I was proud to be a part of the 2024 SVRC Field Day operation. The SVRC (Sangamon Valley Radio Club) has been my home club since I re-entered the ham radio hobby in the Mid 90’s. I’m currently the Station Trustee and have held every position on the board with the exception of Treasurer. I helped with setup of our 4A operation on Friday evening & Saturday morning, then had a wedding to attend that overlapped with kickoff so I missed the first 5 hours of operation. During some early evening/night operations I racked up some phone contacts. For the entire event I made 72 phone contacts. I was committed to being one of the overnighters to keep the site open for anyone who wanted to operate. We had one club member come in from 12a-4a and crank out some digital & phone contacts to keep me company and others that left at 1a and others that came back not long after sunrise. In an effort to stay awake and try to maximize the points I decided to oil my rusty CW skills. I took a few breaks between 12a & 7a so probably had about 6 hours of CW time which netted me 68 contacts with 38 states or Canadian provinces and total of 49 ARRL Sections. I was exceptionally happy that Hawaii was on of these and is probably the winner for furthest QSO.

Having stepped out of my comfort zone…

I realized this isn’t a wonderful showing of skill, yet it is a small point of pride. Even though I listened to some exchanges 3 or 4 times to ensure I had the Call & Exchange 100% before I called them, it at least let me know that I could manage this. On the few occasions that I got cocky and answered a CQ, if I falled to be sure about the exchange sending a simple “?” would get them to repeat themselves just a little bit slower. I had the radios keyer set at 18 wpm, most of the stations seemed to be running 20-25 wpm. There were some so fast that they were beyond my meager ability to even identify the characters.

I am an Amateur Extra that passed licensing back in the days of CW required. I passed the 13 WPM General test, moved on to the deprecated Advanced license and then made Extra with the code dropped to 5WPM. I very sporadically operate CW but keep it in mind and will often just listen to keep basic recognition or entertain myself by sounding out license plates & road signs as I travel. That said I believe that this field day effort has proved to me that I need to operate more CW in preparation for next Field Day, other contests, and perhaps even help out those CW POTA (Parks on the Air) operators!

In Conclusion…

I’m very happy with my 9 to 10 hours of operating time netting me:

Count ofType
68CW contacts
72Phone contacts
49 ARRL Sections
38US States or Canadian Provinces
Break down of my 140 Field Day Contacts.

By ka9kqh

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