Field Day 2020 was a little different.

Corona virus-related official restrictions and common sense dictated that we not organize a gathering at our usual site for this year's Field Day.


Field Day at Home

FD2020PatchARRL challenged us all to use this year’s Field Day as an opportunity to adapt and overcome.  Quite a few RCT members made individual efforts and kept in touch during the Field Day activity period.  19 members submitted scores that will accrue to a club score for the Radio Club of Tacoma.

Temporary Rule Changes

ARRL accommodated the unusual circumstance of COVID 19 with temporary rule waivers.

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).

You can read the ARRL announcement here.

See Share your score below to see how we can track our aggregated individual scores as Field Day progresses. Remember to enter the club’s name exactly as "Radio Club of Tacoma" wherever it is required.

Logging

The club has traditionally used N3FJP's Field Day logging program.  However, there are other popular logging programs, such as N1MM.  Use the logging program you prefer and submit your individual entry to ARRL.

We'll have an after-Field Day activity to assist with score submissions for those who haven't done it before and want help.

Score sharing

During a normal Field Day effort, our current club score is displayed on each of the logging computers and can be checked at a glance.  This year, while we're operating as individuals, we can still monitor how the group is doing, in real time.

Both the N3FJP and N1MM logging programs already know how to report your current score to a website where we can all see it along with that of other club members who are reporting scores.  We hope lots of folks will do this and add to the fun.

Here's a short document that will help you set up your N1MM or N3FJP logging program to report your real-time score.

To monitor the club's progress during Field Day:

  1. go to the Contest Online ScoreBoard
  2. from the Menu, select "ARRL Field Day"
  3. in the black bar, click Clubs
  4. search the page (CTRL+F) for Radio Club of Tacoma
  5. click on Radio Club of Tacoma

You'll see the individual contribution of club members and totals for the club.

Stay in touch

We'll have three ways to keep in touch during Field Day.  We’ll have a Field Day LIVE Zoom meeting open throughout the activity, Discord for online chatting, and the club repeater on 147.28 (tone 103.5).  Join us on Zoom at mealtimes, for example, or for help with troubleshooting.

Earn some bonus points

Since public interaction is not possible in most places this year, many of the usual bonus point opportunities are not available.  But you can still earn bonus points by:

  • using only emergency power, such as batteries charged from mains in advance of the contest, or a gasoline generator (100 points, and this also entitles you to operate class E from home)
  • sending a message to your Section Manager (100 points, see below)
  • making 5 QSOs using solar, hydro, methane or human power (100 points)
  • copying the ARRL bulletin using phone, CW or digital modes (100 points, SEE SCHEDULE HERE)
  • get a household member or other youth, age 18 or under, to make at least one QSO (20 points each youth)
  • submitting your score online after the contest (50 points)

For more details about bonus points, download the ARRL Field Day 2020 information packet.

Sending formal traffic to your Section Manager

Here is a document that you can download and save (with some browsers, you may need to right-click and Save Link As...).  You should be able to open it with most any word processor.  The document contains a message in standard radiogram format, already addressed to W7FF, the WWA Section Manager.  Complete the blank spaces with information appropriate to your station.

To claim the bonus, you must "originate" the message by sending it, during the Field Day activity period, to another amateur radio station for eventual delivery to its destination.  You do not need to be concerned with delivery -- originating the message is enough.  Once you have sent the message, complete the portion of the form that records what station you sent it to and when.  Save your completed message form, then include it in electronic format (if you file online) or as a printout (if you file by mail), and you can claim 100 bonus points.

To make it easy for RCT members to send the Section Manager message, RCT operators will be available on the 147.28 repeater during the day on Saturday Feb. 27 to accept messages from club members and relay them via a traffic net. (Relay operators earn bonus points too, 10 per message relayed!)

RCT Field Day Traffic Net schedule on Saturday 6/27:

1400 PDT and 1600 PDT on the 147.28 (tone 103.5) repeater

You may be able to find someone to take your traffic at other times -- ask on the repeater or in the Field Day Live Zoom meeting.

If you prefer, you can check into a traffic net yourself and originate the SM message (but you should be familiar with the traffic net's procedure before you do so).

Traffic nets in our area:

  • WARTS Net (SSB), 1730 local time daily on 3.975 MHz
  • Columbia Basin Net (SSB), 1800 local time daily on 3.960 MHz
  • Washington State Net (CW), 0730 and 1845 local time daily on 3.563 MHz

Let us see!

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