Winter Field Day 2021 – some preliminary results

Winter Field Day 2021 is done! A number of people took part in the N3FJP setup that built the live stats web page. Here is the list of claimed scores – well done all!

WCARES-TN Total Score = 18,857
Call Score QSOs 20 Min 60 Min Frequency 
AK4FA 5,915 845 6 2  
N4CCB 4,810 245 30 28 7.03450 
WB5WAJ 2,284 570 72 60  
KA5WMF 1,386 194 0 3 14.07800 
K4ARC 832 208 3 9 7.18700 
KA4OTB 792 183 9 17 3.75751 
WB4RHQ 762 127 9 9  
K4COM 754 377 12 62  
KN4RHI 282 43 0 0  
K8GNG 240 40 0 4  
KC1DWP 189 63 3 7 14.29700 
KK4AIZ 180 60 0 3 14.29570 
W4BJB 174 58 9 8 7.21501 
N4YOU 99 33 0 2 7.22300 
KM4SOA 54 27 6 3 7.24350 
W4BAX 44 44 3 9  
KN4RHF 30 30 6 5  
N4BAX 30 15 0 0  
KO4DCO 0 0 0 0  
NM4N 0 0 0 0 14.20200 

Check out Cliff’s recent WCARES e-mail for all the details.

From Cliff, N4CCB:

When is it?
The event officially begins at 1pm Central time on Saturday, January 30th, 2021.
It runs for 24 hours, ending at 1pm on Sunday, January 31st, 2021

Setup
You can begin setup 24 hours before the event.
You are allowed a total of 12 hours of setup time.

Introduction
Given that it’s currently considered unwise to gather together to conduct our normal WCARES Winter Field Day event, the question we must ask ourselves is:

How can we make the best of the situation?

We will participate fully in Winter Field Day as individuals while working together for an aggregate score AND by staying in touch (virtually) throughout the weekend.

Giving credit where credit is due, there are two sources for this interesting concept of how we’re planning to carry out this event:

  1. In June of 2020, the ARRL announced two temporary rule waivers for the 2020 Field Day. One of those specifies that the ARRL will publish the aggregate score of a club, based on the log files of its individual members. By specifying “WCARES-TN” in the club name field when submitting our individual logs, our scores will combine for a club score. In this way, we’re working together.
  2. The Winter Field Day folks decided to do the same for WFD 2021.

  3. Scott Davis, the author of N3FJP contest logging software, sent an email to his users wherein he discussed how his local club stays in touch during contests. I’ve included that email at the end of this document for your reference.

My hope is you’ll choose to participate in this WCARES event and will use the guidelines in this document to make the most of our virtual weekend together.

The Big Picture
There are 3 things that are unique to our 2021 Winter Field Day experience:

Playing as Individuals but working toward a common goal…

The Winter Field Day folks announced that people submitting WFD logs as individuals could also specify a club name – and all of the logs that bear the same club name will be aggregated for a total club score. This will allow us to compete as individuals but adds the fun of working together for the good of the group score.

Seeing each other’s progress and our combined score…

Having our computers networked together during previous WCARES Field Days, we took advantage of the N3FJP logging software’s ability to show our combined score in real-time. While we won’t be networked together this year, the N3FJP logging software has another trick up its sleeve that WILL allow us to see each other’s progress and our combined score! This is pretty cool. Here’s how it works…

When configuring the N3FJP logging software, there is a “Settings Menu” choice called Web Upload Contest Status. (Detailed configuration instructions are found later in this document.) You can configure N3FJP to upload your contact statistics to the internet every few minutes. Then, a separate N3FJP program (running at my house) looks at all of the cloud files and builds a custom web page showing our total club score AND the statistics of each participating station! By simply keeping a web browser open all weekend to that special web page, we’ll all be able to see each other’s progress and keep track of our combined score.

Live chat all weekend…

Another way to hang out together is through a live chat room where we can type messages to each other, post photos, etc.

I’ve set up a WCARES “server” with the Discord online service. By creating your free account on Discord.com, you can then click a special link that will grant you access to our “server”/chat area.

Everybody should read the official Winter Field Day rules.

Read them online in a web browser here: Winter Field Day

Read them in a PDF, suitable for printing here:
https://a2a53e2b-2285-4083-9cff-c99fe5ba1658.filesusr.com/ugd/1c7085_2445ed4b22f74e048fe9bd41c8dba103.pdf

If you want to maximize the points you earn in the contest, you will need to read the official rules and take note of the scoring calculation “multipliers” and the four 1,500 bonus points that are the key to boosting your score.

In a nutshell, you’ll score the most points if you do the following:

  • Run 5 watts (QRP) on battery power during the entire event
  • Make as many contacts as possible on as many bands/modes as you can.

That is how WCARES achieved the #1 EOC and Top 10 (#9) Overall score in the country during the 2018 ARRL Field Day event.

Even though you will score the most points that way, you naturally won’t make as many contacts at 5 watts as you will at 100 watts. As much as I love QRP for my everyday ham radio fun, I enjoy running 100 watts during most contests so that I can “run a frequency” (park on a frequency and call CQ instead of “searching and pouncing” up and down the band).”

Again, be sure to check out Cliff’s recent WCARES e-mail for all the details.

Cliff gave an overview of this years WCARES Winter Field Day at the January Virtual Monthly Meeting (Saturday, January 16, 2021). You can find this presentation under the January, 2021 Virtual Monthly Meeting presentations on the presentations page:

Library & Special Interests --> Presentations

or here:

https://wcares.org/jan-2021-virtual-monthly-meeting-hospital-nets-winter-field-day-and-vacation-shack-tour/

(* This event counts towards WCARES participation requirements )


Jan 2021 Virtual Monthly Meeting: Hospital Net, Winter Field Day and Vacation Shack Tour!

Our EC, Ed WB4RHQ dropped in briefly before travelling to the all-day ARRL Board Meeting – virtually on the other computer.

Presentations & Shack Tour!

Today Trey, KI4ZIN gave a presentation on the Hospital Net, discussing the organizations and people involved along with how and when the net is conducted. The net takes place primarily on the MTEARS UHF linked repeater system and provides backup communications options for facilities and primary communications in the event of an emergency. Trey also mentioned they are always looking for new volunteers to help out. Get in touch with Trey or use the Contact form on the website if you are interested in getting involved.

Cliff, N4CCB ran through a more detailed overview of Winter Field Day this year – expect to hear more from Cliff in future WCARES Notes e-mails and keep an eye on the Event Calender:

https://wcares.org/events/event/winter-field-day-2021/

Garry, W9WHF gave us a Virtual Shack Tour of his vacation setup and discussed the antennas, the radio gear and the challenge of salt coating pretty much everything. As this is a temporary spot he needed to be sure to leave it better than he found it which required some creative solutions, particularly with 4 radios and 4 antennas! The discussion about low power supply voltage at the radio due to corrosion will be of interest to anyone, even without the salt air.

Hospital Net – Trey Spain, KI4ZIN

https://youtu.be/AsQ93aLDIOU

Winter Field Day 2021 – Cliff Batson, N4CCB

https://youtu.be/gEfw8C741EI

Virtual Ham Shack Tour # 7 – Garry Decker, W9WHF

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK1MFQR81mI

These and other presentations will now always be listed under the new:

Library & Special Interests --> Presentations

section of the website.


Dec 2020 Virtual Monthly Meeting: DMR, ARES in TN, Winter FD, POTA and Shack Tour!

Our EC, Ed WB4RHQ reported we had a record 63 attendees for this, the final Virtual Monthly Meeting of 2020 and he wished all a happy and safe holiday season. Thanks to everyone who took the time to join in for a great set of presentations.

DMR in Williamson Co. – Hilton Dean, W4GHD

Williamson Co. will be adding 2 DMR nodes on Tuesday, December 22, 2020:

  • Trinity site(*)
  • Century Court where the WCARES 444.025MHz hub is located

Thanks to Bill Jorgenson and the Office of Public Safety and also to Andrew Gossett, AK4FA who got the boards programmed. Look for upcoming e-mail with more details.
* The WC4EOC-9 UHF antenna will be used for the Trinity site DMR so WC4EOC-9 will be offline until another antenna can be added to this tower, likely in 2021.

Winter Field Day – Cliff Batson (N4CCB)

  • We are very fortunate that the Winter Field Day organizers will allow aggregation of scores like the ARRL did for Field Day in June. So everyone who includes the same group name will get their scores aggregated for a combined group score. You’ll need to decide how adventurous you want to be. Running off mains from inside your house with 100W on SSB and getting 100 QSOs would get you 200 points; running outside on batteries or a generator would get you 3200 points for those same QSOs. Something to think about! Cliff will have much more to say in the January meeting.

Presentations & Shack Tour!

The State of ARES in TN – Jim Snyder, AJ4NO, Tennessee Section Emergency Coordinator

https://youtu.be/ANNPMG9LBG0

Jim generously provided a copy of his presentation as well; you can read the PDF version here.

Parks On The Air – Tom Suggs N4MTE

https://youtu.be/brnt8Zpshto

and Tom generously provided a copy of his presentation so check this out as well:

Parks on the Air – WCARES Presentation by Tom, N4MTE

Virtual Shack Tour – Doug Miller (W4DML)

https://youtu.be/7edSXoYbwjQ

You can find videos of past meetings on the WCARES Media channel on Youtube .