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2009 Field Day Soap Box


Ten West Essex Amateur Radio Club members participated in ARRL Field Day from the Essex Fells Service Building on June 27 and 28, 2009. Field Day is an emergency preparation drill sponsored by the ARRL, the National Association for Amateur Radio. More than 30,000 people at 3,000 amateur radio stations across North America participated in Field Day, many from portable stations using emergency power supplies.

At the club meeting before Field Day the members decided not to operate outdoors from the Trotter Tract because it had rained every day for two weeks leading up to Field Day.   All though the weather was good on the weekend of the event, the grounds at the Tract were still saturated.

Highlights included:

Mike from Livingston, age 13, making two computer assisted CW contacts.

Ray demonstrating Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) software with a 2 meter packet radio station.

Verona Mayor Ken McKenna visiting on Sunday morning. Thanks to Frank for inviting him.


The use of an amplified audio output splitter with four separate volume controls which allowed members to listen to the radio on their headphones while others listened to the rig's speaker. 

And the low lights:


Destroying the 20 meter Moxon as we attempted to install it on a mast.


We went through the trouble of raising a 6 meter beam, but 6 meters didn't open for us during Field Day - a disappointment. 


Unfortunate timing lead to a conflict between us and another Town agency which had temporarily staged equipment in the room we used for FD, this made the use of the room challenging, as it was crammed full of gear that was in the way of just about everything.  We had communicated our needs to the appropriate officials, but unfortunately those requirements didn't get distributed, or were ignored - pick your poison.  Whatever the reason, the fact that the room was in shambles is the reason there are few pics of FD 2009 to share.

Score Summary:

Our 3,218 point score put us within the contenders for top score based on 2008 results for Emergency Operations Centers (Class 1F).   Last year our score was 3,682. That put us in first place of 23 Class 1F stations. This year our score was lower due to worse HF operating conditions and, no HF beam antenna.  We expect other stations had the same difficulties as we did with band conditions, but we will find out for sure in early December when scores are posted by the ARRL

W2EF 2009 Field Day Entry

Total CW QSO's:       400 X 2 =  Total CW QSO points:       800
Total Phone QSO's:   274 X 1 =  Total Phone QSO points:  274

Total QSO points: 1074

Power Multiplier: 2

Claimed Score: 2148

Bonus Points:
100% Emergency power
Media Publicity
Set-up in Public Place
Information Booth
NTS message to ARRL SM/SEC
W1AW Field Day Message
Natural Power QSO's Completed
Site visit by invited elected official
Site visit by served agency official
Youth participation: 1
Entry Submitted via the Web
Educational Activity

Total Bonus Points: 1070