The annual ARRL Field Day is an event to showcase amateur radio to the public and get folks fired up about the hobby and the service it can provide.

Back in 2019, NORAC did a massive Field Day event in Ralph VA7NU's back field. With over 70 people attending it was a great showcase.

In 2020, the club event was skipped due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, but the ARRL was nice enough to change the rules and allow D-class (home) stations to participate in the event. Club members participated as D-class (home) stations and B-class (rover) stations. Unfortunately there was no public interaction that year.

This year, the club was still cautious about doing a big group event, but public health restrictions for gatherings were relaxing due to vaccine uptake and reduced case counts. While there were many notable D and E-class (QTH) participants this year (VA7ST, VE7KWA, VA7RLX, VA7AEJ et al), there were a lot more B-class stations this year. Some went camping, others roving or even sailing.

Brad VE7WBM drove to his favourite RF-quiet spot just outside of town and used a hamstick antenna setup on the roof of his truck to get in on the event action. He brought his son Byron along and got him on the air.

David VA7SZ worked the event from his sailboat on the Salish Sea. He made 10 contacts over 4 bands at less than 5 watts of RF output power. Perhaps we should petition ARRL to add a maritime mobile class next year?

A group of club members including Jerome VE7JAR (and sons Isaiah and Reuben), Jake VE7WEA, Lorne VE7LWK, Jane VE7WWJ and Mike VE7KPZ went camping to Island Lake up on the Aberdeen Plateau and invited other club members along to assist with an evaluation of Cranky, the club's crank-up antenna tower, for maintenance, repairs and improvements. Several club members, and also friends of the club, took up the offer and visited the site.

Tom VE7ENP joined the group at Island Lake on Thursday evening and stayed the duration to operate multiple wire antennas for all band coverage via his trusty IC-7000.

Kevin VE7XY came out to assist with the Cranky setup and evaluation on Friday and Saturday.

Michal VE7TMZ and his son Alex came out for the day on Saturday. They setup their own B-class station with hot tips from some of the other folks in attendance. A highlight was seeing Alex figure out the voice keyer and get a nice run of QSOs going on 80m.

Saturday afternoon day visitors included John VE7JWS with Deborah VE7SHE, Doug VE7VZ and Ritchie VA7RLX.

Bob VE7RKN came up from Penticton to camp out for the weekend with his dog Diesel. She was real pleasure to have in camp.

Garry VE7EIY was up there in spirit as he checked in with the group constantly on VE7RSS, the primary repeater used for Island Lake camping-related communications. Island Lake does not have cell service, so Garry's check-ins were appreciated.

The group had a lot of interest in what was going on from other campers. Every visitor was greeted and given an orientation of the 5 x 1B stations spread out over 4 and a half campsites.

Notably, all stations were solar battery powered. In fact, there may have been a little too much sun. It was toasty even up at 1400 meters/4600 feet ASL.

On Sunday, as it always seems to work out on Field Day weekends, the NORAC Sunday Morning Net control operator (Jerome) ran the net from the site. Isaiah was put in charge of logging the check-ins.


Big thanks to Jerome for bringing the deep frier and oil... and Jake for bringing some extra chicken for those of us (Mike and Jane) who forgot and had BBQed their chicken on the fire the night before.

Big thanks to Jane our official event photographer for documenting the event in pictures. It's great to look back and see all that went on during this busy weekend.

Also a very big thanks to all that assisted with the setup/takedown and evaluation of Cranky. There is still a LOT of work to go to get Cranky super-skookum and reliable again. Showstopper tasks (like replacing the tilt-up wire cable) were completed during the weekend, but restoration tasks (like getting the feed point of the beam antenna waterproof again (VE7KPZ was foiled from using it on Sunday morning due to dew entering the connection and pushing the tune off)) and other upgrades will need to go into a list for budgeting, club review and implementation later this year.

We hope that 2022 will ring as the year we overcome COVID-19 and things go back to normal. In the spring of 2022 the club will make a call on if we do a big group event for FD2022. Now, having had so much fun as a rag-tag group of 1B stations in close proximity, perhaps working as a xA club station next year might be fun. It was neat to see everyone's setups and trade notes.

For this year,

Ps: check out the gallery of Field Day 2021 pictures (from Island Lake and other club members' 1B station sites).