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|
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
You can begin setup 24 hours before the event.
You are allowed a total of 12 hours of setup time.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
The Winter Field Day folks decided to do the same for WFD 2021.
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:
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: