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FIELD DAY 2020 - WORKED FROM HOME!

June 27th-28th: ARRL Field Day Update

Updated 29 June 2020:

This year, Class 1D (home station on commercial power) were allowed to contact another Class 1D station for score credit.  

 

Several OVARC members petitioned ARRL to publish aggregate club scores this year. Though they do so for other contests, ARRL initially refused, but our campaign succeeded so the club gets credit for every contact made by members at home.

 

This is good news! Make sure that when you submit your FD summary to ARRL, you put Oro Valley Amateur Radio Club on the line requesting club affiliation. Disregard the instruction that club membership counts only for class A and F stations.

 

Details: http://www.arrl.org/news/temporary-rule-waivers-announced-for-2020-arrl-field-day

 

We encouraged OVARC members to get on the air on FD (June 27-28) as sole operators, thus continuing the practice of "social distancing". They used their own call and included OVARC as their club on the FD summary sheet they submitted. We suggested to the Coconino club that the trophy should go to the club with the greatest number of individual operations submitting logs to ARRL.

 

FIELD DAY 2020 PRELIMINARY RESULTS:

Preliminary report of OVARC member activity is linked below. Names are in alphabetical  order, sorted by last names.

OVARC 2020 Field Day - Preliminary QSO Report Link

 

We counted reports from 44 members. Many members had never or seldom been on the air before. That's what Field Day is all about! We have received only positive feedback from members. Perhaps this is the new paradigm for Field Day, and we need to debate whether or not to return to old-school FD in the future should that option become available...

 

Congratulations to all who participated. Great job!

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Field Day Operating

This article was taken from a series of Field Day bulletins sent to the OVARC membership.

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.

(TIP: 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: N1MM+ website Look under the Files tab for the full install. This software only runs on Windows XP or later. They also have video tutorials on how to use N1MM for Field Day on their web site.

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.

Mac Users NOTE:

There is also logging software available for the MacOS called "SkookumLogger". Link: https://www.k1gq.com/SkookumLogger/

To report problems with the web site such as broken or outdated links, or missing information, please contact the WebMaster: webmaster@tucsonhamradio.org

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