Winter Field Day, the event is held in late January (the next one is 1/25 – 1/26). The emphasis is on a contest that can prepare operators for emergency communications deployments in harsh environments.
It’s time for the June WVARA meeting! June 13th at 19:00 in Meeting Room 5 at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose. Talk in is available on the association repeaters, 2m is a good choice.
I’m sure none of us have forgotten, but just in case, Field Day is June 22nd-24th, and when we’re this close to Field Day, it’s hard not to talk about Field Day.
In this meeting, we’re going to do a deep dive into N1MM+, the logging software we’ll be using at field day this year. Last year, standardizing on it ended up working out really well — but this year we’ve refined some rough edges, learned from a few mistakes, and are using a few new features. Specifically, the waterfall bandmap will likely be of interest to a few people as well as the use of skimmers (which according to the ARRL, believe it or not, is allowed on Field Day.) You don’t have to have to be an expert at N1MM+ to use it by any means, but knowing a few shortcuts probably won’t hurt our score. Additionally, we’ll talk about some strategies and operating tips for the various modes. Perhaps we’ll even have time to make some eyeball-QSOs. I’ll lead the discussion and present some slides, but there’s quite a bit of wisdom elsewhere in the room, so we’re sure to learn something.
Field Day isn’t a contest, but they do keep score and publish/rank the results at the end, so it sure feels like one sometimes. There are some folks in this club that almost never contest, and others, who can’t stop contesting (hi.) No problem, but one of the most important goals of Field Day is to a) get as many of us on the air as possible, and who knows, maybe we’ll even get you hooked and talk you into taking a road trip for a real contest in the not-so-distant future.
A few of us usually meet for dinner somewhere near the Red Cross (I’ve been rotating between a few locations) around 6 pm prior to the meeting. This month, it’s back to Dish’n’Dash just a block down the street: https://www.yelp.com/biz/dish-n-dash-san-jose I’m thinking of trying somewhere new entirely for our September meeting, so look for that!
ARRL released the latest QST at their web site today. Among other things, it contains the results for Field Day 2017.
To say the least, “we did good”. Our score of 19350 in 13AB was the 4th highest score, just 410 points behind 3rd-place W4EZ (9AB).
W4IY (12A) scored 20930, still pretty close. First place was once again held by W3AO down to just 16A, at 39430, about twice our score!
(How do they do that every year???).
Interesting that W4EZ and ourselves were the only AB stations in the top 10. I guess the other guys need power to do the job.
Congrats to all, it not only was a fine effort under trying propagation conditions, but a very fun one as well. Especially thanks to Bobbie and Bill for their organization efforts! May this years Field Day be even more fun, and please someone arrange for some sunspots for that weekend.
It’s interesting comparing WVARA’s band results from 2014 through 2017. The sunspots may have clearly taken their toll, but we’ve made impressive improvements over the years on 40 and 80 meters — and 2 meters also.
While in the middle of FD, I know there was much talk about “dead bands” and such, but it seems that was all talk. I will be submitting our score shortly, and the ARRL may have some QSO matching to do, but according to N1MM+ and a pile of XLS time, our final score was 19,250. This would be a second place score in the 2016 event, and time will tell if we achieved our goal of a 13A record. In any case, here are the highlights:
…for a total QSO count of 1971 (after several dups were removed). I then tallied up 1 pt per SSB/FM contact and 2 pts/QSO for CW and Digi to get a base QSO score of 16,650 (which includes the GOTA QSOs). Adding in 2600 bonus points (emergency power, public location, satellite, etc) got us up to our 19,250 grand total score. I will crunch up some charts showing QSO rates and qtys by hour, but this is what they will all add up to.
I must thank each and every one of you for the dedication and effort you each put forth through this event. It never ceases to amaze me how much A Game each of you brings. Tower trailers, networks, radios, tents, antennas galore, intense operating skills, and all the glue in between. Quite a lot happens to make this one day event successful. Little things like falling masts, dead batteries, and no sleep just don’t slow any of you down.
Major kudos to Bobby Barnett and Bill Fehring for organizing and running WVARA’s Field Day event on Mora Hill this weekend. You guys did a really great job!
Likewise, many thanks to Kevin Smith for running/coaching the great GOTA station, and to Svend Jensen for getting all the big towers / antennas successfully installed. And a special thanks to Greg DesBrisay for stepping into my shoes to test/deploy/maintain the three stations in CW station.