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Re: AO-40 Field Day





> At 08:37 AM 6/6/2001 , you wrote:
> >I posted a question a couple of weeks ago, if it would be available at
all.
> >
> >The most recent issue of QST, says something to the effect that AO-40
will
> >NOT be used for "contests".
>
>
> At Wednesday, June 06, 2001 7:46 AM, W4SCO wrote:
>
> well Field Day is NOT a contest. Its purpose is to test emergency
> capabilities. In case of a major emergency AO-40 might prove very
valuable,
> like when Andrew went thru Florida ... local repeaters were destroyed,
> telephone service was out, cell phone towers were gone. Ham satellite
would
> be a perfect solution.


Food for Thought:

Historically speaking the ARRL Field Day is not suppose to be a contest.
Being a realist, I recognize that many treat it as  contest between clubs
and individuals.

On the other hand the AMSAT sponsored Field Day activity is definitely
a competition.  If you read the AMSAT rules or visit the AMSAT web site
you will find the title "2001 AMSAT Field Day  Competition".  To me, this
title implies the reality of what happens on Field Day.

I was going to hold this challenge until the week before Field Day but here
it  goes anyway.  This year, on Field Day I challenge everyone to observe
what was learned or accomplished that would apply to a true emergency
or catastrophic condition.

A few things come to mind like:

1. Dealing with the elements of remote emergency operation.

2. Planning and setting up the physical hardware at the Field Day site.

3. Sharing the equipment to bring new users to the hobby or offer the
    experience of operating in less than optimal conditions.

4. Working with alternative sources of energy (ie. batteries, solar power,
    charging batteries with solar power, power generators, etc)

5. Dealing with RF and EMI interference.

6. Dealing with personality differences and resolving them diplomatically.
    Yes, they happen.  I have seen people walk off the Field Day site
    because they could not command control or get anybody to agree with
    them.  In an emergency situation, you are better off weeding out the
    difficult people who will drain your energy.  It is the game of life, so
we
    have to let it go and move on to be productive and preventing people
    from getting killed due to stupidity.

7. Assigning and sharing responsibilities of items or issues that need
    periodic maintenance like not letting the generator run out of fuel.

8. What to do in the event of lightning or other natural elements.  You
     would be shocked (no pun intended) at the number of people who do
     not understand how lightning works or how to protect themselves from
     a lightning strike.  I know a lot of lightning strike victims from the
annual
     Lightning Strike & Electric Shock Survivors conference.  If they only
     knew the dangers and facts beforehand they could have been spared
     a lifetime of trauma.


There are many things that come to mind that would add to the list, but
these are some of the essential things that take place on Field Day.

One ingredient that seems to be missing is the effective operation in the
event of an actual emergency.  Contest style operation would not reign
like it does on Field Day.  If it did, a lot of people would be in serious
trouble.  Actually, as I see it we would have more structured operations
where a Net Control Operator would be controlling any given frequency
for the efficient and accurate flow of information.  There may be multiple
Net style operations taking place if the situation warranted greater areas
of coverage.  I am not a Net junkie myself and never have been, but the
reality suggests that there would be some form of control operating
station.

On Field Day this year take note about the things that happen around
you to make the operation work and then think about what it would be
like if it were an actual emergency, how differently we would be
communicating in an actual emergency.

My goal at Field Day is to introduce as many new people to satellite
operation every year and mentor new satellite users on how to work
the satellites.  Kids love computers and we use it to show them how
computers can be used in Amateur Radio with digital operation and
antenna control systems for automation.



73's,

Tim - N8DEU
Huntsville, Alabama


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