WVARA Field Day 2002
Note: for Field Day 2002 WVARA will operate under the callsign K6PUD instead of our club callsign W6PIY.

Introduction to Field Day

Field Day is perhaps the biggest event on the ham radio calendar each year. Thousands of clubs and tens of thousands of hams will participate in this one weekends activies (for more information about Field Day, see the What is Field Day sidebar).

Field Day 2002 will be from June 21 through June 23, 2002 (always the 4th full weekend in June).

[WVARA FD 2002 site map] [Site Map - 45K PNG image]
Field Day will take place at WVARA members Charlie Norman, AB6VS and Bobbie Norman, KC6QBF's property. Their location is the top of the Santa Cruz Mountains near Mt. Loma Prieta. In addition to being an excelent radio location, this beautiful site has views of the Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz and Lexington Reservior from over 3,000 feet in elevation! (See an aerial photo at MapQuest/GlobeXplorer.)

The site is only 20 minutes drive from the intersection of highways 17 and 85. Please use our map to the Field Day site for reference. For talk in, use the clubs two meter repeater while in the valley. When out of repeater range, use the output frequecy (147.39 MHz) as a simplex freqency.

For Field Day 2002, please take note of these important times!

  • The 24 hour setup period will begin at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on Friday, June 21st, 2002.
  • The Field Day contest starts at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 22.
  • The contest ends and teardown begins at 11:00 AM on Sunday, June 23.
  • The club sponsored BBQs will take place on Friday and Saturday nights around 5:00 PM.
  • Breakfast will be provided in the mornings.
  • Lunch arrangements are unstructured because they're in the middle of other activities that shouldn't be interrupted. Though snacks are provided, participants are encouraged to bring their own lunches or get them from the Summit Store down the road.

What Can You Do?

So what can you do at Field Day? Plenty! And visitors are welcome. WVARA has found that having as large a Field Day as possible gives the maximum ammount of people a chance to participate in the event. No matter what you do whether it is something mainstream such as HF or VHF operation or something more rare such as digital communications or satellite work, there is a place for you. Even if all you want to do is to pitch in and help to set the stations up or just take a look around and watch what is happening you will be welcome at any Field Day site.

WVARA has also found that with a large site we can compete for a good score in the contest. In the last few years, WVARA has finished as one of the top clubs in the nation. Will you help us capture first place this year?

What to Bring

If you're just visiting for the day or the Saturday barbeque, bring:
  • lunch and any preferred personal snacks - WVARA will provide soft drinks, breakfast, BBQ dinner and general snacks for participants and visitors
  • hat or cap
  • sun block, insect repellent
  • dress for warm days and cool, windy nights
  • Hams - the only radio you need to bring is your mobile or handheld radio in case you need to ask for directions enroute to the site. Station radios were already planned months ago.
If you'll be camping overnight Friday and/or Saturday, more items to bring:
  • personal tent
  • sleeping bag
  • toiletries/hygeine items
  • flashlight and spare batteries (use it after dark!)
  • mark all personal items with masking tape having your last name and callsign so that lost&found items are more easilt returned
If you'll be staying for the weekend, park at first in the main parking area according to the signs. But please ask about where to park your car so that we can leave the parking areas clear on Saturday for BBQ attendees, so we can hold off having to divert to the overflow parking area.

Station coordinators have already gotten their checklists on the FD-L mail list. For reference for future years, they are

Radio Stations at Field Day

One other important aspect of Field Day is that hams can operate on modes and bands that they can't normally use. Hams that have HF privledges often act as control operators at their stations allowing those without HF privledges to operate on the HF bands. Many a new ham has gotten their first taste of HF operating at Field Day. For more information, see the How to Contest sidebar.

Here is a list of who are the Field Day Band Captains (station coordinators) for 2002. If you wish to volunteer to help with their station, please send e-mail to "Their Call"@WVARA.ORG or contact the Field Day Coordinators. Our current planning scenario for 2002 is a "twenty two alpha" site. (22A contest category, meaning 22 transmitters all on emergency power)

Simultaneous stations in operation:

HF Phone Stations
  160m - KQ6OB
   80m - K6EI
   40m - AD6CL
   20m - K6UCK
   15m - K6ENT
   10m - AD6RY

HF CW Stations
  160m     - none
   40m     - AE6CH
   20m     - W1SRD
   15m/80m - N6DE
   10m     - K6PUD (station setup K1LPI/KO6YQ)

HF Digital Stations
   40m - N3EOP/KG6GTX (PSK31)
   20m - W6ZZZ        (PSK31)
   15m - W6EI         (PSK31/RTTY)
   10m - N3EOP/KG6GTX (PSK31)

VHF/UHF Phone Stations
   6m      - N6FFC/KG6BKI
   2m      - N6FFC/KG6BKI
   220 MHz - N6FFC
   440 MHz - K1LPI

VHF/UHF CW Stations

VHF/UHF Digital Stations
   2m - Packet KF6SPI

Microwave and Above Stations
   1.2 GHz - K1LPI
   2.4 GHz - ??? N6FFC
   10 GHz  - AD6A
   24 GHz  - AD6A
   474 THz - AD6A (laser)

Satellite Station
   Satellite - KO6YQ (LEO) / KG6IAL (AO-40)

Special Stations
   GOTA (Get on the Air) - none


Bonus Points (12 possible areas)
   1. 100% Emergency Power (petrol)  - KF6EMB (Svend Power & Light)
   2. Alternate Power (solar, 6m)    - KF6EMB
   3. GOTA (make 400 QSOs)           - none
   4. Media Publicity                - W6ZZZ (Mountain Network News article)
   5. Message via NTS (10 messages)  - KF6SPI/AD6RY
   6. Message to Sect Mgr (ARES ops) - AD6RY/K6PUD

   7. Non-traditional Mode Demonstrations (max 3)
      a, APRS       - K1LPI
      b. Digipeater - N3EOP
      c. SSTV       - W6EI/K6RAI

   8. Public Info Table   - KF6LSK/KF6MCM
   9. Public Location     - W6ZZZ (article inviting public in MNN magazine)
   10. Satellite QSO      - KO6YQ/KG6IAL
   11. Site Visit by Govt - W6ZZZ (Mountain Emergency Response Corp)
   12. Copy W1AW Bulletin - CW ???, Phone ???, RTTY W6EI


Site Operations
   Data Network Fiber - KF6EMB/W6EI
   Data Network Admin - KG6BNL
   Food, Drinks & Ice - KF6EMB/KD6WJV/KG6AQD
   Guest Greeters     - WB6KHP, others ???
   Porta-Potty        - N6FFC
   Safety Officer     - K1LPI
   Videotographer     - KG6BRT

For anything shown as "???", please feel free to volunteer.

Results from Field Day 2002

Follow the links below for results from WVARA Field Day 2002:
  • QSOs by Band/Mode - a list of the number of QSOs made by each station (1732 CW, 197 Digital, 1336 Phone contacts).
  • Results to ARRL (Excel XLS) - this downloadable file contains final results submitted to the ARRL showing bonus points, QSO totals, stations (Band Captains) and 2002 rules.

Pictures from Field Day 2002

Follow the links below for pictures from WVARA Field Day 2002:

For more information

For rules and more information see the ARRL Field Day web page.

WVARA Field Day History (e-mail from June 2002).

WVARA Heterodyne Newsletter - Field Day edition, June 2002 (485K PDF)

ARRL posted an article on May 9, 2002 called "Plan for a Successful ARRL Field Day--Your Club Will Benefit".

For visitors not familiar with the Santa Cruz mountains, we posted some safety tips from Marc W6ZZZ.

If you are coordinating a Field Day station for WVARA (a role which we call a "band captain") this year or considering it for an upcoming Field Day, see K6PUD's Field Day Band Captain's Handbook.

WVARA FD Quick Links

Directions to the FD site
WVARA FD 2002 site map (45K PNG image)
WVARA Field Day Band Captain's Handbook
WVARA Field Day Station Checklist (54K PDF)
Visitor Safety Tips
ARRL Field Day web page
WVARA's FD-L mail list
WVARA Field Day History

Clubs Participating With Us

Loma Prieta ARC
TRW ARC, Sunnyvale
Cisco ARC, San Jose

What is Field Day?

That's a good question, and if you asked ten hams, you would probably get ten different answers. Some would say that Field Day is a contest, others would say that it is an emergency preparedness exercise, still others would say that it is a party and yet others would say that it is a public relations exercise. Who is right? They all are! Field Day is all of those things and more. The best description anyone can find is that Field Day is all of ham radio in one weekend!

During Field Day, ham radio clubs, groups and individuals take to the field in simulated emergency conditions (living in tents and running on generators and batteries). They are given 24 hours to set up as many stations as they are able. In the next 24 hours they are try to make as many contacts as they can with those stations. All aspects of ham radio are used in this pursuit. More than a million contacts will be made on HF and VHF, CW, SSB and digital modes this weekend. Bonus points are awarded for making an extra effort such as making contacts via satellites or sending and receiving message traffic.

Field Day isn't just about radio though. Clubs use this biggest of all yearly events for many other activities. With much of the clubs membership assembled it is a natural time for BBQ's and other gatherings. Also with all of ham radio on display this weekend it is a choice time to show off what we do best. The media and government officials are invited to attend to view what ham radio can do.

As you can see, Field Day is indeed all of ham radio in one weekend and anyone that attends their first Field Day rarely misses one again!

How to Contest

While Field Day isn't strictly a contest, that is how the entrants are rated and why not? A contest is a great way to evaluate a stations performance. It is also a great way to simulate message handling which will be a big part of any response to an emergency.

So what is a contest? Put most simply, in a contest the objective is to make as many contacts in as many places as possible in a prescribed ammount of time. For Field Day, the objective is simply to make as many contacts as possible in the 24 hours you are alloted. To make those contacts valid, you have to exchange a certain ammount of information. The "exchange" for Field Day is your entry class (number of transmitters) and your ARRL section.

So how do you go about making these contacts? Just as you would for any other QSO in amateur radio, there are only two ways to initiate a conversation. You either have to answer someone who is calling CQ or call CQ yourself and wait for someone to answer you. Which method is better? It is generally accepted that staying in one place, calling CQ and letting the other stations come to you is quicker and less tiring. However, this only works if you have a signal that is loud enough to attract other stations. If you aren't making any contacts or aren't making them fast enough, you are forced to switch to the search and pounce method. Excelent operators can rack up the QSOs almost as fast this way. Which ever method you employ, a Field Day contact sounds like this:

CQ Field Day CQ Field Day this is K6PUD Kilo Six Papa Uniform Delta calling CQ Field Day and listening.
Whiskey One Alfa Whiskey.
W1AW thank you, we are Twenty Two Alfa, Santa Clara Valley, over.
Thank you, we are 6 Delta, Connecticut, over.
Thank you, this is Kilo Six Papa Uniform Delta, QRZ?
All that is left is to record the contact on your log sheet and get ready for the next contact.

Obviously because of the variability of radio propagation and other factors, many contacts aren't this neat and clean. This is especially true when multiple people are calling you or you are getting interference from another station, but learning to deal with these conditions are part of the lure and purpose of Field Day!