CQ CQ CQ #HamRadio Saturday: Winter Field Day – Lost!

Now for another edition of Ham Radio Saturday.

I created a page for the List of YOUR callsigns.  HERE  Chime in or drop me a note if your call doesn’t appear in the list.

Today I have been listening on 20m to Winter Field Day activity.

These Field Days seem to have the goal of encouraging emergency preparedness.  Can you pick up, and move and operate successfully?

It seems fairly chaotic, as sometimes several stations find themselves on or near the same frequency. Also, there are “codes” in use to identify the kind of station you are operating (at home or outside somewhere) and where you are (which state or part of a state in your operating from).  Some people seem to be eagerly working stations as contesters, others… not so much. Also, you hear operators explaining to some of their contacts how to identify themselves for Field Day.

Not wanting to demonstrate my ignorance, I’m listening. I don’t quite have all the nuances of making contacts in such a contest.

Anyway… I’m on as I write this. 20m

I am tempted to load up my radio, my emergency power source (Juicebox), and heavy duty 100 ft cable, drive out to the parish cemetery and connect to the 40m dipole I left up in the trees.


It seems that I add 1 Hotel Whiskey Sierra during my QSOs.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. MWindsor says:

    I was out for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, I couldn’t leave a comment here for some reason. I couldn’t log into the comments from my phone.

    I’ll be on some tomorrow in the morning to score a few more points.



  2. chris_R says:

    Contesting can be a lot of fun. I had no idea about Winter Field Day until Fr. Z. mentioned it. So, I looked it up on the web and found the official contest website which has the rules and whatnot.

    There is a website, http://www.contesting.com, which lists ham radio contests and has some good information for newbies to radio sports. I go to the website for the contest and get the rules and particulars, then usually check out N3FJP’s website for contesting software.

    With Winter Field Day, the exchange is your call sign, how many operators (1, 2, multi,) whether the station is Outside, Inside, or a Home station, then your ARRL section ID. So, in my case I would send “N3GBJ 1H EPA” as I am (1) operator using my (H)ome station and I’m in ARRL section Eastern PA (EPA) and I would write the other station’s corresponding information in my log. Logging software specific for the contest would help with doing this. International contests usually use a world-wide region system. This guy has a list with maps for determining regions and help with grid squares:


    I’m in ARRL EPA, ITU zone 8, CQ zone 5, grid square FM29iv. Grid squares are most often used with VHF contests — I’ve never used mine in a major HF contest.

    The traditional Field Day in June has different parameters — usually call sign followed by the number of total transmitters at the site followed by a letter that designates the type of power being used (emergency backup, battery, commercial mains, etc.) followed by ARRL section. If we’re working five bands using emergency power, we’re W3NWA 5A EPA. If I’m home, I’m usually N3GBJ 1D which is 1 transmitter using commercial power mains.

    I like state QSO parties. Other good ones are the the ARRL and CQ magazine DX contests. The exchanges are simple and it’s how I get most of my DX. The only tough part for some new hams is having a logging program that does Cabrillo format as most contests these days want electronic submissions either by email or a contest robot.

    Good luck, all!


    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  3. Sky Pilot says:

    I was on 40 meters last night (Saturday 30th) for the Cabin Fever Event here in Ohio, which happily coincides with Winter Field Day: today I was on PSK31, again on 40 meters. I’m usually on 10, but it’s deader’n a post-election political promise.
    Delighted you were able to try the contest, and there’s nothing wrong with using that dipole you mentioned! If I have to boogie either from disaster or to disaster, the combination of Anderson Power Poles and pre-calibrated lengths of wire guarantee I can operate HF, VHF or UHF from the Jeep.
    (I also have a CB in the Jeep but don’t usually tell hams, for fear I’ll be drummed out of the Corps, hi hi!)
    73, Will, KD8NGE sksk

  4. CandS says:

    Anybody on today?

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