My first ham Field Day was 46 years ago, and today a few of us continued the tradition at Portola Valley Town Center admittedly with some adjustments for comfort. It’s THE national contest that simulates emergency field radio operation and no it just doesn’t get much nerdier. One year I continuously operated so much high-speed Morse Code, that as I drove away, each rattle and bump became a random letter.
I owe radio a lot. Nothing quite like the confidence it gives you to (in 1970) build an 2000W RF amp from a 3-page article and see it pump out 4000W because of your power supply improvisation. Abundant challenges and opportunities continue from the contributions of a hugely talented and diverse international pool. We are at the forefront of ad-hoc mesh networks. We have complete radio-based mail and file sharing with gateways. We have satellites that refresh messages and location information, weather; even the ISS is linked in.
To see the progression from repurposing WWII surplus gear to having my own satellite tracking system has been astonishing and a privilege, with which I hope especially my gear-head friends can sympathize.
Thanks to Chris Raanes, Ray Rothrock, Steve Golberg, Dale Pfau and Stuart Young for a great meet.