSB operations of course,
were not affected at all. On a slightly different note, one of the best ideas of the weekend was having professional caterers on the mountain-top for the duration of the event. Cost was minimal, the chow was great, and no one got stuck being chief cook and bottle washer.
|1.||Contesters generally use the terms "test" and "contest" interchangeably. Field Day however, is truly a test, as the object is to verify emergency operational readiness (although having entry classes, scoring, and awards doesn't hurt!).|