MIRA FIELD DAY 2017 – NOTES FROM THE SEVERAL MEETINGS AND CONVERSATIONS AFTER THE EVENT COMPILED BY DON MULLIS, VE7AX (FD2017 CO-ORGANIZER)
TEAMWORK – GREAT SPIRIT/GREAT PEOPLE
A LOT OF PEOPLE TAKING ON DELEGATED RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Dave and Karon Wilson for food
- Walter Forsythe and Glenna McDonald for cone pick-up and night watch
- Len Hooper for messages and ARRL message
- Syd Lee and Sharon Lee for VHF Station and night watch
- Tom Williams for PSK31
- Nigel Forge for IT support
- Brock Staples and Keith Smith for Information Table
- Terry Lyster for Satellite set up
- David Ireland for publicity/invitations/leadership/night watch
- Brock Staples and Rodney Hyde-Jones for planned Educational Activities
- Bob Duncan – Signs
- Norm Kilarski – Safety Officer
- Everyone on the set up and take down crews – Martin Mc., Frank G., Nigel, Terry, Dave I. and on…
- Norm Danton for planning kid friendly radio activity
FOOD – Excellent BBQ for lunch and dinner and sausages and pancakes for breakfast
FUN – general sense that people were happy with the event with reservations re lack of interaction with the public; concerns about pre-event publicity; whether site was arranged in a welcoming way.
SOCIALIZING – LOTS OF CHAT; CHANCE TO TOUCH BASE WITH MEMBERS. Especially important for some of our less mobile members. 30/44 members visited 20/44 were very actively involved.
LOCATION – COOL IN HEAT/ CENTRAL/ ACCESSIBLE FOR MEMBERS/ POTENTIAL FOR PUBLIC INTERACTION/SAFE AND WELL-POLICED
TRIED NEW THINGS which had not been tried by MIRA for some time…
- INVITATION TO POLITICIANS
- SUCCESSFUL NETWORK OF COMPUTER LOGGING
- BUDDIPOLE TRIAL
- OCF DIPOLE/YAGI COMBINATION
- PRESS RELEASES
- SOLAR PANEL DISPLAY/TRIAL
- SATELLITE STATION
- SAFETY OFFICER
INVOLVEMENT OF NEW MEMBERS: Nigel, Martin, Terry, Norm K.
SAFETY OFFICER REPORT
WELCOMING OF NARA GROUP
ON SITE PROBLEM SOLVING
SUPPORT FROM CITY OF PARKSVILLE – TRAFFIC CONES AND GROUPENERAL HELPFULNESS
TRAILERS AND EQUIPMENT ON LOAN FROM EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OCEANSIDE – Performed very well. The modification to the ESS trailer creating two operation spaces was a major improvement. As usual, the Honda 3000i generator was the unsung hero of the event – quiet, reliable, plenty of power and economical (less than $10.00 in gas for the weekend).
POOR PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
SOMEWHAT LIMITED MEMBER INTEREST IN ACTUAL RADIO OPERATIONS/CONTESTING
COMPATIBILITY OF PSK 31 WITH N3FJP LOGGING PROGRAM/PSK31 OPERATIONS WITH HRD
EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES THAT DIDN’T SEEM QUITE RIGHT FOR THE EVENT EVEN THOUGH PRE-PLANNED – Probably better for a larger club with younger members or as part of a MIRA general meeting.
RFI FROM SOLAR PANEL DISPLAY – Unfortunately not a great advertisement for these particular solar inverters
Questions that need to be asked
- Should this FD model be continued by MIRA?
- What other models are there? Private/rural. More social – less radio. Same model/site with less radio and more publicity. Same model/site with better publicity and site more welcoming. More MIRA-based; i.e. don’t use ECT and ESS trailers.
- More stations/fewer: TO WHAT EXTENT DO OUR MEMBERS WANT TO OPERATE RADIOS IN THIS SETTING? DOES THE CW OR CONTESTING INTEREST OF SOME MEMBERS GET IN THE WAY AND DISCOURAGE OTHERS FROM PARTICIPATION?
- GOTA (Get On the Air Station) a waste of time? Probably better if more public involvement.
- Give up on publicity and ARRL “template” – just MIRA having fun? But we need new members and general public awareness of our existence and activities.
- What about involving youth in our community – not so much a FD issue as a question about our long term goals and survival. Even younger working people?
Ideas for the future
MORE WELCOMING SITE LAYOUT AND SIGNAGE ON HWY 19 and MORE ATTENTION TO PRE-EVENT PUBLICITY. POSSIBLY BUILD A BIGGER EVENT BY COLLABORATING WITH OTHER CLUBS – MAYBE ALBERNI OR COMOX
SOME CADET, SCOUT, GUIDE, SCHOOL INVOLVEMENT.
It was agreed at the MIRA General Meeting of October 21, 2018 as follows:
- We should continue as last year at the same Parksville Community (Beach) Park location. A decision at this time allows us to submit our application for Park use to the City of Parksville by their year-end deadline.
- We should take steps to improve public access to our site and public participation and interest: better signage, more welcoming organization of antennas, radio stations and vehicles, move our operation as close to the beach as we can, better pre-event advertising.
- We should mount a concerted effort to involve Oceanside Youth organizations in FD2017 – Cubs, Scouts, Brownies, Guides, Cadets, School Groups.
- Continue to build on the many positives of FD 2017.
Field Day 2017 Committee Report
Gordon Wainwright and I share the belief that a well-organized Field Day can be of immense benefit to our amateur radio club. We see our GOALS for the MIRA Field Day 2017 being as follows:
- A social gathering combining the fun of a picnic and dinner with some radio focus- FUN!
- An outstanding opportunity for recruitment, mentoring and publicity.
- A test of our equipment, organizational ability and operating skills.
- A competitive event. We see this as the least important of our goals because our intent is to make clear that we aren’t worried about our results. Everyone will be encouraged to operate at his/her own level. (straight keys available at all stations) But, sometimes keeping score can be useful – otherwise playing poker without money? Without purpose and boring!?
DATE: Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25, 2017
As MIRA members know, we are working to produce a bigger and better Field Day this year, with full club involvement. We will follow the ARRL Field Day template in which FD is a radio contest to which has been added a series on incentives to explore new technologies, attract new members, and display our emergency preparedness capabilities in a public venue. We will need help from everyone to the extent each of you can assist. While we know some our members have mobility and health issues, not all jobs require heavy lifting or great dexterity – your moral support is worth a lot.
The City of Parksville has granted us permission to use the Parksville Beach area for our June 24/25 Field Day event
The plan we submitted proposed using about one half of the parking lot behind the Curling Rink for our vehicles and set-up, and the adjacent grass Kite Field for antennas and operating spaces (as necessary). The City has even allowed us to operate through the night with a skeleton crew of operators so that we can be a part of the action for the full duration of the event. At this time we have extended an invitation to NARA (Nanaimo Amateur Radio Association) to join us at our Parksville location. Last year they invited us to join them at a private farm in Nanoose and we had a great time. While we do not yet have a final confirmation from NARA, regarding their intentions, we will certainly include them in our plan should they choose to join us.
- We will need operators for two regular HF stations, plus a GOTA (Get-On-The-Air) station, plus a VHF station (i.e., VE7PI) … the combined operation of which might also call for the assistance of experienced coaches. In addition to the foregoing activities, we will also need a “roustabout team” to meet Field Day set-up and take-down requirements. And finally, a small team of volunteers will be required to service our Public Information table – I doubt we should have any difficulty in finding ready assistance in this regard.
- A number of people have already come forward, volunteering their services as noted below, but more strength will be required to support this year’s more ambitious FD program, so please don’t be shy to offer your assistance where you would feel most capable & comfortable in contributing to the program. Those already committed include: Nigel Forge (VE7NDF) – IT Support, Terry Lyster (VA7EDX) – satellite comms, and Len Hooper (VE7XLH) – traffic handling & message copying the W1AW Field Day transmission. With volunteer assistance, your Executive will handle the following items, i.e.: press releases, media publicity, contact with political officials (i.e., mayors, MLAs, etc), and contact with the local emergency service agencies such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
- We need to make a few radio contacts using ALTERNATE POWER (i.e., wind, water, solar, geothermal, trained hamster or whatever) Ideas are welcome?
- The ARRL encourages Field Day organizations to include some form of EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITY (Morse code classes in the sunshine?) What new & interesting ideas come to mind?
- Points will be awarded for YOUTH PARTICIPATION in our FD program. Do you know any likely youths and have you any ideas in this regard?
- Additional points will also be awarded if we use SOCIAL MEDIA (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc) to promote our Field Day program. While e-mail might be considered challenging enough for many of us, we need to go further … so your ideas will also be appreciated in how we might implement the a/m technologies.
Closing comment: In response to the foregoing calls for ideas and assistance, please communicate your good ideas or willingness to assist to either Don Mullis (VE7AX) or Dave Ireland (VA7QED) at your earliest convenience.