Nashoba Valley ARC QRV for Field Day 2019

Jim Wilber,  AB1WQ, writes:



7:00 AM – Breakfast at Breen’s Diner, 170 Main Street in Pepperell.  If you’re gung-ho to start the day strong, come out and join us here as we assemble for a quick breakfast before heading to the Field Day site.

WHERE TO GO:  The usual location:  Heald Orchard in Pepperell.  Two ways to find it:

1)  Enter “110A Heald Street, Pepperell MA” into Google Maps and follow the driving directions. The final part of the route is 0.1 mile on a gravel road right up to our site. The orchard has been mowed, so you’ll find room to park there. Try to leave room at the end for cars to turn around, though.

2)  If you know where the flashing yellow light is on Rte. 113 in front of Pepperell Town Hall (Enter “1 Main Street, Pepperell MA” in Google Maps), drive there and leave that intersection on Park Street heading north. BUT, take an IMMEDIATE left onto Heald Street, now heading west. (It is clearly marked.)  Follow Heald Street for exactly 1.6 miles to an open metal gate on your left. A sign there marks, “Heald Orchard, West Entrance.” Go through the gate for 0.1 mile and you’ll see our cars and antenna tower trailer up a low hill.

8:00 AM – Setup will be underway and many hands will make light work. Seriously, this is not heavy lifting but there are a lot of little tasks that are cut down to size by having more helpers. Please plan to come out early if at all possible and pitch in. When the setup is done, you could even go home, take a break and come back.

12:00 Noon – By this time, setup will be complete and we’ll have time to relax under the cool shade of the 10’x20′ canopy tent. Sip some lemonade and meet some of the hams you don’t yet know, but maybe have read about in the Signal. Come and introduce yourself if you rarely get a chance to join us for other activities.  Field Day is about Socializin’ as much as Eatin’, Operatin’, and Educatin’.  But it’s really a contest, isn’t it? Sort of– It can be almost the most relaxed contest ever, if that’s what you want. Spend a few minutes Operatin’ (but no one will force you to do that), and stick around for some Eatin’ and Educatin’. It will be hard not to learn something if you hang around the other hams long enough. And you can do some Educatin’ of them!

2:00 PM – The on-air scoring of Field Day begins and we start logging contacts. Remember to “Op-ON” to N1MM+ (lots of people will be around to show you how and offer any other tips you need) and answer a CQ.  The exchange will take you seconds to learn and you’ll have your first QSO of the day. Watch another ham do it once or twice and you’ll have it down on your first attempt.  YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A CONTESTER!  

OPERATE, OPERATE, OPERATE:  As in past years, we’ll have a RAFFLE at our first fall general meeting in September. To get your name in the raffle, all you need to do is have your call sign appear in our QSO log (which will happen if you’ve Opped-ON to N1MM+).  Every 10 QSOs you make will earn you another chance to win in the raffle. Prizes?  Cool things like an HRO gift certificate, Field Day mug, or Field Day pin. You won’t have to be present to win, you just have to operate at Field Day!

6:00 PM – Means one thing: Dinner time. If you’ve pre-ordered your Field Day dinner, make your way to the canopy and find yourself a seat. We are working to have the food arrive hot as close to 6:00 PM as possible, for maximum enjoyment. There will be no such thing as fashionably late for this dinner. 

MORE OPERATIN’ AND SOCIALIZIN’:  Through the evening and into the night. Propagation will change and you can be there and take advantage of it. The radios will be humming as long as we have operators that know the tune!  “N1NC  November one November charlie two-alpha echo mike alpha…” There, you just completed a QSO. When you’re not in front of the mic or key, meet the other hams around you. The coffee pot will be on; good company will be all around. Okay, a few flying bugs, too. Just put on a little bug spray. They hate it.

DID I SAY MORE OPERATIN’?  There’s no one who will make you go home if you don’t want to.  Or go home, but then come back and watch the sun rise. Find the operators out west who thought all of us were in bed already, and make them happy.


8:00 AM – Wake up and smell the coffee!! Drop in at Jessica and Bob’s outdoor diner for a steaming mug of joe, some bacon and eggs, pancakes, or whatever suits your fancy. Sausages your thing? Will have them, too. NOTHING better then breakfast outside in the fresh morning air. Birds twittering, sun sparkling…Nature all around…


2:00 PM – You better have logged all your QSOs by now because this is when the logging stops.  In a matter of minutes you’ll hear the bands start to go silent, as everyone has had their fill of another 24 hours of Operatin’…  Ah, rest for the weary at last…  But it’s a satisfied weary, not an exhaustion. it’s up to you to make sure of that.  Time to get up and walk around…oh, and while you’re up, would you wind up this power cord onto this reel. Time to whistle while you work and get everything disassembled, picked up, and packed up, and loaded up for moving out. With enough helpers on hand we’ll roll back out the orchard gates by 4:00 PM, as usual. Yet another Field Day that went… How? HOW?  THE WAY YOU MADE IT GO!  


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