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2019 ARRL Field Day

06/24/2019 | W4MLB

I had planned to go to PCARS, our club's operations center for Field Day 2019. At the last minute, I drove back to the house and asked my oldest daughter if she would like to tag along. Donalyn is almost 10, and is pretty obsessed with digital technology. You can read that as, "She can't get off the computer or put down her tablet." I thought that she just might be interested in radio communication.

We got to the visitor's area about 18:00 and were welcomed in. An operator on the GOTA station was a young NWS employee that my daughter had met at a SKYWARN event, and she was just finishing up. The GOTA coach quickly had my daughter seated at the IC-756Pro station, tuned to 20 meters.

After some quick instructions, she was answering CQs, exchanging information, and logging contacts. Later in the evening, when 20 meters slowed down, she was switched to 40 meters. She completed over 20 contacts on Saturday evening. We finished up the evening watching a couple of operators working a satellite. Donalyn was amazed.

On the way home she asked me, "Dad, can we please go back in the morning?"

We returned about 08:00 Sunday morning, and the GOTA station was vacant. She was thrilled to see that. She jumped right in, and completed enough additional exchanges to put her over 40 total before we headed home.

Later that morning, she begged me to go back one more time before Field Day ended. This time, they moved her to the 10 meter band, where she made some additional contacts. I left her and her sisters to play on their tablets for awhile, so that I could help take down the portable beam and dipole that she had been using.

I am pretty sure that she will be ready to take her Technician exam by the time our HamFest rolls around in October. I could not be more proud of her, and am glad that she has found a new hobby that involves some real STEM subjects.

Donaly says, "Thank you and 73!"

 

-- K4ILG


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