I know I should have posted this earlier in the week, but it's been crazy playing catch up around here.
Field day was a success, despite the Jeep needing a new water pump and some hoses. We got her patched up enough to run us up in the field, but she's still not feeling well. Now her timing's off, and she's failing to idle correctly. *sad face* Poor little Jeep. She still needs quite a bit of work.
There was also a lot that went wrong once we got up there. We discovered first thing that someone had stolen one of our antenna ropes that we use to lift the wire in the air. We made due though, because we're hams, with a length of camo rope and a sports drink bottle, and subsequently produced quite a few laughs and "HEAD'S UP!"s.
Once that was up, we ate our quick and fancy field day supper. Yum.
After eating, we got to work on getting the radio set up and everything in order. That went pretty smooth, although we did have issues with using the Traveler headset in conjunction with an external speaker on the FT450 we had brought with us. So, we ended up just using the hand mic and having an extra person to log the contacts. That also worked more smoothly this year, but I give props to the table for that. We took a larger table this year - 6 feet in fact - and although it was heavy, awkward to load, and potentially hazardous to the health of the Jeep window while bouncing up the ridge-side, it was efficient and gave us tons of elbow room.
Matter of fact, the table wasn't the only thing new we took. This year, having learned from the past, we took two fans (totally sweet in the 90 degree heat), the new FT450 (smaller, functional, done a great job, but I missed the fish finder on our radio), the little netbook, an Air Card that allowed us to have Internet connection, a lamp that DIDN'T run on batteries (last year, our lamp died halfway through, this year we collected beetles with our 100w bulb), and the shortwave radio -- which we found good use for later in the evening.
Clover seemed to enjoy herself as well. She loves the field. We took her frisbee this time, and she played until late in the evening. This picture was taken right before she crashed out on us. haha
And I have to add that the bugs were horrendous this year. Worse than last year. I'm making a note now to take some of those bulbs that don't attract bugs for next year.
Tim worked so many Field Day stations that I can't remember how many. I had searched, and piled, and pulled all the stuff out at home. Had stuffed, piled, tucked, and shoved everything in the Jeep. Had pulled, tugged, and dropped everything out on arrival. Then set up while Tim was going back down for the rest of the family. So, to be quite honest, I was so exhausted once I was there, I only made 6 contacts and one was a dupe. I had fun regardless.
Later in the evening, Tim called in to WMRI to tell them about our Field Day. Shortly after midnight they called back and put him on the air.
After that, Ashby wanted to play radio. She did a great job, making quite a few contacts for herself.
And I guess it was shortly after 1 o'clock am that the generator finally started begging for more gas. At that point, we all decided it was time to pack up. So we did, minus the antenna, which we went after on Sunday.
In all, even though we had plenty of set backs, Field Day was fun. But now I'm exhausted again just thinking about it.