The Foothills Amateur Radio Society participated in the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) 2020 Field Day event on Saturday June 27th and Sunday June 28th as individual stations due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. We encouraged our members to participate in field day through their own efforts.
All amateurs were encouraged to participate in amateur radio field day from the safety of their own home/shelter.
John L. Gaffey, WS1EA has written a helpful primer for organizing your own Field Day event.
Due to the restrictions of the COVID19, FARS was unable to organize and operate our usual group activity for Field Day 2020. However, the ARRL made a couple of small modifications to the rules to make it more practical to participate in Field Day under the current restrictions. One change allows home stations to make points contacting other home stations. Here is the rule waiver:
1) For Field Day 2020 only, Class D stations may work all other Field Day stations, including other Class D stations, for points.
Additionally, they allowed multiple stations, operating at different locations to aggregate their scores together under the banner of a radio club to produce a club score. Here is the waver for this:
2) In addition, for 2020 only, an aggregate club score will be published, which will be the sum of all individual entries indicating a specific club (similar to the aggregate score totals used in ARRL affiliated club competitions).
FARS asked our members to operate their own individual stations to make contacts for themselves and to report their scores as part of the FARS effort to provide a FARS Field Day result. The main goal was to enable everyone participate as much as they are able with the limitations in effect.
Each FARS member was encouraged to participate in Field Day using his/her own station with his/her own radio call sign and radio privileges to operate and score contacts. If you used your home station, or any permanent station, your station category would be nD where n is the number of operators. For most stations n is 1. If you use emergency power at home, you would be category 1E, or perhaps 2E if you have a second family member operating the station.
If your amateur license did not allow for HF operation, (or you didn’t have the equipment), you could still make contacts on the VHF and UHF bands. There was an effort to encourage stations to operate Field Day on these bands, so there should have been a good number of stations on air. You can operate VHF/UHF FM using the available simplex frequencies. You could operate VHF/UHF FM using the available simplex frequencies. You could operate other modes, including SSB, Digital, SSTV, etc. You should avoid parts of these bands assigned to repeaters and other uses, but all the simplex frequencies are available except for the calling frequencies (146.52MHz, 446.00MHz). Be sure to adhere to the appropriate band segments for each mode. There are more details in the Field Day rules.
Stations should exchange their station category and their location (eg. SCV for Santa Clara Valley) when making contacts.
Here is an abbreviated list of station categories:
|Class A||Club/non-club portable. Three or more people.|
|Class B||Like Class A, but limited to one or two person portable|
|Class C||Mobile - stations in vehicles capable of operating while moving|
|Class D||Home Stations - permanent or licensed locations on commercial power|
|Class E||Home Stations - Like Class D, but on emergency power|
|Class F||Emergency Operations Centers (EOC)|
Most stations should use Class “1D,” when using your home station. If you use emergency power at your home station you are 1E. If you go to another location and set up a temporary station, you are class 1B for one or two people. If you have three or more operators, you are Class 1A. If a class 1B station uses battery power, you are “1B - battery.” There is a link to the full rules on the FARS Field Day page.
It's perfectly reasonable to log field day contacts on paper. You just need to capture the information required. A proper log book makes it easier, but you can create columns on a sheet of paper. You need the date, time, freq/band (approximate is okay), mode (SSB, CW, PSK, etc.), call sign, class (eg. “1D”), and Section (eg “SCV”). Note if times are local or UTC.
Here's an example:
Once the contest is over, you may want to type up your contest log.
Free logging software. If you just use it for logging and don't try to set up the rig/radio interface, they are not difficult to set up. Logging software can ease the logging process and provide some benefits such as duplicate checking.
Most of these program can produce a Cabrillo format log file that the ARRL prefers for submitting Field Day logs. There is an example further down this page.
|WriteLog Demo Free Version||Windows Vista||This is a fully functioning version of WriteLog but restricted to a few contests, including Field Day. Runs on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. This version is free. You need to provide your call sign to receive the download link and a key to activate the software.|
|N1MM Logger+ (Freeware)||Windows||Supports a number of radio contests including Field Day and it’s free.|
|Skookum Logger (Freeware)||MacOS 10.11||Supports a number of radio contests including Field Day and it’s free.|
Here is a sample Cabrillo Log file. Note the CALLSIGN line contains the station call sign and the OPERATORS line lists the operator(s) of the station. The QSO line is repeated for each contact. This sample lists two contacts. The fields are:
This file is constructed as a simple text file, so it can be edited with simple text editors like wordpad and notepad if needed.
START-OF-LOG: 3.0 LOCATION: SCV CALLSIGN: K6YA CLUB: Foothills Amateur Radio Society CONTEST: ARRL-FIELD-DAY CATEGORY-OPERATOR: SINGLE-OP CATEGORY-ASSISTED: NON-ASSISTED CATEGORY-BAND: ALL CATEGORY-MODE: MIXED CATEGORY-POWER: HIGH CATEGORY-STATION: FIXED CATEGORY-TRANSMITTER: ONE CLAIMED-SCORE: 1 OPERATORS: K6YA NAME: FARS ADDRESS: ADDRESS-CITY: Campbell ADDRESS-STATE-PROVINCE: CA ADDRESS-POSTALCODE: 95008 ADDRESS-COUNTRY: usa EMAIL: CREATED-BY: N1MM Logger+ 1.0.7711.0 QSO: 14200 PH 2020-06-25 0155 K6YA 1D SCV XX1XX 1F WTX QSO: 14200 PH 2020-06-25 0155 K6YA 1D SCV XX1XY 1D OR END-OF-LOG:
|Call Sign||Output Freq.||Offset||CTCSS (PL)||Links|
|W6ASH||440.800||+600 KHz||100 Hz||[none]|
When submitting Field Day reports, list “K6YA Foothills Amateur Radio Society” as your “group” or “club” so the report for FARS includes your contact total in our group total.
You can view the log of Field Day Entries Received. Search for “K6YA” on the page to find others FARS member field day submissions.
Those who have a Technician Class Amateur Radio License can work Field Day on VHF. There is an effort this year to encourage stations to operate Field Day on VHF to encourage participation by hams without HF privileges. We expect most of the activity to be near, or on, 146.520. Please avoid using frequencies reserved for repeaters, SSB, weak signals, etc.
You can also work SSB on VHF if you the equipment for this mode. Use 144.200 MHz SSB on 2 meters VHF, and 432.100 MHz SSB on 70 centimeters UHF.