Field Day 2024

- 2 mins read

ARRL’s Field Day is the largest ham radio event of the year. While strictly speaking it is not a contest, I decided this year to participate as an individual and set myself some goals – which I reached!

Last year I attended the local club event and worked some stations from the comms trailer they use for events like this. It was fun – they have nicer gear than I do and a better overall setup – but now that I have my station moved into the shed1, I wanted to give it a try.

I spent some time tuning the HF antenna with my wife’s help, and I even tested the software in advance. This year’s software collection included fdlogger which interfaced well with my existing tools, with a single minor issue which I was able to correct on my own. So, yay!

I’m still not very good at the actual talking part. It feels like folks are having a really hard time understanding me. I’m not sure if it’s a problem with the radio, or with how I’m holding the microphone, or what. I have some ideas on how to improve that, starting with listening to myself on someone’s WebSDR so I can better understand what it sounds like.

That being said, I made over one hundred contacts – a personal best in recent history if not overall. They were split 50:50 between phone contacts and digital contacts (100% FT8 this year, maybe next year some CW, heh). Here’s a map showing the range of my digital transmissions:

Image courtesy of

I also intend to do some log analysis to get ideas on where I’m doing well and where I could improve. Unfortunately, Numbers isn’t really adequate for the task, and I have forgotten more R from my master’s degree than I care to admit, so it’ll take some time to get there.

  1. The shed deserves a post or two of its own, but now is not the time. ↩︎