Re: CMRA Field Day 2020 Discussion Thread

James Whitehill

A good discussion is underway, thanks to all for thinking hypothetically and conditionally.  We have time to sort options out.

 Like John, NO0I, I am strongly inclined to do a stay at home FD.  I have been putting together all of this year a portable station, centered on getting 2 masts for antennas, one of which is 20+ ft extending out of my trailer hitch, the other is a little shorter, on a tripod.  My plan is to operate battery power and CW QRP, from the driveway, setting the rig in the garage or in the car.  I will try this out beforehand in a couple of June QSO parties, using simple, rotatable antennas up 25 ft.  for 40M and 20M.  (Not my regular home antennas) Hopefully they will do the job.  I plan to use N3FJP FD logging software, but N1MM+ is good also.

My suggestion, for discussion, is to plan an intra-club  "competition" in a quasi-contest format.   Here goes: QRP or100 watts...CW, ssb, or digital (choose your ONE favorite mode).  Score is number of QSOs X ARRL sections.  We could operate just Saturday, and meet on 76 machine Sunday at 7 p.m. to share results or post scores to the 3830 reflector  Criteria beyond these could be decided by those interested: RF output power limits or power categories, common time limits (e.g. 6 hours), power source categories, (battery, other non-commercial, or commercial), etc. 

It would more fun if each RF power category and mode had more than one entrant, I think.  Should VHF/UHF bands also be used along with HF (but not repeaters)?  

I wonder, Bill, if ARRL is thinking of a "distributed" club operation option, where we wouenter our separate logs, but indicate CMRA as our club?  Is there a point or purpose to proposing that option? 

Jim, N0SSM

On Fri, May 15, 2020 at 6:57 PM Henry Taylor <hank008@...> wrote:
The point of testing is that the positives stay away.  Half or more of positives don't know they are, and feel fine.  

It's an individual choice, not a policy.

泰 勒

On May 15, 2020, at 4:29 PM, Chris Swisher <Komu8ce@...> wrote:

Bill has a nice point. How many want to participate? Let's figure out if FD can happen with a plan. If we have a big group, but only three operating stations, how could we schedule operators to keep the transmitters hot? Ralph suggests we bring our own station for FD, and limit cross contamination that way. Fred is in. Hank, I'm not sure what testing will help us with, other than having people stay home, and that the tests would have to be repeated just before FD. Hopefully everyone is taking their temperatures daily, washing their hands and providing safe distances from others. Bear in mind, any plan will change many times between now and then. We want to avoid having everyone there at the beginning, and no one there overnight. This operation reinforces the need to "spread ourselves out" both physically and operationally. And SAFETY of our members is the highest priority.

On Fri, May 15, 2020 at 3:32 PM Henry Taylor <hank008@...> wrote:
Anybody interested in getting tested, beforehand ?

泰 勒

On May 15, 2020, at 1:17 PM, Ralph Howard <wd6bgn@...> wrote:

As I am not sure what the club will do and a big meal is out.  My field radio is the FT 817.  I have a pop up shelter and a big tent, batteries and a solar pannel.
I am open to what the club wants.  But if we do a 'operate together but separately.' ...

We are thinking of a backyard field day.  I want to run QRP, solar charged battery, digital.   Oh I have room for another QRP station.  If anybody wants to join me.  That battery will run several QRP rigs.  No neighbors no electrical noise.

From: <> on behalf of Bill McFarland - N0AXZ <billmcfarland10@...>
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2020 12:03:58 PM
To: Central Missouri Radio Association <>
Subject: Re: [CMRA] CMRA Field Day 2020 Discussion Thread
Chris, et al.,
I appreciate the discussion thread. From the PIO teleconference you invited me to, I am glad to see many other clubs discussing the same issues we have. The memorable statement from one of the attendees was "most of our club is over 70, and I would not want to see FD cause one of them to get the virus and die".
Also another said "our club is not really about making contacts on Field Day, but really enjoys to camaraderie of the event, and a couple of beers".

ARRL made it clear that they don't think Field Day should take place as usual, but that clubs need to comply with local directions. Interaction with the public seems unlikely.

I just called Rock Bridge State Park, and they are open. Our reservation is still valid. There will be new guide lines coming out next week, and Sara will call me to discuss. 

I think the first thing we need to do is get a read on how many of us want to participate in some kind of club activity around Field day. If there is only 5, we have a plan, if there is 35, we need a plan.

Bill N0AXZ

On Fri, May 15, 2020 at 11:16 AM Chris Swisher <Komu8ce@...> wrote:
I would like to start a on-line discussion of thoughts and dialog on what we can do or want to do for Field Day this year. It is not a normal environment to exercise in (notice I did not say contest), and changes are obviously in order from last year and years prior. This discussion is meant to bring together those thoughts and comments that may seem trivial or silly that are deemed not worthy of repeater time during the club meetings on the air. There are no stupid ideas here, in other words.

The ARRL establishes the goal of the weekend of June 27-28, 2020 from the rules, located at: 

"2. Object: To work as many stations as possible on the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 Meter HF bands, as well as all bands 50 MHz and above, and in doing so to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions. A premium is placed on developing skills to meet the challenges of emergency preparedness as well as to acquaint the general public with the capabilities of Amateur Radio."

What is "abnormal" in this years' operation? An emergency. A nasty virus that prevents us from getting within 6 feet of one another and having those  collaborative moments of learning what makes a band pass filter work, or how to clear some rust from a generator carburetor. Not being able to invite large groups of the public to get hands-on demonstrations of a transceiver. Not cramping four guys in an enclosed trailer for 26 hours.

What is normal about this years' operation? Finding creative solutions to common problems that we might find during an emergency. Actually learning how to adapt and overcome. Obtaining useful skills and learning from others how to build a better operation, should we be individually needed.

Am I saying that we have to do a full blown Field Day? No. Some of the activities are just too much work to render safe for the group. Examples I would give are an operator and logger sitting elbow to elbow in a trailer. Could the same be accomplished in a pop-up tent with 6 feet of separation? I think it is possible. Or maybe an operator doing their own logging. Wireless networking helps a great deal, as does interfacing the logging software to the radio. Automatic dupe checking is a miracle in itself.

Is a basic 3A operation that concentrates on CW, SSB and digital in tents a possibility?

I look forward to the discussion.

Chris K0PHP
CMRA PIO/Trustee

Bill N0AXZ

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