Field Day is coming up sooner than we think. So I thought I’d spend some time on Field Day and start working through some of the tasks associated with the event.
Most Field Day operations have more than one station. A conventional way of working each station is to have a “Station Captain” responsible for the setup, tear down and allocation of responsibilities for the station and operators.
What follows is a beginning attempt to establish a “checklist” for station captains.
Station Captain Checklist:
Field Day software
Computer – Radio Interface
Sound Card Check
Antenna 2 (if needed or wanted)
Network Router or Hub
Bonus Point attainment plan for station
Shelter – tent, RV…??
Sleeping bag or equivalent
What else should be added to this list? What other lists should be here?
Sooner than you think, Field Day will be here in the United States. That great weekend filled with signals on the air, setting up the stations, having the barbeques and breakfast — all shared with mosquitoes.
If you’re going to be working Field Day as a club, a lot of the planning should already be done and much already executed. Location determined, permits acquired, stations planned, station captains chosen, and an equipment list all drawn up.
But, is Field Day a contest? Or a social event? A public service demonstration? Or none of the above?
When I was back in Wisconsin, the Four Lakes Amateur Radio Club went big-time on Field Day putting ourselves in the category of 9A. Yup, nine stations on the air, fully manned, generators humming, and grills cooking. Assignments to maximize extra credit Field Day points from satellite, publicity, and old-time Novice tents assigned. It was a lot of work.
But a lot of people and clubs don’t do something that big (it really is a tremendous number of stations…). Instead, they focus on 1A or 2A where the number of stations is more manageable, but the competition more fierce.
What are you and/or your club going to be doing this year for Field Day? Let us know in the comments and see if we can finally resolve if Field Day is a contest or a social gathering…!
This month, I’m providing a ham radio contest tip-a-day (along with other posts) to help you trigger your own contesting activities.
Today’s tip: Participate on a contesting team.
One of the great things about some contests is having a “team” category. The idea is that a group of people can get together and form a contesting “team” and have each of their scores contribute to an overall team score for the contest.
This is differentiated from a club score because the team size is usually much less than the entire club effort and from a multi category in that each operator is operating as a single operator during the contest.
But, the overall score goes to a team.
The advantages of signing up for a team are pretty interesting:
Your commitment to the contest increases. Because you are part of a team, you will spend more time in the contest.
Your competitive nature will increase the score. Who wants to have the lowest score on the team?
You will focus more on the score. Capture those elusive multipliers. Look for weird openings during the contest. Really up your contesting game.
Have more fun. Teams often will instant message back and forth on how they are doing in the contest, keeping up the interest and the fun.
Besides, you can usually make up your own team name. There are some pretty interesting ones out there…