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.

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.

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:

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.

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!

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!

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!

Al Penney
AVARC Field Day Coordinator

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