Just do it!

Two years ago, I participated in my first Field Day as a ham. For the uninitiated, Field Day is an annual event where radio amateurs set-up radio stations in locations they would normally not operate. We then try to make as many contacts as possible in a 24 hour period.

My local club, the Nittany Amateur Radio Club brings out the big guns for Field Day – big directional beam antennas, high power amplifiers, and capable radios (Elecraft K3S and Icom IC-7610). This year was no exception. Here are a few pics I took early Saturday morning.

Unlike two years ago, when one of the more senior hams had to shove the microphone and headphones into my hands to get me to jump into the chair, this year I happily jumped into the fray whenever the opportunity arose. And that would include 3 am on Sunday morning.

I know I’m not alone in seeing an experienced ham work a pile-up and think how could I possibly listen, type, and talk in the phonetic alphabet without losing it. And the answer is, like so many other things, you just have to try. So, my unsolicited advice to hams like me who are a little mic shy, or maybe intimidated by CW?

Just do it. It’s exhilarating to jump out of your comfort zone and piles of fun.

Besides, some afternoons you can ‘work’ (talk to) people in Greenland with 100 Watts and a wire strung up between the trees in your backyard.

73 de K3ROG

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Rick O. Gilmore
Professor of Psychology
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