Field Day Rule Change for 2020

Due to the Corona virus our life and how we associate with others has changed. To help us enjoy Field Day 2020 the rules have been temporarily modified to accommodate social distancing and gatherings where you may have folks at risk exposed to potential harm.

The changes are as follows:
Temporary Rule Waivers Announced for 2020 ARRL Field Day 05/28/2020
With one month to go before 2020 ARRL Field Day, June 27 – 28, the ARRL Programs and Services Committee (PSC) has adopted two temporary rule waivers for the event:
1)      For Field Day 2020 only, Class D stations may work all other Field Day stations, including other Class D stations, for points.

Field Day rule 4.6 defines Class D stations as “Home stations,” including stations operating from permanent or licensed station locations using commercial power. Class D stations ordinarily may only count contacts made with Class A, B, C, E, and F Field Day stations, but the temporary rule waiver for 2020 allows Class D stations to count contacts with other Class D stations for QSO credit.

2)      In addition, for 2020 only, an aggregate club score will be published, which will be the sum of all individual entries indicating a specific club (similar to the aggregate score totals used in ARRL affiliated club competitions).

Ordinarily, club names are only published in the results for Class A and Class F entries, but the temporary rule waiver for 2020 allows participants from any Class to optionally include a single club name with their submitted results following Field Day.

For example, if Podunk Hollow Radio Club members Becky, W1BXY, and Hiram, W1AW, both participate in 2020 Field Day — Hiram from his Class D home station, and Becky from her Class C mobile station — both can include the radio club’s name when reporting their individual results. The published results listing will include individual scores for Hiram and Becky, plus a combined score for all entries identified as Podunk Hollow Radio Club.

The temporary rule waivers were adopted by the PSC on May 27, 2020.

ARRL Field Day is one of the biggest events on the amateur radio calendar, with over 36,000 participants in 2019, including entries from 3,113 radio clubs and emergency operations centers. In most years, Field Day is also the largest annual demonstration of ham radio, because many radio clubs organize their participation in public places such as parks and schools.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many radio clubs have made decisions to cancel their group participation in ARRL Field Day this year due to public health recommendations and/or requirements, or to significantly modify their participation for safe social distancing practices. The temporary rule waivers allow greater flexibility in recognizing the value of individual and club participation regardless of entry class.

ARRL is contacting logging program developers about the temporary rule waivers so developers can release updated versions of their software prior to Field Day weekend. Participants are reminded that the preferred method of submitting entries after Field Day is via the web applet. The ARRL Field Day rules include instructions for submitting entries after the event. Entries must be submitted or postmarked by Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

The ARRL Field Day web page includes a series of articles with ideas and advice for adapting participation this year.

73,
Dale
W5WI

Planning Your ARRL Field Day 2020 Operation

For most of us, ARRL Field Day 2020 is going to look quite different than it did in past years. Considering the impact of social distancing due to the pandemic, many radio clubs and large groups will not gather in their usual Field Day locations this year. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a Field Day first-timer, there are many questions about how to participate in amateur radio’s largest annual on-air event under these unusual circumstances. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you plan this year’s operation.

Don’t Forget 6 Meters

Remember, Field Day is a non-adjudicated operating event and not a “full speed ahead” contest. It is also not an HF-only event. All amateur radio bands above 50 MHz may be used during the event too.

This includes 6 meters, which often offers significant propagation enhancements in the summer months around Field Day weekend, to help you make contacts. The band is available to amateurs holding a Technician-class license or higher. If you have an HF/VHF/UHF multi-mode transceiver, try making SSB, CW, or digital contacts on 6 meters. You don’t need fancy beams or large antenna arrays. A simple vertical or dipole will allow you to experience operating on the “Magic Band.”

Activities for Techs

One suggestion for clubs to consider in order to increase participation among their Technician-class members is to schedule specific times where these club members will monitor designated VHF and UHF simplex frequencies for Field Day activity. Keep in mind that the published national FM simplex calling frequencies should be avoided, and the use of repeaters is prohibited for Field Day contacts. This way, members who have equipment capable of VHF/UHF-only operation may be able to participate from their homes or vehicles. Your club can choose a list of frequencies and scheduled times in advance, and publish them in the club newsletter, or via email or other electronic means before the start of the event.

On the HF bands, Technician-class licensees have CW privileges on 80, 40, and 15 meters, as well as RTTY/data and SSB phone privileges on 10 meters. If you aren’t a CW operator, try calling CQ on 10-meter SSB in the late afternoon and early evening on Saturday and see if conditions are favorable for long-distance communications. Try experimenting with a simple wire antenna for 10 meters. You might discover that the band can offer plenty of unexpected propagation.

Get Set Up for Digital Modes

You might want to explore one of the newer FT4/FT8 digital modes on 10 meters, 6 meters, or even the VHF/UHF bands. These modes offer an opportunity to make weak-signal contacts when band conditions often do not support voice communication. There have been reports of some great 6-meter openings in recent weeks, and these are likely to occur more frequently as the summer months approach. If you’ve never experimented with digital modes, perhaps this year is an opportunity to give them a try.

Setup is relatively straightforward. You’ll need a computer and a digital interface to connect the radio to the computer, and you’ll need to download one of the digital mode software packages such as the free WSJT-X suite, which incorporates FT8 and FT4. Many modern transceivers have built-in support for digital modes, so in those cases, all you’ll need is the proper cable to connect the radio to the computer’s USB port. You’ll need software that supports the ARRL Field Day exchange (WSJT-X version 2.0 or later, for example). ARRL’s book Get on the Air with HF Digital (2nd Edition) is also a great primer for anyone beginning to explore the digital modes.

The Excitement of Ham Satellites

Another area you might wish to explore is operating via one of the amateur radio satellites, or “birds,” as they’re often called. Many hams have had success making contacts via the FM satellites by using a VHF/UHF handheld radio and a small handheld directional antenna, or a multi-mode VHF/UHF transceiver for the linear (SSB and CW) satellites. You’ll only be able to work the satellites when they are overhead, so you’ll need to know when they will be visible at your operating location. Visit AMSAT’s Online Satellite Pass Prediction page to see which ones will be orbiting overhead, and at what times they’ll be visible. You can find many satellite operating tips and resources on the AMSAT website too.

An Opportunity for Learning

ARRL Field Day 2020 may be the year you decide to participate solo, or with other members of your household. You may want to focus on expanding your knowledge base and experiment with new modes or bands that you never thought of using before. If you’re a mentor to a newer ham, Field Day can be an opportunity to share some of your knowledge, and for you to expand your own operating horizons. This might be the year to leave your Field Day comfort zone and try something new!

http://www.arrl.org/news/view/planning-your-arrl-field-day-2020-operation

Field day PR tips

In the past few years, social media have become a dominant force in coverage as Hams no longer have to rely on traditional media outlets of newspapers, broadcast radio and television to get out word about Field Day.  Across all social media platforms, please use and encourage the use of the hashtag #ARRLFD in all posts. This will have two benefits: first, it will capture all social media posts using this hashtag to form a common thread across North America.  If enough PIOs and operators use the #ARRLFD hashtag, traditional media news outlets will follow the trend.  Secondly, use of the hashtag will make it easier for Communications Manager David Isgur, N1RSN, and his staff to review metadata generated and analyze the impact of social media coverage from Field Day. Please have your ARRL members join the ARRL Field Day 2019Facebook page. Enrollment information is midway on the Field Day webpage athttp://www.arrl.org/field-day

 

Traditional media do not have the dominance they once did, however they remain a potent force in their own right, and they complement social media.  The #1 traditional media source for Field Day coverage are weekly newspapers.  Hundreds of weekly newspapers publish pre-and-post Field Day stories, largely because they will publish copy and pictures submitted from PIOs. ARRL appointed PIOs and informal club PIOs have access to Field Day media packets on ARRL’s Field Day webpage ofhttp://www.arrl.org/field-day athttp://www.arrl.org/files/file/Field-Day/2019/2019%20New%20Field%20Day%20PR%20Kit.pdf  

 

Pictures of youth operating Field Day stations are enormously popular.  Legally, however, pictures of minors under age 18 cannot be published without a release signed by a parent or legal guardian.  Please let your ARRL members know that a release form is available to download from ARRL at: http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Model%20Release%20/ModelReleaseForm.pdf  A signed release form must accompany each youth whose picture is sent to newspapers and magazines, including ARRL publications.

 

The new video “What Is Amateur Radio?” is now available at https://www.dropbox.com/s/wftnzhn1klvyk9a/What%20is%20Amateur%20Radio%20Video%20%281%29.mp4?dl=0  Please encourage your clubs to have a copy ready to show to visitors and media at their FD locations.

ARLX005 2019 W1AW Field Day Bulletin Schedule

Special Bulletin 5  ARLX005
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  June 17, 2019
To all radio amateurs

SB SPCL ARL ARLX005
ARLX005 2019 W1AW Field Day Bulletin Schedule

Continue reading ARLX005 2019 W1AW Field Day Bulletin Schedule

Field Day June 22-23, 2019

Dale Durham, W5WI, Re-elected WTX section Manager

Time flies!  Field Day this year has caught a lot of us by surprise.
This year June has five weekends and since Field Day falls on the fourth
weekend of June, many of us are not ready.

In checking the Field Day locator on the ARRL webpage I don’t see many
West Texas Section clubs listed as having Field Day activities.  If your
club is planning on participating in Field Day and they are not already
listed on the Locator, please do so.

Continue reading Field Day June 22-23, 2019