Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Field Day is here!

Every year the amateur radio community conducts Field Day - one part contest, one part public outreach event, one part campout & BBQ, and four parts awesome.  Bay-Net hosts a Field Day each year, operating as K6SRA.  For the past few years we've been setting up in a parking lot of the Almaden Quicksilver Park in San Jose CA - and this year is no exception.

For some Field Day is serious stuff - massive operations running 24 hours through the day and night, generators and amplifiers and stacked Yagi antennas, with operation coordinators whose sole purpose is to encourage the radio ops to work stations and log faster.  This does not sound like fun to me.  K6SRA Field Day often devolves into an impromptu technical session where the radios sit idle while we pore over the details of some homebrew project.  Our Field Day operation has jokingly been called "Hot Dogs and Radio - in that order".  For many of our members, busy as they are with work in the always-hectic Silicon Valley, Field Day is a chance to relax and catch up.

This year we plan to shift one of our HF stations from phone to digital on a station created via the excellent Raspberry Pi hacking skills of +Beric Dunn.  I figure the kids will like this better, since it's a keyboard and not a microphone they'll probably be less reluctant to get on the air.

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