I got this in my email inbox from fellow blogger Bill VE3CLQ….
Its speaks for itself and its worth a read…
Greetings all, coming up on August 29th is the W/VE Island QSO Party.Traditionally this event has been held in late October, and our club has activated a number of islands that day. Due to the cold weather last year and the very poor participation numbers from Canadians, the US Island Award event sponsors have agreed to a permanent move of the event date into the warm weather of late August.Over the past 7 years there has been less and less Canadian participation in the event, some due to the weather of late October, and some do to the issues related to lack of advertising by the management of the old, now cancelled, Canadian Islands Award program. Hopefully this change of date and a lot more advertising can change this.This email is being sent to hams coast to coast, and a few in the middle, in the hope that we can get the word out and start rebuilding this event in Canada. If you write a blog, please write about and push this event, mention it on your club’s repeater, and most of all pick and island and get out there and take part.We have had our first Canadian activation notice from the guys who live around Grimsby, Ontario, and they plan on being active both Saturday and Sunday (but the actual event is only on the Saturday).Have a look at: http://veislandactivators.blogspot.ca Details of who’s activating what will be posted there.
Speaking from experience this Island activation can be fun…. You get to take your portable gear out into the field and play radio in whats hopefully good weather for a few hours…. If the “Propagation Ghods” are co operating you should find out what its like to be controlling a pile up… If not you will still make a few contacts and still have fun….
Here are a couple of hints for operating from an island:
Remember the locals- Looking for rare DX is fine and dandy but…. working an hour on 40m and/or on 80m can give the close in operators a chance to get an island in the log as well. The same could be said for making a couple of calls on your local 2m fm frequency.
Whatever battery you would take out to the field…. Double it.… I normally use a 7ah battery in the field with my ft 817 but after calling CQ for 4 hours non stop I did need to put in the 2nd battery to continue on with the activation of Maple Island back in 2005.
Spend more time on the air than getting on the air…. A simple multi band antenna that you can install quickly will usually get you more contacts that the more complex antennas. You most likely will be time challenged so keep it simple and use your time wisely
Test your station then pack it and leave it packed till your event. Once you know everything works… pack it in its bag and DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING till you take it to the island.
If you pack it away complete then you can’t forget anything at home (coax, microphones and power cords come to mind speaking from experience)
Don’t forget the logbook and extra pens…. Know your operating location… Do you need to bring a folding table and camp chair or are their picnic tables???
If you do cause a pile up… and you feel overwhelmed don’t hesitate to slow things down to your speed… They want you in the log more than you want them… and remember in 99% they have more power than you and most likely a better antenna so don’t get upset if you can’t work everyone you can hear…. but try and work everyone who can hear you…
Finally don’t forget to have fun…. It has to be fun because if its not… Why did you do it?