ARRL Field Day 2021 was a success, not matter how you look at it.
Our location, Old Time Farm Day, was an excellent public facility, with plenty of room to set up our antennas, a large pavilion that accommodated our two operating stations and extra seating for meals and conversation. There was a large air conditioned kitchen were we could prepare food and enjoy a cool spot away from the heat, plus there was also an indoor bathroom. We also had the Communications Trailer as an addition cooling station and a convenient couch for taking a nap. Being located on top of a rise with no close trees, allowed us to receive any breezes that the late June weather could offer.
Because of the large open area around the pavilion, we were able to space the two antennas in a way to minimize interference between our voice and digital stations. I noticed some interference on 40 meters but it was easy to avoid operating on the same band by choosing another. Setup went smoothly on Saturday morning allowing plenty of time to socialize and welcome visitors. Speaking of visitors, we had more visitors than club members. There were nine club members and ten visitors over the two days. We had two visiting “hams” from Wilcox county who got some time operating the voice station. Two visitors, recently moved to Butler County, were interested in becoming hams. We had the Managing Editor from the Greenville Advocate and her son, who got to operate on the voice station. We had a couple others who just stopped in to say hello. We also want to thank the two spouses that dropped off food.
Speaking of food – we had hot dogs, chips, dip, baked beans with Conecuh sausage, Boston butt, breakfast quiche and English muffins with sausage, egg and cheese. For dessert, we had cookies, Little Debbie pies, pound cake, M&Ms and more. Everyone brought their own drinks plus we had fresh coffee brewed for overnight operators and breakfast. As you see, we did not go hungry. Having the large air conditioned kitchen and a working refrigerator was a blessing to keep the food properly stored.
It is fair to say that making a lot of contacts is not more important to JBWA than enjoying the other aspects of Field Day – fellowship, meeting new people, getting the word out about Amateur Radio and enjoying the food. We operated the two stations from 1:00 PM Saturday until about 10:00 AM Sunday with a number of breaks in the action. Most everyone left by 9:00 PM on Saturday except for Nancy (AK4NG), Doug (AJ4ZN) and myself (AK4NG). We three continued to operate and take naps throughout the night. At the digital station, we switched to trying to get all the states rather than just making a lot of contacts. We had a flurry of activity on Sunday morning before deciding to call an end. Folks began to show up again in the morning and helped take down and put away the equipment and the food. You can find the formal ARRL submittal along with links to photos, statistics, map, etc. on the website at https://www.k4tns.com/field-day-2021/.
So you can see, we may be a small club but we can put on excellent activity. We have good reason to be proud of what we accomplished. So, for those of you that could not make it out this year, you missed a good one and you should be planning to make the next one.