Field Day 2019 seems to have been another success for most who participated. I skipped the exercise this time around. I usually operate using batteries in the backyard with a wire tossed over a tree branch like a real emergency scenario.
But I wasn’t willing to ride the thunderstorms out. Besides, I’m more than just a little confident in my simple setup. If a real emergency situation presented itself I could make contact and exchange information with someone, somewhere outside the impacted area.
No question about that, and really no need to “practice” it.
Simple works. It’s those big Field Day operations which are mostly complete home stations crammed into tents and campers that seem at some risk of failing due to too much technology.
Many of the reports I’ve seen leave me wondering just how effective some of these will be if all else really failed. I get that Field Day is more than just a training exercise for the local club. It’s some combination of contest, emergency preparedness, and fraternity. You know, a chance to spend a romantic evening in a sweaty tent with the brethren…
But reports about the success (or failure) of the computer networking operation, the software, or the logging and dupe checking tools leave me wondering if we haven’t gone astray with too much cruft?
In a real emergency nobody will care even a little bit about accurate logging, dupe-checking, or the excellent BBQ and potato salad. And I’ll bet it will be nearly impossible to rouse enough volunteers in an actual shitstorm to assemble and erect those big antennas, amplifiers, tents, and generators.