WINDHAM, ME – On the weekend of January 27-28, the Wireless Society of Southern Maine participated in their first Winter Field Day, setting up on Saturday morning and operating for 24 hours, from the front yard of the Cumberland County EMA, in Windham, ME.
Team members began setting up Saturday morning, with the earliest arriving at around 8:00AM. There was plenty of work to do to get ready, including organizing equipment in the communications trailer, installing software on the logging computers, and setting up various antennas, including an end-fed long wire, a yagi for 6 meters, and more.
Once setup, there was a quick lunch break before getting on the air at 2:00PM, which was the official start time for the contest. Operating as WS1EC, activity commenced with Waylon KC1HJN on 20 meters SSB, Sean W1MSA on 40 meters SSB, and not long after, Charlie W1CPS, began working 6 meters. 20 meters was hopping with activity, and Waylon made over 40 QSOs in the first 30 minutes!
Operations continued throughout the afternoon and evening, when one of the radios broke down. The FT840 that we were using at the time on 40 meters, experienced a tuning knob malfunction. After it was determined that the repair would take longer than expected, the radio was replaced, and the station was back on the air a while later.
Many of us were thankful that the weather wasn’t as bad as we were anticipating. During setup and breakdown, the temps were in the upper 30s, only dropping into the 20s during the overnight period. We operated outdoor, on 100% battery power for the entire 24 hours, which counts for a few bonus points toward our score. In total, we had over 300 QSOs, which was a fine effort for our first Winter Field Day.