On Saturday, 28 June amateur radio volunteers from Emergency Management BC’s (EMBC) Headquarters facility located near Victoria deployed for Field Day 2014.
The objectives of this event were as follows:
- Provide an opportunity to practice the setup of VE7POC, one of EMBC’s three deployable radio communications kits including a large HF dipole antenna;
- Provide operator familiarization with the compact but highly complex deployable radio kit;
- Develop operator skill and efficiency through participation in Field Day radio operations;
- Using both internal battery and generator practice operating the mobile radio kit from alternate power sources;
- Develop and practice operational routine essential to sustained operation.
The location chosen for this Field Day deployment was Mt. Tolmie in Saanich. The 120 meter summit providing good line of sight for 2 meter operation.
VE7POC in operation. Note the fibreglass pole in center of image for the Buckmaster inverted “V” offset dipole antenna
Neil Townsend, VE7NIL using Packet digital radio communication
EMBC has three deployable radio kits currently located in Victoria, Kamloops and Terrace. Developed with funding allocated by EMBC to enhance volunteers programs the kits are equipped with:
- Medium/long range High Frequency radio;
- Commercial VHF radio;
- Dual-band amateur VHF/UHF;
- Laptop and printer with HF Pactor and VHF/UHF Packet digital communication;
- Commercial and amateur hand-held radios;
- 12 volt AGM deep-cycle marine battery.
Tripod mounted antennas and generator
The base of operation for this deployment was a Chevy Tahoe vehicle provided by the Office of the Fire Commissioner. This vehicle provided plenty of room for the radio kit, generator and other gear used during Field Day, including a Coleman stove essential for sustained operations.
The Honda EU3000is generator from Western One rentals worked flawlessly. Quiet and efficient, this unit provided 6 hours of operation with the fuel gauge barely moving. Positioned in front of the vehicle, the generator could not be heard from the rear cargo area of the vehicle where the kit was positioned. Operating the radio kit from the rear cargo deck of the Tahoe proved very workable, while providing adequate protection from the elements.
The following EMBC volunteers took part in the 2014 Field Day deployment:
- Neil Townsend, VE7NIL
- Nelson Dewey, VE7FTL
- Russell Gaudin, VA7RPG
- EMBC staff liaison AJ Bryan, VE7KSN
During Field Day activities the station received many visitors. Mt. Tolmie is a popular stop for tour buses and a steady stream of tourists arrived throughout the day.
At least one tour bus operator inquired about our activities on behalf of curious tourists.
A number of local HAM’s also visited the station while in operation.
Field Day 2014 provided VE7POC volunteers an opportunity to establish communication with stations in the Lower Mainland and a number of US states including Washington, Idaho, Minnesota and Santa Barbara in California. Farthest contact was located in Inuvik, Northwest Terrorities. A distance of almost 2,300 km.
Neil, VE7NIL and Nelson Dewey, VE7FTL working the radios during Field Day operations