Winter Field Day station at a picnic table

Yesterday was quite a hoot; first I participated in an ARES exercise, then in my first Winter Field Day!

For the ARES exercise, our team (R1D6 covering Jefferson, Gilpin and Clear Creek counties) was assisting our neighbors Denver ARES with connectivity checks. I wouldn’t say it was exciting sitting in a hospital parking lot and collecting radio checks, but it gave us a lot of great data about where we would and would not be able to reach if the repeaters were down. This could end up being very valuable information should we ever need it.

After that, I went and operated outdoors for my first Winter Field Day. I was very thankful that it was a balmy 50°F, but even in nice winter weather like that, I still got pretty chilled sitting around for a couple of hours. I worked some SSB and JS8Call on 20m using my new Lab599 Discovery TX-500, and I’m still in love with the thing! QRP being what it is, I wasn’t able to break up dogpiles, but when I was heard, I had no issues.