By John VA6SJA CAARC Field Day Chairman 2019

We had a field day! It happened because of the participation of interested people. Good job everyone! There are many stories, and I don’t have space to tell them all and there are some that I probably don’t know. Feel free to post your story.

CAARC had sponsored a Class 1F Field Day held at the Red Deer County Emergency Communications Centre in June of 2018.

BOB VE6BLD advocated for a fun Field Day with generators at the October 2018 CAARC general meeting. I had hoped there could be a repeat of last year’s County Class F Field Day as well as to hold this Class A Field Day. But this first independent CAARC Class 3A Field Day took a lot of organizing, and Ryan VA6DSJ, who could allow us access to the County’s Emergency Communications Centre was on emergency assignment dealing with an Alberta wildfire. So, this year’s Class F Field Day was cancelled and this Class 3A Field Day had to do for this year.

I had made a participant and visitor log book allowing for 35 entries and there weren’t enough lines! Hams and former hams came from as far away as Canmore and Edmonton. More hams and family members came for the roast pork supper. At least one couple came because they saw the Field Day signs on the road,

And we got photos that help tell our story! View them on this site.

All the participants worked together to make this event happen. A good example is the set up and troubleshooting needed to get everything working, including improvising on the spot. For one instance, on Friday afternoon Bob VE6BLD and Darcy VE6DDD looked around to find a way to replace the missing centre insulator for the driven element on the Mosley TA-33 Jr. beam that Garry VE6CIA had lent us. They found a discarded snow shovel with a fiberglass handle. Darcy spliced it into place with the help of cable ties and electrical tape and the crew put it in place on top of one of Bob’s masts that could be assembled from the bottom.

We had hams with various experience levels. It was great to see and to hear about everyone learning from each other.

As well as our 3 HF transceivers, we sat up a VHF station with 2 radios in the back of the coffee and snacks tent. Rod VE6RSO contributed his Morse Code skills. There was an almost continuous blast in Morse Code of, “CQ de VA6ZO,” from the back of this tent. Using these facilities, we made a couple of direct 2-meter SSB contacts to Edmonton during the scheduled 2-meter net on Sunday morning.

I had left a little “Media Advisory” at the offices of the Red Deer Advocate about a week before the actual Field Day. At about 10:30 on Sunday Ray’s VE6RSO’s wife led an Advocate reporter to our operation. We had a nice write-up on the Advocate Web Site,, and in the June 25 paper edition of the Red Deer Advocate.

Field Day could be an opportune time to experiment with antennas. But we got into the mode of making QSOs with the antennas we had, and the experimentation opportunity passed us by. We may have to declare a separate “Antenna Field Day.”

We claimed a logged 244 non-duplicate contacts. I will enter a log as a separate document.

We could have done more work on training for the logging programs and setting them up so the computers worked together.

Knowing that I will surely miss someone with an important contribution, I am going to say thank you to:

  • CAARC for sponsoring this event.
  • Gary VE6SNL for participating in the planning, spreading the word, and for his enthusiasm. We missed his participation on June 22 and 23 and we hope he continues to do well after his medical treatment..
  • Ray VE6RSO for attending the planning meetings, having us in his pasture, providing our radio shelters, being a great host and Safety Officer, for providing the coffee pot and lots of water, for organizing our 24-hour generator and donating sufficient diesel fuel to run it (worth several 10s of dollars) and bright lights a at night, bringing us chairs for our supper time, donating the roast pork highlight of our supper, and bringing us endless pails of bolts and washers and similar small but vital items, and providing me with overnight shelter. And for taking on the storage of the club’s tents.
  • Shawn VE6QT for providing a multi-band antenna that included 6 meters.
  • Jerry VE6WCE for attending our planning meetings, for building us a couple of filter prototypes to allow CW on one band while operating on another and bringing his antenna analyzer and working hard at erecting antennas and transmission line, analyzing troubles and repairing connectors, etc. And he came back to help us tear down everything and helped me by taking the club meal and coffee supplies back.
  • Garry VE6CIA for operating his fancy curve tracer to show us the band pass of the filters that Jerry made and for donating his surplus TA-33 Jr.
  • Darcy VE6DWG for transporting our tents to the Field Day site.
  • Bob VE6BLD for encouraging a “Fun Field Day” last October, bringing immense amounts of antenna material, for helping identify a potential piece of scrap to make our TA33 Jr. beam  antenna work, for bringing his truck full of handy goodies including his jack-up masts, and for working to receive and record the Field Day Bulletin in voice.
  • Paul VA6MPM for attending our planning meetings, for donating materials for making and setting up the road signs and for providing buns for the supper.
  • Rod VE6XY for attending planning meetings, and bringing a self-contained station in his RV including his home Butternut antenna.
  • Andre VA6ARJ for lending us his folding table and for letting us try out his generator in place of Rod’s ailing RV generator.
  • Sylvia VE6SYL for providing food selections for the supper.
  • Graham VE6GST for filling in as Safety Officer, and for bringing soft drinks and snacks.
  • Darcy VE6DDD for working at mending our broken TA33 Jr. beam antenna, for working at making CW contacts while working in the middle of the night and for helping receive a redundant Field Day Bulletin that was transmitted in CW.
  • Mike VE6MIM for running for parts to mend our TA33 Jr. beam antenna.
  • Rod VE6ROH for bringing his 6-meter j-pole and a support mast for it as well as his TS-50 and his 6-meter converter.
  • Stephen VA6SGL for helping with the planning, vetting my list of desired equipment and for bringing his 2-meter capable radio, a mast, his 2-meter beam and his power supply.
  • Matt VA6HOG for helping us with the youth bonus and for generally helping.
  • Jon McKinnon for all the assistance he gave, for adding to our youth bonus and for the photographs he took while flying his drone.

And thanks to everyone else who participated in the planning, taking and getting things, setting up and operating, and tearing down. And thanks to everyone who visited us. 

Click this link to see the field day pictures.

Respectfully yours,

John, VA6SJA