Winter Field Day
Come Join SCRA at Winter Field Day 2024
Weekend of January 27/28 2024 @ the Group Campsite at SugarLoaf State Park Campground – Robert Ferguson Observatory
Why Winter Field Day??
ARRL Field Day (FD) started back in the 1930s as a test of amateur radio operator’s ability to work “in the field” under emergency-like conditions. But FD takes place in the summer when the weather is typically nice. But disasters do not always occur in such nice weather. Winter Field Day (WFD) was devised by a group of dedicated amateur radio operators who believed that hams should be equally prepared for a disaster that occurs during the winter and created the Winter Field Day Association (WFDA).
For more details regarding the forming of WFD, please visit their website: www.winterfieldday.com .
The first WFD was held in January of 2007. SCRA has only participated in a total of four WFDs, in 2019, 2020, 2021 (virtually), 2022 and 2023. WFD-2024 is now only a few days away.
Unlike FD, WFD does not offer bonus points for engaging with the public and getting media attention. Therefore, it is not as important that we set up in public place and have a public information booth. Still, we should be prepared to answer any questions from passers-by about what we are up to (when they see our setup, they will know we are not your normal park users!).
The Plan for Winter Field Day 2024
The location for WFD 2024 will be the group campsite at SugarLoaf State Park Campground – Robert Fergerson Obsvoruary. The weather outlook is pretty good, although there is a chance of showers on Sunday. Let’s hope the showers hold off until after we’ve packed up and left.
We will begin setup at noon on Friday, January 26th, and try to get as much done before nightfall. We should be finished with the setup and ready to operate by 11am on Saturday, January 27. The operating period runs from 11 am on Saturday until 11 am on Sunday the 28th. We will begin tearing it all down at 11am on Sunday (well, maybe we’ll take a short breather!). Since this is a state park let’s try a POTA contact or two.
We will be running five stations:
- Phone – located in Jack, K6ROW’s RV – Station Captain: Jack, K6ROW
- CW – located in a tent (trailer) – Station Captain: ??
- Digital – located in Rick, WW6RC’s travel trailer – Station Captain: Rick, WW6RC
- Satellite – Station Captain: John S. KJ6ZL
- GOTA – Station Captain: Nicholas K6NMB
If you have an interest in operating any of these stations, please contact me and the appropriate station captain.
John Sisler, KJ6ZL has volunteered to make Satellite contact(s).
The operating period is from 11am on Saturday to 11am on Sunday. We will begin tearing down at 11am on Sunday and should be ready to leave by about 1pm or shortly thereafter.
Power will be supplied by batteries and generators.
For antennas, we will probably be using the following:
- Zero-5 – covering 40m, 20m, 15m and 10m (from SCRA)
- Off-Center Fed Dipole – covering 75/80m, 40m, 20m, 10m (not 15m, from SCRA)
- Spider 4-Band Antenna – covering 80m, 40m, 20m, 15m (from WW6RC)
- 15m Loop (from N6IIY)
WFD has four Entry Categories, Home, Indoor, Mobile, and Outdoor. We will most likely be in the Mobile category since at two of the four stations will be in an RV where we will be weather-protected.
John Sisler KJ6ZL, will be coordinating several attempts to make a satellite contact. The times on Saturday/Sunday are as follows:
Come on by and see how it’s done!
Notable Guidelines for Winter Field Day 2024
- All stations are limited to a maximum of 100 Watts PEP.
- All logs must be in the Cabrillo format and submitted online at www.winterfieldday.com
- Mexico stations should use MX as their location identifier.
- Bonuses are now listed as objectives and are recorded separately.
- Multiple transmitters are allowed to operate on the same band/mode at the same time.
Scoring and Allowed Bands/Mode
Bands: All Amateur bands may be used except 12, 17, 30, and 60 meters. To qualify as a band worked, at least 1 valid, two-way QSO must have taken place on the said band during the contest.
Modes: All modes, CW, Phone, and Digital, may be used. CW and Phone include SSB, AM, FM, DMR, C4FM, etc. If the end result is voice, it’s Phone. Digital includes PSK, RTTY, Olivia, Packet, SSTV, ATV, JS8Call, and other soundcard modes except for FT4 & FT8. If the end result is text or a picture, it’s digital.
QSO Points: Phone contacts count as one point each, and all CW and digital modes count as 2 points each. Logging incorrect data will be penalized by two points for each missed exchange or call sign. Duplicate contacts (same call, band, and mode) will not be counted nor penalized.
The total number of points will be multiplied by two numbers. The first number is the Power Output Multiplier of 1 or 2 and the second number will be the Band / Mode Multiplier.
Power Output Multipliers: QRP stations are defined by transmitting less than 5 watts on CW or 10 watts on phone and will get a multiplier of 2. All other stations have a multiplier of 1. The maximum permitted power is 100 watts measured from the output of the final amplifier.
Band / Mode Multipliers: Each mode worked on each band counts as 1 multiplier. If you worked both CW and Phone on 20 & 40 meters, your total multiplier would be 4. If you operated CW and Phone on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters, CW and PSK31 on 20m, FM on 2 meters & 440 you would have a total multiplier of 12x.
Calculating Points: Scores are based on the total number of QSO points x Power Output Multiplier x Band / Mode Multiplier.
Total Score = (# of QSOs x POM x B/MM)
As in years past, we will be using the N3FJP Winter Field Day Contest Log program, version 2.8.7. This is a different application than the ARRL Field Day Contest log. SCRA has a license for this program. Paper logs are no longer permitted for WFD, so we will need to collate all the data from the logging computers into one file for the submission. For those supplying laptops for logging, contact me if you need a license for the N3FJP Winter Field Day Contest Log program.
We will have coffee and donuts available Saturday and Sunday mornings. There will be pizza for dinner on Saturday late afternoon (probably around 4pm, so we can be finished before dark).
We need a head count by Thursday(25th) afternoon for the dinner on Saturday. Please contact me at email@example.com if you intend to be there for dinner on Saturday.
Parking at the group campsite is limited (the operating positions and the Breadbox will be taking up about 8 spaces), so if you can carpool with others that would be great, especially if they have an annual State Parks Pass. There is additional parking just south of the large lot where the trailers will be, we just need to keep the road and gates clear for emergency vehicle access if needed. We will have a pool of passes (20) with the reservation, I’m checking to see if we can re-use them if some members are not staying the entire time, so we can let others use them as well.
For more information please contact me:
Winter Field Day Chair
(707) 849-2409 (mobile)