Yesterday I took part in the John Moyle Memorial Field Day (JMMFD) contest. The contest is run each year in memory of the late John Moyle who was a long term editor of the Wireless Weekly, (later: Radio & Hobbies; later: Radio Television & Hobbies), from 1947 until his untimely death in 1960. He served in the RAAF with distinction and was responsible for a number of innovative solutions in keeping radio and radar equipment working under wartime conditions and difficult working conditions. The WIA, (Wireless Institute of Australia), decided that a suitable long term memorial to John Moyle would be a Field Day with a focus on portable or field operation. The contest has been conducted annually ever since.
Whilst it is essentially a contest for Portable operators, Home stations can also participate and so that is what I did. I decided early Saturday morning that I would take part, so a little planning was needed on my behalf to ensure that the kids were fed dinner at the usual time as I wanted to start at 3:30 UTC and go through until 9:30 UTC and be done in time to put the kids to bed. My “shack” is now set-up in the living room, so I was able to keep an eye on the kids even whilst contesting. Whilst not a stranger to contesting, this was the first time I had been in the JMMFD so I read the rules, had a listen on air to the exchanges, downloaded the newest version of VKCL and popped on my headphones and got to work. It was a little hard going at some stages, I stuck to the 40m band only, SSB and was able to make contacts with all states except VK6 and VK7, although I did make a SOTA contact with Kerry, VK7PAK in the early stages of the contest but this did not count towards the JMMFD. Some stations had a hard time hearing me with my 10W but we persevered and were able to make the exchanges needed to validate the contacts. I managed to get a few SOTA and VKFF contacts as well which was a bonus! I went “fishing” for contacts mostly, scrolling up and down the band grabbing contacts as I found them, although sometimes I set-up on a clear frequency and called for a while. I wasn’t being too serious, just happy to give numbers out and got up and left my station numerous times as I was needed by my kids, but did my 6 hour time limit and submitted my log electronically that night. Some of the numbers people were giving out were quite high which was a credit to their contesting stations and themselves…terrific effort! Everyone was very friendly and I enjoyed participating and look forward to next year. 🙂