[CQ-Contest] Field Day thought ...

W2CE at aol.com W2CE at aol.com
Mon Jun 25 16:36:01 EDT 2001

In a message dated 6/25/2001 3:04:46 PM Eastern Daylight Time, wd4ahz at gte.net 

> Field Day is what you make of it.  If you choose to make it strictly 
> an Emergency Exercise, great.  If you work it as a contest, great.  If 
> you choose to combine the two, great.  

I started FD this year with a group of operators that had never been on FD or 
operated a contest before. Most were new hams licensed this past year. Only 
about 10 of use have been on HF or in contests before.

The tribander, 40 meter dipole and an R-5 were up by noon.  The 75 meter 
station was next to the mess area and they didn't even put their antenna up 
until after lunch.  There weren't with the other antennas, just the cooking 
setup was more important. They were up bu 2:00 PM

The group started operating and by sundown they wanted to know if they could 
put an extra transmitter on the air. Fortunately the extra transmitter was at 
the 75 meter camper and the band started jumping enoughy to keep them busy.

Roughly 40 people who never operated FD before worked 994 Q's of which only 
931 were valid after dupes were pulled. Even that with computer logging. One 
spurt on 15 meters has 10 dupes in a row. As I corrected the 15 meter log 
last night from all 01/01/1993 dates I got scared to see everything saying 

Except for everyone being exhausted, they all were talking of the changes and 
improvements needed for next year. I'm more that just pleased at what the 
group amanged. Plus the fact that 75 meters was by a pair of 13 y/o kids, 
including their building and installing their dipole in the trees.

I think a "newbie" station by people licensed 2 years or under would be a 
good way to replace the Novice stations. Novice licenses were limited to 2 
years. Perpetual 10 year Novice or Tech licenses were never intended as a new 
class. It was always an experience building station.

I have one other idea that I submitted an important factor but never seemed 
to be acted on.

I believe it was 1991 when there was an earthquake in California during FD. 
Many stations there became busy occupied elsewhere. Our group never knew 
until after FD as we had other bands and propagation we were active with. At 
the time of an actual emergency we were busy working everyone else. In 
reality, came the need, all our Q's ment nothing.

At that time I porposed that each year the callarea of that year be 
designated the disaster area for that years FD. Contacts with that area 
received 1 extra bonus point each. No cw extra credit. The mode isn't 
important, getting the message across is. Come an emergency any means that 
works served the purpose.

Learning propagation characteristics to a specific region of the country is 
something learned by experience and operating. From here I would look at a 
lot of daytime 40 and early evening 75 to have worked 1-land stations. Though 
I saw lots of W1's on 15 meters in this years log.

Unfortunately, 10 years later and that is still not a factor in FD planning. 
I did speak to Billy and Warren both back then and the proposal did get sent 
on to the MSC but at a time of review for FD changes nothing was ever heard 
on it either.

The year I proposed it I also suggested it be announced in the W1AW message 
to tell who really copied the message and strove to worj the designated area. 
Still nada.

I'm sure there are plenty of other suggestions that can be made to improve 
FD. The question is if anyone will give these suggestions the consideration 
due them. I can't tell you of the number of people impressed with the 
designated disaster area concept, yet never a word from ARRL.

   73, de  Bob Reed, W2CE

   W2CE at aol.com     W2CE at arrl.net

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