Since Field Day is so much fun, why only have one per year?
We had our first outing last Monday, April 24. The weather was beautiful, and eleven club members, plus my XYL, came out to enjoy the evening. In the photo below, you can see five of us enjoying the food. From left to right are yours truly (KB6NU), Rich KD6HWF, Tara, Karen KD8AOK, Pat N8PJR, and Reggie KD8AOM (who got a little cut off). Mark KD8AOM, took the photo.
At one point, we had five separate stations operating, including three HF stations and two VHF stations. I set up my KX-1 and made two contacts on 40m. My first QSO was with a guy in Minnesota, who was also running QRP. The second was with a guy in NJ, who gave me a 599 signal report!
We also ran the club Monday Night Net from the park. In the photo above, you see me running the net with a borrowed handie-talkie.
Just like Field Day, these kinds of events are good for public relations. We set up in a public park, very near a busy walkway, and got many people to stop by and ask what we were doing. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring our club banner and brochures this time. Even so, we did manage to talk to quite a few people.
This is something every club should try. It does serve a useful purpose in terms of emergency communications readiness, but mostly, though, it was just a lot of fun. The LOSTeam does something like this every week. This first year, we’re shooting for once a month.