Field Day 2018

Field Day is this upcoming weekend!  This year, AVARC will conduct a joint Field Day with the Kings County Amateur Radio Club (KCARC).  With the recent emphasis on emergency communications by both clubs, collaborating for Field Day will enhance our ability to work together in an actual disaster.

Dates and Times:
Field Day will take place on the weekend of 23/24 June 2018.  Setup will start at 1500 Friday afternoon.  The operating part of Field Day starts at 1500 Saturday and continues for 24 hours.  We will then tear down and return home.

Location:
Field Day will take place in the sports field next to the water tower in Port Williams.  Enter 227 Collins Road Port Williams in your GPS, and you’ll get within spitting distance of the location.

Objective:
To quote the ARRL website, the objective of Field Day is: “To work as many stations as possible on any and all amateur bands (excluding the 60, 30, 17, and 12-meter bands) and to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions.  Field Day is open to all amateurs in the areas covered by the ARRL/RAC Field Organizations and countries within IARU Region Two.  DX stations residing in other regions may be contacted for credit, but are not eligible to submit entries.”

AVARC has two objectives for Field Day.  The first is to practice those skills necessary to operate in an emergency – deploying to a remote location, setting up effective stations without relying on commercial power, making QSOs in an efficient manner, and working with fellow hams from KCARC.  The second is to have a fun and interesting weekend!  We fully recognize that many of you have not operated before, especially in a contest-type situation.  There is no need to worry!  The idea is to learn in a fun, non-intimidating environment.

Category, Stations and Exchange:
AVARC and KCARC will operate in the 2 Alpha category.  This means that we will have two HF stations operating on emergency power (generators).  These stations will use the callsign VE1LD.

We will also have a GOTA (Get On The Air) station.  It is a “free” station that may be operated by any person licensed since the previous year’s Field Day or by generally inactive or inexperienced Hams.  Non-licensed persons may participate under the direct supervision of an appropriate control operator.  The GOTA station will use the callsign VA1AVR.

The GOTA station will also serve as the digital station, using such modes as PSK-31 or Radio Teletype (RTTY).  These modes can be used by newcomers, so there is no excuse for anyone suffering from “mic fright”!

We will also have a 6M SSB station and a satellite station.  They will use the VE1LD callsign.

Field Day Exchange and Logging:
For a Field Day QSO to count, both stations must accurately copy the other station’s report.  This is called the “exchange”, and for Field Day it is our operating category and Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) / American Radio Relay League (ARRL) section.  For us, that is “Two Alpha Maritime”.  The “Two” means we are using 2 HF stations.  The ‘Alpha” means we are using emergency power, and “Maritime” means we are in the Maritime provinces of Canada – NS, NB and PEI.

If we answer a station calling CQ (K7UM for example), the exchange would go like this:

THEM: CQ Field Day.  This is Kilo Seven Uniform Mike.

US: Kilo Seven Uniform Mike this is Victor Alpha One Alpha Victor Romeo.  You are Two Alpha  Maritime.

THEM: Victor Alpha One Alpha Victor Romeo you are Four Alpha Utah.

US: Roger Four Alpha Utah.  Good luck and 73.

A list of the different categories and RAC/ARRL sections will be located in each station.  As well, the logging software will also have that information.

We will use the N1MM Logger+ (N1MM Logger Plus) logging software.  It is a very popular logging program, and is available as freeware:

https://n1mm.hamdocs.com/tiki-index.php?page=Full+Install

Bonus Points:
There is a wide range of bonus points available for Field Day.  We will try to take advantage of as many of them as possible.  They include:

100% emergency power

Media publicity

Public information table and visitor’s log

Message to the RAC Section Manager

Satellite QSO

Alternate Energy QSO (solar panels)

Copying the ARRL Field Day Bulletin

Educational Activity

Site visit by an elected official

Site visit by a served agency (EMO)

GOTA station bonuses

Use of Social Media

Submitting our report online, and

Youth participation.

Food services:
Most meals will be your own responsibility.  You can bring a lunch, or take advantage of restaurants in Port Williams or New Minas.  We will probably buy pizza for supper Saturday.  Those who wish to take part in that will be asked to chip in for the purchase.

Miscellaneous:
Toilets – We will have access to port-a-potty toilets.

Water – There is a tap with potable water at the site.

Camping – There is plenty of room for people to pitch a tent should they wish to spend the night.

Insurance – KCARC is covering liability insurance for the weekend.  I’m sure that donations to the club’s account would be appreciated.

Security – There are security cameras at the location.

Don’t forget to bring work gloves, sturdy shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent!

Requirements:
Most of the equipment requirements have been taken care of. We need people for setup, teardown and operating however!  Please come out to support your club, to learn something new, to gain experience operating in emergency situations, and to have FUN!

Conclusion:
Field Day 2018 promises to be a fantastic occasion!  We will have effective stations, efficient antennas, an excellent location, and great company.  You do not need to be a member of AVARC or KCARC to take part – everyone is welcome.  I hope to see you all there!

73
Al Penney
VO1NO
AVARC Field Day Coordinator

AVARC Field Day 2018

Hello everyone,

Well, the snow is gone, and the days are getting both warmer and longer, so it’s time to start thinking about Field Day!

Field Day 2018 will take place on the weekend of 23 – 24 June.  This year AVARC will conduct a joint Field Day with the Kings County Amateur Radio Club (KCARC).  With the resources of both clubs available for the event, we should be able to properly man all stations for the weekend.  More importantly, a joint Field Day will promote cooperation between the two clubs, something that will pay dividends should Amateurs be called upon to provide communications in an emergency.

AVARC will provide a complete HF station, as well as a VHF/satellite station.  The location is the sports field near the water tank off Collins Road in Port Williams.  Details are yet to be worked out, but be sure to mark 23 – 24 June in your calendars!

73
Al
VO1NO

AVARC Field Day results – Summer and Winter

Once again, members of AVARC have demonstrated that they are ready and able to assist emergency officials in time of disaster – summer AND winter!

First, the June Field Day.  AVARC set up two stations, complete with towers and triband yagis, in the sports field adjacent to the Annapolis West Education Centre in Annapolis Royal.  We had a score of 2520, which was good for second place in the 2A category in the Maritime Section, behind the Kings County Amateur Radio Club.  We were number 9 of 31 entries in all of Canada in the 2A category.

In the Winter Field Day last January we operated in the 1H category.  Once again, we did very well.  Our score of 20,876 was good enough for the top station in any category in Canada, and top station in the 1H category in North America. Overall, we were #4 in North America in the “Home” category.  It’s worth mentioning that the 3 stations that were ahead of us used 3, 4 and 6 transmitters respectively to earn higher scores than we did.

So – excellent results!  Thanks very much to all those who took part or assisted!

Visit to Veteran’s Wing of Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital

Members of AVARC gave a demonstration of Amateur Radio to residents of the Veteran’s Wing at Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital in Middleton today. Three of us erected a 30-foot mast, and in short order we had dipoles for 40m and 20m hoisted aloft. Wayne VE1BAB made several CW QSOs for the Vets, while Doug VE1FAL showed them how digital communications work. All told, we worked several stations in Europe and North America. The Vets, who included Stan VE1WW and an Army Signaller who served in NW Europe in 1944/45, tried their hand (literally!) at CW with a code practice oscillator. Some even made a few QSOs on 2M Simplex.

Thanks to Wayne and Doug for assisting with this worthwhile demonstration today!

73
Al
VO1NO

Visit to Veteran's Wing at Soldiers' Memorial

Margaretsville Light Activation September 2016

Hello everyone

Our first lighthouse activation went very well! Ten AVARC members showed up at the Margaretsville Light, and we quickly erected two 24-foot masts that supported dipoles for 20m and 30m, and a 33-foot vertical antenna for 40m. Several people also brought along their own portable stations with mag-mount antennas for the HF bands, and in short order we had 5 transmitters operational.

14433186_10208314251587351_1479909234766578781_n

Continue reading

Margaretsville Light Activation Updated

Hello everyone,

Just a reminder that a group of us plan to operate from the Margaretsville Lighthouse this Sunday, 25 September. We will start setting up mid-morning, and plan to be on the air by noon. We’ll operate until 1600 or so.

We will have stations on CW and/or SSB on 40 and 20m, and will operate several digital modes on the 30m band. Antennas will include dipoles and quarter-wave verticals.

The forecast looks good – a mix of sun and clouds. It will be a little cool, so you may want to bring a jacket. If you plan to spend much time there, snacks and something to drink are advised.

Once again, this is a low-stress operation. Emphasis will be placed on having fun and learning how to set up an effective station in the field.

While several people have indicated that they plan to be there, we always have room for more! I hope to see you there!

73
Al, VO1NO / VA1AVR

TO5FP – St. Pierre & Miquelon

Team F4HEC Freddy, F1RAF Nicolas, FK8IK Michel, F5TMJ Laurent is currently activating FP (DXCC 277, NA-032) until september 20th 2016.

Activity expected on 10-80 m CW, phone, RTTY.

QSL & confirmation: LoTW, clubLog OQRS. Use only OQRS for QSL. Do not send your QSL, we don’t need it.

Check here QSO (real time log): http://www.a6dx.com/QSO/to5fp/

Check QSO on Club Log (updated once a day): http://www.clublog.org/charts/?c=TO5FP

hex-696x522

See original article at qrznow.com

Margaretsville Light Activation

Hello everyone. A few of us are planning an operating event at a nearby lighthouse that might be of interest to you.

There are a lot of Hams around the world who like to collect QSL cards from lighthouses. I checked the figures, and discovered that Nova Scotia has more lighthouses than any other province or state in North America (312 lighthouses!). The Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society has assigned identifying designators to those lighthouses, and gives awards in several categories for working lighthouse stations.

Fort Point lighthouse and bell tower with ARLHS radio antenna.

Fort Point lighthouse and bell tower with ARLHS radio antenna.

Field Day 2016 Wrap Up

Hello everyone,

Well, that was one heck of an excellent weekend! Thanks so much to all those who participated and assisted in making Field Day 2016 a huge success!

We had two objectives for Field Day. The first was to practice those skills necessary to operate in an emergency – deploy to a remote location, set up effective stations without relying on commercial power, and make QSOs in an efficient manner. The second was to have a fun and interesting weekend. I can safely say that BOTH these objectives were met quite handily!

The setup crew started at 0830, and by noon had two towers in the air, complete with triband Yagis and inverted V antennas. The tents were easily set up, and by 1500 we had two stations in operation and a field galley set up. The logging software worked well, and our local network had very strong signals, thanks to our helical antennas – we probably could have separated our stations by 2 km and still maintained the network!

13575948_10207655428957197_4925247035020234198_o

Continue reading