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Author Topic: Field Day GOTA  (Read 11915 times)
N4NYY
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« on: April 25, 2012, 04:50:43 PM »

I am chairing Field Day again for my club, and seem to really do not understand the GOTA purpose. It appears by the rules, that it is geared for non-active licensees can use this station. Non-lincensed people can use the station with a control op present.

To me, this is counter-productive to the whole premise of Field Day. Field Day is Ham Radios showcase which encompasses a drill, contesting, camaraderie, and overall advertisement for the ham radio hobby.  

For me at our Field Day, we have a couple stations that are like training stations for the non-active and semi-active licensees. They are still licensees. I cannot seeing wasting time at a GOTA station when you have a license.

They should use the GOTA station strictly for non-licensees with control op, for the purpose of getting possible future hams feet wet and trying it out, so they can get the bug. Leave the non-active or semi-active licensees to the regular stations participating in the contest.

Also, eliminate the scoring at this station, as I have heard that GOTA is sometimes used as an extra station to bring in big numbers.
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W5DQ
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2012, 02:16:58 PM »

I am chairing Field Day again for my club, and seem to really do not understand the GOTA purpose. It appears by the rules, that it is geared for non-active licensees can use this station. Non-lincensed people can use the station with a control op present.

I think you mis-interpreted the rules. It is meant for non-licensed people to get a taste of what ham radio is about and what it is like to converse with someone on a radio. It isn't (at least in my understanding) for licensed hams to use for general FD use. The use of a GOTA station does not count against the number of transmitters either since it is not a general use station.

Quote
To me, this is counter-productive to the whole premise of Field Day. Field Day is Ham Radios showcase which encompasses a drill, contesting, camaraderie, and overall advertisement for the ham radio hobby.  

I don't see it as counter productive although I agree on your second sentence.

Quote
For me at our Field Day, we have a couple stations that are like training stations for the non-active and semi-active licensees. They are still licensees. I cannot seeing wasting time at a GOTA station when you have a license.

Again I think you misunderstood the intent of a GOTA station.

Quote
They should use the GOTA station strictly for non-licensees with control op, for the purpose of getting possible future hams feet wet and trying it out, so they can get the bug. Leave the non-active or semi-active licensees to the regular stations participating in the contest.

Also, eliminate the scoring at this station, as I have heard that GOTA is sometimes used as an extra station to bring in big numbers.

If I remember correctly, the Q's made at a GOTA station do not count towards the totals. The FD score does get a set 100 points for having a GOTA station and again if I recall correctly, all that is required is to have one Q made from it. I don't see where you can relate to making BIG scores from a GOTA setup Huh

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
N7SMI
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2012, 09:13:50 AM »


I think you mis-interpreted the rules. It is meant for non-licensed people to get a taste of what ham radio is about and what it is like to converse with someone on a radio. It isn't (at least in my understanding) for licensed hams to use for general FD use.

From the rules:
"The GOTA station may be operated by any person licensed since the previous year’s Field Day, regardless of license class. It may also be operated by a generally inactive licensee. Non-licensed persons may participate under the direct supervision of an appropriate control operator."

Quote
If I remember correctly, the Q's made at a GOTA station do not count towards the totals.

Also incorrect. From the rules:
"A maximum of 500 QSOs made by this station may be claimed for credit by its primary Field Day operation. In addition, bonus points may be earned by this station."

Quote
I don't see where you can relate to making BIG scores from a GOTA setup Huh

You CAN make BIG scores with the GOTA. In many ways, the GOTA station can be the most valuable you have. You get the normal credit for the QSOs, up to 500 contacts (or 1000 points on digital/CW). Plus you can get up to 500 bonus points by having 5 separate operators make 100 contacts each. Plus if you have a coach, the bonus points are double. In other words, you can score 1500 points (or 2000 if digital or CW) on your GOTA station. In short, any GOTA contact can be worth up to 3X any contact from any other station.
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W5DQ
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2012, 01:35:07 PM »


I think you mis-interpreted the rules. It is meant for non-licensed people to get a taste of what ham radio is about and what it is like to converse with someone on a radio. It isn't (at least in my understanding) for licensed hams to use for general FD use.

From the rules:
"The GOTA station may be operated by any person licensed since the previous year’s Field Day, regardless of license class. It may also be operated by a generally inactive licensee. Non-licensed persons may participate under the direct supervision of an appropriate control operator."

Quote
If I remember correctly, the Q's made at a GOTA station do not count towards the totals.

Also incorrect. From the rules:
"A maximum of 500 QSOs made by this station may be claimed for credit by its primary Field Day operation. In addition, bonus points may be earned by this station."

Quote
I don't see where you can relate to making BIG scores from a GOTA setup Huh

You CAN make BIG scores with the GOTA. In many ways, the GOTA station can be the most valuable you have. You get the normal credit for the QSOs, up to 500 contacts (or 1000 points on digital/CW). Plus you can get up to 500 bonus points by having 5 separate operators make 100 contacts each. Plus if you have a coach, the bonus points are double. In other words, you can score 1500 points (or 2000 if digital or CW) on your GOTA station. In short, any GOTA contact can be worth up to 3X any contact from any other station.

Well I did say 'from my memory' which I haven't been involved in FD for a few years. As to your example on BIG scores, that might happen where you are but if our ENTIRE club makes 500 contacts during FD, it would be an earth shattering event. The last time I did FD (2 yrs ago) we had 3 contacts made with the GOTA station and all total we made around 300 Q's 80M thru 6M. The conditions here are very inhospitable, being well over 100 degrees in the day and still 80 plus at night. We are a small club and don't have to worry about scores ......

and besides (and I figure you or others will have comments on this too)..... contrary to popular belief, FD isn't a contest. It's an exercise in setting up and operating at a moments notice on less than perfect conditions. 

Quit worrying about the score and go have fun and show the newbies a thing or two to help them out. That's what FD is all about in my book. Heck I'd just as soon logs weren't even collected. It is not even when some clubs have 30+ transmitters. We probably don't have 30 transmitters in our entire club membership!
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
N7SMI
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 07:33:43 PM »

and besides (and I figure you or others will have comments on this too)..... contrary to popular belief, FD isn't a contest.

I agree. I've never actually done more than a few minute visit to field day. I'm a new ham and this will be my first year. I'm looking forward to it.

For something that's not a "contest", they sure put a lot emphasis on scores and "bonus points" and such.
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N2MG
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2012, 06:49:50 AM »

For something that's not a "contest", they sure put a lot emphasis on scores and "bonus points" and such.

Well, we contesters like to call it an "Operating Event". ;-)

Sure FD does have a score (you need a way to compare) but that score is based on a lot more than just QSOs and mulitpliers (which is what a typical contest uses). In fact, there are no mulitpliers in the normal sense (for things like zones or states or countries, etc). 

Bonus points are rather unique to FD as well.

There's a huge emphasis on setting up a wide variety of capabilities in a short amount of time - again, rather unique.
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N4NYY
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2012, 07:59:26 PM »

and besides (and I figure you or others will have comments on this too)..... contrary to popular belief, FD isn't a contest.

I agree. I've never actually done more than a few minute visit to field day. I'm a new ham and this will be my first year. I'm looking forward to it.

For something that's not a "contest", they sure put a lot emphasis on scores and "bonus points" and such.

Well, there are serious contesters there that swear it is a contest. But since I chair, I also take into account exposure, as we welcome numerous people who don't contest. We have several so called training stations. We also have cookouts, firepits with fireside chat from an 80 years old ham with great stories, and lots of good times. I still get bitching  from contesters complaining of interference, and I tell them to take it up with the bitch chairman. LOL
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W5DQ
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2012, 11:19:52 PM »

From the ARRL website in the Field Day section .....

"ARRL Field Day is not a fully adjudicated contest, which explains much of its popularity."

Nuff said but regardless, it is usually a fun time providing you are in an area that is 'kind' to the participants. I'm not a big fan of sitting in the desert heat, sweltering in 110+ degrees, trying to drink enough water to float a battleship and NEVER having to 'go on a nature call' because you sweating it out faster than you can drink it. Just not a really good time. One year, a lady from the club actually baked choc chip cookies in a solar oven next to one of the FD stations. HOT doesn't begin to describe it.

Of course in the far north reaches of our fair country, by FD weekend, these fine folks have thawed out enough to actually see the ground from under great piles of snow. I think one year I'd like the thawed out environment versus the "well at least it's a dry heat" one we have around here. FD might actually be fun that year Smiley

This year, I'm skipping FD in the field and working it from the home station in the evap cooled shack Smiley

Gene W5DQ
In the High Desert of Southern CA
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
N4NYY
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2012, 12:31:23 PM »

Quote
"ARRL Field Day is not a fully adjudicated contest, which explains much of its popularity."

I completely agree. But the hard care contester does not believe this, and there are plenty of them.
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NN3W
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2012, 08:41:06 PM »

Quote
"ARRL Field Day is not a fully adjudicated contest, which explains much of its popularity."

I completely agree. But the hard care contester does not believe this, and there are plenty of them.

I'm a hard core contester. Field Day is not a contest.  Mmkay?  Ktnxbai.
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N4NYY
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2012, 06:17:21 AM »

Quote
I'm a hard core contester. Field Day is not a contest.  Mmkay?  Ktnxbai.

The contest is secondary. It is primarily an Emergency Drill and ham radio's annual showcase.
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W5DQ
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2012, 11:15:06 AM »

Mmkay?  Ktnxbai.

Ok I'll bite ..... since I'm an old fart ..... what the heck does this mean Huh I figure it is some form of text'ing jibberish but since I don't text in anything but English, I'm lost?

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
N4NYY
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2012, 01:27:24 PM »

Quote
Ok I'll bite ..... since I'm an old fart ..... what the heck does this mean Huh I figure it is some form of text'ing jibberish but since I don't text in anything but English, I'm lost?

I am 45, and I don't know that the hell that means.
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K0RS
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2012, 10:19:14 PM »

The contest is secondary. It is primarily an Emergency Drill and ham radio's annual showcase.

Contesting doesn't deserve to be showcased along with other aspects of ham radio at Field Day?  You're discovering the inherent contradiction that is Field Day.  It's many things to many different people.  I've never understood how erecting a station (or stations) that could make many contacts quickly, accurately and efficiently is antithetical to emergency preparation.  Obviously not everyone feels the same way.  Problems arise when a small group within the larger group wants to treat the event as a serious contest, when others are happier drinking beer and eating hot dogs.  Internal conflicts arise.

Field Day isn't just about showcasing amateur radio to the unwashed civilians.  It's also about showcasing amateur radio to other hams.  Just about everyone can be exposed to something they haven't experienced before, whether it's traffic handling, satellites, CW, or even (gasp!) contesting!  Hams that have never had any experience with a contest other than turning on their radio on a contest weekend and finding their favorite frequency in bedlam deserve to have the opportunity to experience the fun and positive side of contesting.  Maybe if they get a chance to see a crack CW op running stations at 100+ an hour they might even get motivated to learn the code.  If it wasn't for the contesters participating in FD, the hot dog eaters wouldn't have anyone to work.

In 2003, my club won the 3A category.  It was great fun, but we were a contest club.  Everyone was on the same page.  We are all CW ops.  Phone operation, if it happened at all, came about only when the CW rate fell too low to be productive.  This was all understood at the outset.  No one expected anything different.  Shared expectations were the key to harmony.  We set out to win...and we did.

If you have a cadre that is determined to pursue a blood-in-the-eyes contest, maybe it would be simpler if they sought out another group of more like minded individuals.  They (and you) might be happier.  It shouldn't have to be that way, but sometimes that's easier and it just might save some hurt feelings.  This is one of the great problems with doing Field Day with a general interest club.  Everyone wants and expects something different.  And that frequently leads to friction.
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N4NYY
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2012, 05:18:54 AM »

Quote
Contesting doesn't deserve to be showcased along with other aspects of ham radio at Field Day?  You're discovering the inherent contradiction that is Field Day.  It's many things to many different people.  I've never understood how erecting a station (or stations) that could make many contacts quickly, accurately and efficiently is antithetical to emergency preparation.  Obviously not everyone feels the same way.  Problems arise when a small group within the larger group wants to treat the event as a serious contest, when others are happier drinking beer and eating hot dogs.  Internal conflicts arise.

Field Day isn't just about showcasing amateur radio to the unwashed civilians.  It's also about showcasing amateur radio to other hams.  Just about everyone can be exposed to something they haven't experienced before, whether it's traffic handling, satellites, CW, or even (gasp!) contesting!  Hams that have never had any experience with a contest other than turning on their radio on a contest weekend and finding their favorite frequency in bedlam deserve to have the opportunity to experience the fun and positive side of contesting.  Maybe if they get a chance to see a crack CW op running stations at 100+ an hour they might even get motivated to learn the code.  If it wasn't for the contesters participating in FD, the hot dog eaters wouldn't have anyone to work.

In 2003, my club won the 3A category.  It was great fun, but we were a contest club.  Everyone was on the same page.  We are all CW ops.  Phone operation, if it happened at all, came about only when the CW rate fell too low to be productive.  This was all understood at the outset.  No one expected anything different.  Shared expectations were the key to harmony.  We set out to win...and we did.

If you have a cadre that is determined to pursue a blood-in-the-eyes contest, maybe it would be simpler if they sought out another group of more like minded individuals.  They (and you) might be happier.  It shouldn't have to be that way, but sometimes that's easier and it just might save some hurt feelings.  This is one of the great problems with doing Field Day with a general interest club.  Everyone wants and expects something different.  And that frequently leads to friction.

I have been running my club's Field Day for the last 4 years. My experience with newbies, you kids or older people, is that if they have never contested before, and walk in on a station and see a contester, they become overwhelmed seeing a phone guy making 50 contacts per hour, or a CW with all his memory keys hearing beeps and lightnling speeds while the op rarely hits his keyer. They are simply not prepared for that. While They may like it over time, it is overwhelming. That is why we have slow training stations.

The contest is not a true contest and logs are not checked and judged. So it is more a contest showcase than a true contest.
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