Field Day Thank You

Field Day 2018 was a great success!

THANK YOU TOM, W8TK, FOR HOSTING THE 2018 OVARC FIELD DAY

 

Thanks to everyone who participated and helped make this Field Day a great success.

And especially big thanks to Tom, W8TK, for hosting Field Day and for all of the great work he does to make it happen every year.

2017 Field Day Results

its a wrap

2017 Field Day Results

Band/Mode QSO Breakdown:


               CW                    Digital                   Phone
            QSOs Pwr(W)   QSOs Pwr(W)      QSOs        Pwr(W)
      160m
       80m - 187    100                                 112              100
       40m - 454    100        81     30              95              100
       20m - 154    100        33     30              12              100
       15m  -  18    100                                   10              100
       10m
        6m                              7     50
        2m
      1.25
     Other
 Satellite                              1     50
      GOTA                          61    100


     TOTAL - 813               114                      298

Total QSO Points = 2152 X2 (power mult)= 4304

Bonus points - 1250

Total Score = 5,554

% of total score

CW contacts = 59%

SSB contacts= 14%

Digi contacts = 11%

Bonus points = 23%

Past years for comparison:

2012 (4F)  1,306 QSO     5,122 points

2013 (3F)  1,480              6,036

2014   "     1,539              6,510

2015   "     1,407              6,142

2016   "     1,325              5,924 

2017   "     1,225              5,554

Score declines parallel sunspot activity decline.  2017 saw zero signals on 10 meters and only a couple dozen QSO on 15 meters.  40 and 80 meters were very noisy despite lack of storm activity in the area.  Let's hope the cycle reverses soon so the HF bands will again be crowded during Field Day!

On the bright side, many new or inexperienced hams turned out to dip their toes into the HF waters.  Nine different GOTA operators made a total of 61 SSB contacts.  Several members experienced PSK31 for the first time.  W7HD again pulled a satellite QSO out of his hat.  We had a safe FD again, with no equipment failures.  NG7A's loop antennas for 80 and 40 worked well.  Dinner from Bubb's Grub did not disappoint.  All in all, OVARC enjoyed a fine Field Day.

Only 363 days until the next one!

73 de W8TK

OVARC FD Chairman

Field Day Operating

This article was taken from a series of Field Day bulletins sent to the OVARC membership by Field Day Chairman Tom Kravec W8TK

How to Operate Field Day

In case you have never operated in a radio contest before, this article will explain what you will hear and say. Field Day's objective is to exchange information with as many other stations as possible. The information exchanged is, strangely enough, called "the exchange." Field Day is a very simple contest, and the exchange is your station FD class (for OVARC this year, the class is 3F) and your ARRL section (ours is ARIZONA). We will use the callsign K7T (kilo seven tango).

Tuning across the band you will hear:

"CQ CQ Field Day this is W1ABC Whiskey One Alpha Bravo Charlie Field Day"

You call: "W1ABC this is Kilo Seven Tango Kilo Seven Tango"

W1ABC responds: "K7T 2 Alpha Western Massachusetts"

You respond: "Thanks. 3 Foxtrot Arizona (or Alpha Zulu)"

He responds: "Thanks. QRZ Field Day this is W1ABC"

That's it! You type his call and exchange into the logging computer and move on.

You may work each station once per band and mode. If you type his call and the software sees that you have worked before, it will report "DUPE." Move on.

Search YouTube for audio and video examples of amateur radio contest operation.

Operating tips:

BE BRIEF! Don't repeat the exchange unless you are asked. Don't insert meaningless blather like "Please copy..." A signal report is not part of the FD exchange, so don't give one. A simple "Thanks" (or TU on CW) is easier than saying "QSL" to confirm that you copied OK. Contacts go more smoothly if you provide the other station only what he expects to hear.

TURN OFF THE RIT! Receiver Offset Tuning (Yaesu calls it Clarifier) moves your receiver frequency a bit to better tune callers who are off frequency. If you use it and don't turn it off after the contact, you will not copy anyone then calling ON frequency. So just LEAVE IT OFF!

Contesting Strategy for Field Day 

There are two techniques for operating in a contest. You can sit on a frequency calling CQ and waiting for other stations to call you. This is called “Running.” Or you can tune up and down the band looking for other stations who are calling CQ and answering them. This is called “Search and Pounce” (S&P). N1MM software has two different modes to accommodate both techniques.

Which should you use? If you have a good signal, running is effective. If you have a peanut whistle signal due to low power (QRP) or compromise antenna, running will not be productive so S&P is the strategy of choice. At OVARC Field Day, our antennas and 100 watt power level allow both. Decades of operating FD have shown me that using both techniques produces the best result. First, find a clear frequency (not easy with thousands of stations on the air), call CQ until answering stations stop calling, then go to S&P. I always start at the bottom of the band and tune up. The reverse will work too. When you get to the end of the band, find a clear frequency (see above) and start calling CQ again.

As always, remember that brevity is the essence of contesting. Never repeat unless asked. Eliminate superfluous blather like “Please copy...” Saying “Thanks” is one syllable, saying QRZ is three. Just deliver the information that the receiving station expects.

What about “dupes”? “Dupe” is contesting slang for a duplicate contact. Say you worked a station, logged it, and an hour later that station answers your CQ again. He apparently isn’t using logging software or isn’t paying attention. What to do? Log him again! It’s quicker and easier than trying to explain that he is a dupe, and there is no penalty for working him a second (or third) time.

Why does Field Day score matter?

If Field Day isn’t a contest as some would say, why does the score matter? There’s a dictum of management which says, “If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

Even if you agree that FD is not a contest, you would have to agree that it is a test of emergency preparedness. The score measures OVARC’s ability to mobilize in case of an emergency and provide communications when other means have failed. Score is based not only on the number of contacts made, but many “bonus” points are available for other emergency-related and public relations activities which occur during the FD period. Read the rules at www.arrl.org/field-day to see what we can do to earn bonus points. Our scores from year to year give us a target for improvement, so even if you’re not into contesting, you can judge our performance by comparing scores over time and against other clubs.

Field Day Logging Software

Field Day Logging Software - N1MM+

OVARC uses N1MM+ software for logging our contacts, reporting dupes,  and calculating our score in real time.  If you are going to operate Field Day and have not used this software we suggest you download it and try it out before Field Day weekend.  

You can download the software here - http://n1mm.hamdocs.com/tiki-index.php

Look under the Files tab for the full install.  This software only runs on Windows XP or later.  

For a video tutorial on how to use N1MM for Field Day check this link: n1mm.hamdocs.com/tiki-index.php?page=Video+-+N1MM+LoggerPlus+on+Field+Day#Video_N1MM_LoggerPlus_on_Field_Day

or click on the Support tab from the N1MM website and select Instructional Videos. The Field Day video is at the bottom of the list of streaming videos on how to install and use N1MM logging software.