Our local Radio Club has a great time each year doing the ARRL Field Day event.
Mancorad W9DK has a great turnout, a great site to use at “Toboggan Hill” in Silver Creek Park, and generally has a blast with the event.
It also does allow us to set up and run in a field/emergency configuration – which is the whole idea behind Field Day.
One big factor in Field Day performance is Antennas. It seems that more can be gained by good antennas than any other single factor.
The last two years we’ve been able to borrow equipment, just like we might do in an actual emergency, and put an HF beam, a VHF vertical, and a downward looking Video Camera up – up at 100ft.
Here is a shot of the payload, as installed on a mast we’ve made to bolt onto the end of the Borrowed Manitex Crane:
If you check out the photo section at our club website there are extensive pictures showing the rigging and errection in to the 2005 & 2006 Field Day photo folders.
Here one photo showing the antennas in use. Imagine 2m simplex into Chicago 160 miles south as the improvement we gained by the exercise.
This sort of field improvisation is easily adaptable to high lift forklift trucks, Manlifts, and all sorts of cranes.
We have gained visitors to the site, some from seeing the antennas on the crane and some through word-of-mouth telling of the performance gains.
The donation of a crane to use each field day has help make our event more interesting.
Now if we could get two cranes and…….