Preliminary Field Days Plans and Preparation

Plans for Field day will be finalized at the Monday, June 19 meeting (7:30PM -9:00PM). There will be presentation on Field Day Operations, Use of the Logging software, and open discussions.

The wireless network that we will use during Field Day and the logging software will be operational at the meeting for installation and checkout. So bring the laptops that you plan to use during field day so you can check this out ahead of time. Both 2.4GHz and 5GHz will be supported. Note that this is intended to facilitate smoother operations on the morning of Field day. But don’t worry if you can’t make the meeting, installation and checkout will be still be supported at the site.

Current Plans (subject to change) are summarized below:

1. We will begin set up 10:00AM local on Saturday 24 June. We will begin contest operations promptly at 2:00PM and continue for the maximum 24 Hours until 2:00PM on Sunday. It’s always possible that we run out of energy and decide to end a bit early. But the intent is go the full duration.

2. We will be powered from a military tactically quiet 10KW diesel generator. Ample power will be available for stations as well as coffee pots, fans, and the like. The generator is configured for 240 split phase (120/120). We will use only 120VAC circuits. All outlets are 20Amp commercial which accept either 15A residential (NEMA 5-20P) or 20A commercial (NEMA 5-20P) plugs. Please bring a grounded extension cord and outlet strip for your equipment.

3. Each quad electrical box has a pair of duplex 20 amp circuits. Nothing special will be required for normal equipment – just plug it in. For high current loads over 10 amps (like coffee pots) please consult the “Power Boss” on site so that the load can be distributed between phases.

4. We plan to use the club’s crank up tower trailer built by Ed (KA1G). This is the one used for winter field day. The tower will host a 20/15/10 Meter Rotatable Beam as well as a 7 band OCF dipole wire antenna. We will also have a full size GR5V and additional wire antennas. We’ll try to pre-coordinate antenna locations at the Monday Meeting.

5. This year we plan to operate with high-performance single-band band-pass filters for all stations. These will be supplied on site. Since the filters are tuned for operation with 50 ohm impedance in and out, it is best to operate them between the rig and an external tuner. The filters should eliminate or drastically reduce the interference between the co-located stations which have plagued operations in previous field days. The filters are rated for the full 150W permitted for our class of station.

6. The basic schedule for operations is as follows:

A. 10:00AM we will begin setup. Power will be up and running no later than 11:00AM with a target of 10:30AM.

B. Stations will set up and test operations until 1:45PM. At that time we will make the final determination of what “Class” we will declare. This is based on the number of SIMULTANEOUS transmitters we will have in use on all bands – not counting any GOTA (Get On The Air Stations). Our class will probably be 2A or 3A, indicating that we our operating on non-commercial power with 2 or 3 simultaneous transmitters.

C. Prior to operation (from 10:30 to 11:45), stations will demonstrate their capability and verify what bands they are capable of using with the configured rig and antenna systems. We’ll have a spectrum analyzer on site to assist in troubleshooting. Additional stations can be added after the competition has started , but we cannot exceed the declared number of simultaneous transmitters in operation at one time.

7. Each station should be operated by a two person team. Typically one on the mike, and one on the laptop performing logging. Each station should have TWO headphones, one for each operator as well as an external speaker for observers.

8. The site is large wooden deck. There is a large pavilion roof with open sides. (see photos from Winter Field Day). Since this is Florida, we must always be prepared for rain. (It was cold and rainy for a good portion of Winter filed and we continued operating for the duration). WU1Y will operate from a 10×20 3 room tent (a bit larger than the one used for winter field-day. KS4GD will likely have an large enclosed tent. Hopefully there will be others. The more the merrier.

Field day is a great opportunity to learn about HF operation and practice using voice and digital modes in a working environment. If you rarely or never operate HF or digital modes, this is a great opportunity to gain some practical experience. This is also a good opportunity to test out your HF rig on the air. While field day is a competition it is relatively relaxed. So there is plenty time and opportunity for questions and inter-action with other hams in an real operating environment.