Greetings to all and I hope that your summer is off to a great start. Because the message is timely, I hope you will indulge me the opportunity to borrow a paragraph or two from my July message from last year, regarding Field day and the 13 Colonies event. I promise that I will not make a habit of doing this, but it fits perfectly again this year.
"By the time most of you read this, Field Day 2021 will be history, but as I write this, it is but a few days away. Almost every piece of HF gear I own (except for the amplifiers) are packed away in my camper, along with four or five antennas, an AB-577 mast from AB2E, lots of tools, cables, and hardware, and just about anything else that I think we might possibly need. If there is one word which sums up Field Day perfectly, it is PREPARATION. If you have good preparation, you will have a good chance at having a great Field Day. To say that I am anxious, and chomping at the bit, would be entirely appropriate. Field Day is by far my favorite amateur radio event of the year, and there is not a minute to waste going home for something I forgot, so I try to bring it all."
Last year we were still dealing with vestiges of the COVID pandemic, which permanently changed the way we do a lot of things, and Field Day is no exception. We can expect to see many more stations working from home than there ever were just a few years ago, and the ARRL has changed some of the rules to better accomodate these stations. They also imposed a 100 watt power limit on ALL STATIONS, to keep those home stations from drowning us out. This is a good thing, as I can say with much certainty that the 2020 event was the first time at W2MMD FD that I felt like we were a low power station. Of course we always are, but with good antennas we do very well, much better than a lot of portable setups. This year promises to be a little more balanced, I think.
Speaking of annual events, another one that I am very fond of is held over the first week in July every single year. It is the 13 Colonies event, and I not only love working it, but I am also one of the operators for K2I, the New Jersey station. The idea is to work all 13 Colonies, plus the 2 bonus stations, and earn a nice certificate. It is a lot of fun, and from our location here on the East Coast, it is relatively easy to work them all. I routinely do it on the first day or two of the event, often just using the 40 meter band. I encourage all of you to check it out. You can look for the spots on DX Summit or eHam.net. Go to the QRZ page of KU2US for more information. You will not regret it.
Don't forget that after Field Day is over, we will be having one or two work parties down at the W2MMD Clubhouse, for general maintenance and also to get our replacement HF antennas up. We hope to get that effort wrapped up soon so that we can move on to rebuilding the VHF and UHF antenna systems. We have some exciting and ambitious plans for that station too, which will be announced soon, so stay tuned. Overall, things at W2MMD are better than ever, but we are about to take things to the next level. We are going to get a lot of recognition for our accomplishments in the coming years, and our Club station is going to be one of those things. A recent article in QST by our own Ron Block, NR2B, has brought a lot of attention to the things we are doing, and the interest in our Club is extending out beyond just our own community of local hams. Our membership is slowly growing, thanks to all the hard working members who's efforts have made us what we are today.
That's about all I have for now, except please join me in welcoming new member David A. (Gus) Swartout, KC3TGB, who has an Amateur Extra Class license and lives in Hockessin, Delaware.
73 for now and I hope to see everyone out at Field Day, which is by far the most fun event that any ham could ever participate in!