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 on: Today at 08:42:09 AM 
Started by N9KWW - Last post by N8AUC
The premise of Field Day dates back to a time when just setting up a field station, period, was a big deal.  Over the years the League has had to add rules to make it a little more challenging, and the contemporary rules makes the "operating event" more about promoting the League.  Now they have a tiger by the tail in the most popular US event and to make it "relevant" would quickly destroy the mojo it currently enjoys.  The very things that make it popular, and make higher scores possible (remote locations and serious HF operations) are directly counter to selling amateur radio and the League to "served agencies" and the public. 

If you set aside the idea of "winning", then your options open up considerably.  It then becomes an exercise with a goal of whatever you set.   Whether that's relaying traffic, having a public display, running contest style or QRP in the woods you define your own criteria for success or failure.  The League has made the rules and bonus point structure so onerous it would take a huge group putting forth a serious effort just to be a contender.   You're not going to change the League and their agenda so do what you think is important and let the points fall where they may.  In this age I would have a hard time keeping a straight face telling the public that amateur radio is a relevant emergency communications resource so it's probably best for everyone if I stick to having fun on Field Day and letting the True Believers push the League's agenda.  I'm keeping Field Day fun.  It's just a hobby, folks.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

I think Mark pretty much nails it when he said "If you set aside the idea of winning". Or at least redefine what it means to "win". If the goal of a group is to get the highest score, then yeah, being somewhere in the backwoods someplace, in a suburb of "wide-spot-in-the-road-istan" is where you need to be. Somewhere you aren't going to be bothered by pesky visitors wondering what you're doing and what's going on, the general public, representatives from served agencies, the dreaded freeloaders mentioned in another thread, etc.

We don't "win" Field Day in the points sense. It's not our goal. Oh, we submit a score and watch for the December issue of QST to see how we did. But it's more of a "we were here" statement, than an attempt to have more points than anyone else. We have the only "open to the public" Field Day site in our county. We deliberately set up in a very public place (one of the Metroparks), in a spot that gets lots of traffic from "passers-by", either on foot, on bicycles, or in cars. And we stop operating to talk with anyone who walks over and looks curious. Then it's back to the "contest" when the visitor is satisfied. Only when someone asks, "why do you do this?" does the idea of emcomm even see the light of day. I would say we had at least 2 dozen visitors judging from the sign-in sheet we had.

A scout leader came by with several of his scouts. They wanted to learn about what we're doing. And they did that by helping us setup.
They learned about antennas, how to erect temporary support structures, and the care and feeding of deep cycle batteries.
We must've done pretty well with them, because the scout leader already wants to come back next year.

Our club mostly does repeaters and public service. Marathons, bike races, that kind of stuff. A lot of our members are "shack on a belt" types. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But there is a lot more to ham radio than FM and repeaters. One of our purposes of Field Day is to expose people to the world below 50 MHz. Let them sit down at a radio and play a bit. When you're used to working 2M FM all the time, getting to talk directly with someone on the east coast, or Florida is big DX. And a luxury once tasted soon becomes a necessity. Seems like every year we get one or two people excited, then they get motivated to upgrade their license. Mainly because we hold our June club meeting at Field Day. Normally our meetings are over dinner at a restaurant. So the June meeting is picnic style at Field Day. Well, we were successful again this year. Two relative newbies are flat out fired up about being able to do at home what we were doing at Field Day. I smell some license upgrades coming. This is what happens when people come out and have "fun" at Field Day. And this is most definitely a hobby. If it's not fun, why do it?

For some of these newer guys, Field Day is probably their first exposure to contesting. So yeah, there will be some green horn mistakes made on the air. As long as they learn from it, it's OK.

Of course the emcomm guys are out as well. The smart ones are sitting in the background, not saying much.
Watching all these people engage in a rehearsal of sorts for "the day after", and having fun doing it.

I'd say we "won" at Field Day!

73 de N8AUC

 on: Today at 08:38:39 AM 
Started by N3HEE - Last post by KC2QYM
In reading thru this again I may have misconstrued the technology deployed.  It appears that the remote device you used was a direct wireless from the handheld device to an app in your shack to the that correct?  So was the computer in the shack running on commercial power?  Forgive me if I am not acquainted with the specific remote technologies you deployed.  Only asking because the ARRL field day rules seem to imply that there should be no dependency on commercial utilities if you are a designated field day site.  I don't think this applies to individual stations who are just participating to make contacts and that appears to be your operation.  Again, great use of the technology for sure. 

 on: Today at 08:27:38 AM 
Started by KF5LWR - Last post by KC2QYM
N1FM...Is that supposed to be humorous?  Just wondering.

 on: Today at 08:25:22 AM 
Started by N3HKN - Last post by W3WN
Will England become a new country on the contest lists when the United Kingdom becomes dis-united from its member states

They already are a separate DXCC entity (Country) as are the rest of the UK (Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland, Channel Islands)

The political status of England remains unchanged, regardless of it's standing with the European Union, the rest of the UK, or the UN.  So no changes to the DXCC list expected.

 on: Today at 08:20:21 AM 
Started by N9KWW - Last post by K9YLI
Our club skipped  field day this year. I missed the meeting so I dont know exactly why.
But for the past few years we have held it on private property. The problem we were concerned about was having some  3 year old trip over a  coax and we get sued for  a gazxillion dollars.
We cant afford a two day  insurance policy large enough to protect the club.
So that precludes a lot of  fan fair and  public advertising and  public participation.

 on: Today at 08:09:56 AM 
Started by K2FW - Last post by KC2QYM
Many hams will be gone by the time excellent propagation ever returns to HF.  Get used to learning how to rag chew (converse) again with local and regional stations.  Perhaps the art of conversation will return and replace the "59 73" exchanges.

 on: Today at 08:06:44 AM 
Started by ONAIR - Last post by KB2FCV
Another huge 2M opening on the East coast today at 3:30 AM EDT!

nice! where to?

There was a great opening to Europe a few weeks ago.. added a few new countries

 on: Today at 08:04:21 AM 
Started by N3HEE - Last post by KC2QYM
I am trying to understand this story in the context of 'Field Day' and looking for the operative word 'Internet'.  I was under the impression that the idea of field day was to operate in the field using non-commercial power. In essence, field day is supposed to be an emergency test operation or so I'm told.  So if you're using remote access via internet even though your shack is using battery power doesn't that negate the contacts as far as the ARRL is concerned?  Don't get me wrong, I think the use of the technology is elegant but doesn't internet remote access qualify as a dependency on a commercially based communications utility?

 on: Today at 07:54:30 AM 
Started by N3HKN - Last post by KC2QYM

 on: Today at 07:47:54 AM 
Started by K4EZD - Last post by K4EZD
The hobby of “radio” is diverse, with something for every interest and taste.  What one person sees as boring another sees as interesting or even exciting.  Some amateur operators see JT65 as exciting as watching paint dry but others are fascinated by how weak signals can be transmitted with minimal power.  What is the fascination with SWL today and those who are in this hobby please fill me in on what you enjoy about it.  I received a QSL card from an SWL person who copied my JT65 transmission and while pleased with the quaility of the card and the effort that someone took in sending it I was wondering what was in it for them?  I am a retired psychologist and still trying to understand different aspects of people.  Thanks.

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