I had every intention of doing something special for Winter Field Day (WFD) this year but Life-in-General got in the way. I hadn’t made any particular plans, so I decided to do a little operating from some local parks.
I drove out to nearby Upper Schuylkill Valley Park for a few hours on Saturday afternoon and parked in a spot with a nice view of the Schuylkill River. We were experiencing some above average temperatures this weekend (it was 55° F today), so I actually had my window rolled down.
I set up my 19-foot vertical in the back of the truck and my KX3 in the cab of the truck just in time for the start of the contest. I operated in the Outdoor category (1O), running QRP CW only.
In just under 2 hours, I logged 21 stations on 40 and 20 meters. Part of that time was spent chatting with a curious passerby. I spent about 10 minutes talking about ham radio with him. After he left, I made a few more contacts before heading home for the evening.
What a difference a day makes. On Sunday morning, I operated from Black Rock Sanctuary, just outside Phoenixville. While the temperature was still fairly moderate (47° F), it rained steadily all morning. I had to cover up my antenna components with plastic to keep everything dry.
The 40M band was in pretty good shape, so I spent most of my time there. I checked 20M once or twice but there was another contest going on and I didn’t hear any Winter Field Day CW activity.
After about 1.5 hours, I matched yesterday’s effort with another 21 contacts. I even dragged out the microphone (gasp!) and made 4 SSB contacts. One of the SSB contacts was with WW1USA from the World War I museum in Missouri. He was also giving out WFD exchanges.
Overall, I worked 42 stations in 24 sections and 21 states. I’m certainly not a threat to win but I’m happy with the results of my meager effort. It was great to hear all the CW activity this year.
I didn’t spend a lot of time on WFD this year but it certainly was fun. Maybe next year I’ll do something more adventurous like Winter camping. We’ll see.
72, Craig WB3GCK