This year at Field Day, SARA will be running a VHF station in addition to five HF stations! The Field Day rules allow the class that we enter to add an additional station for VHF without changing the class count. While we will indeed be running six stations, our class will still be 5A since we will have only five HF stations.
While many of us think of operating VHF as talking on repeaters, there’s so much more that goes on beyond repeaters. Talking through repeaters does not count as Field Day contacts; each contact must be made peer-to-peer, or simplex. We will be running an all-mode HF+6 radio on 6 meters at Field Day this year. The antenna will just be a simple dipole, which will be mounted on a 30 foot fiberglass mast. If conditions permit, we should be able to make SSB and CW contacts all around the US and up into Canada on 6 meters.
While the main focus of the VHF station will be operating SSB or CW on 6 meters, we will have a radio and antenna set up for 2 meter FM that will be available as well. Since there may be new technicians that want to try operating Field Day from a park with their 2 meter handheld radio, we thought it would be nice to try to help them out by running our own VHF station in hopes of working them. The 2 meter antenna will be a wire j-pole antenna up 20 feet on another temporary antenna mast. While this setup will not be very competitive, it will still be interesting to try out another band at Field Day to see what all we can work on 2 meters FM simplex.
Try to come out to Field Day and operate the 6 meter station. It’s always a ton of fun when sporadic E occurs and 6 opens up all over! If you’re not able to make it to our Field Day, try operating from home and see if you can work us on 2 meter simplex.
COMING SOON: Keep your eyes on the website for a post discussing the high pass filter that we plan to use in conjunction with the 6 meter station.