WVARA Field Day 2005

Latest FD News

Results from WVARA Field Day June 25-26, 2005

2005 Field Day was at Joseph D. Grant County Park in the east San Jose foothills, at the San Felipe group campground.

Place/Ranking (National) 152

Call Used W6YE

Score 6,104

Category 8A

QSO's 1,290

Power Mult 2

Section SCV

Participants 33

Thanks once again for EVERYONE who participated this year!

Subscribing to WVARA's Field Day Email List:

It's time to start "building momentum" to another all-time Field Day record!

If you would like to subscribe to our Field Day email list, please email your request to postmaster@wvara.org.

Latest Plans

Bill Ashby has confirmed that we have a use permit for the San Felipe site at Grant Ranch Park.

Band Captains, we need you. 10m, 15m 40m CW and Digital, along with 80m and 160m are wide open. 220 MHz, 440 MHz, along with 1.2 GHz are also open. Please sign up either by e-mailing me or at the next meeting.

Jim Peterson (K6EI), if the individuals from the ESL club wish to work any of the open sections this year, it is okay by me, if our club members do not want to sign up as a band captain. Mark Ziegler (W6ZZZ) that goes for you too, if the members of the Loma Prieta ARC what to come down and work a few stations, that's okay also.

To the rest of the members, if you know any members of any other clubs, associations, or organizations that do not have enough members to set-up their own field day site, please invite them to participate with us at field day this year. It goes for youth groups as well.

Bill Ashby (N6FFC) and I are proposing a couple of walk-throughs at the site, with one tentative scheduled for May 14 (Saturday) along with a final walk-through the first weekend in June. If a walk-through is needed in April, that will be determined at the next meeting.

We will be allowed the use of the generator, we will have to keep it in the parking lot for the duration. If the fire marshal indicates that we must cease the use of the generator (i.e., a red flag day), I am encouraging all members to bring a fully-charged 12 volt battery for use in case we have to shut off the generator.

We will not use liquid fuel for cooking, rather we will have propane stoves available along with plenty of charcoal for barbecuing in the barbecue pit.

The site is physically bigger than Charlie's place, we should have no problem setting up the radio systems while conforming to the 1000'

Oh yes, MASTS... MY YXL and I went to Schad's Electronics on South First Street in San Jose Saturday and procured a collapsible 50 foot , you heard right, a collapsible 50 foot mast.

It is made by Channel Master and it's model number is 1650. It is a very beefy mast, one adult could transport it, but keeping on the side of safety, two adults are better.

The mast is made from 16/18 gage cold rolled steel, it is definitely not a flimsy radio-shack mast. They have a large number of masts currently in stock. The price of the mast is approximately 85.00 not including tax.

This mast has five (5) separate sections with each section having it's own guy wire ring, with the capacity of setting up five (5) separate guy wires per ring. Each section collapses down within the outer section. The base diameter is approximately three (3) inches in diameter.

We can discuss the safest way to raise this mast, especially with regards to the base section of this mast and the number of guy wires to use on each mast, at the next meeting.

Keeping safety in mind, I am suggesting that all personnel involved in raising and lowering these masts wear a 'hard hat'. I have a source of hard hats are very low cost here in Fremont. We can discuss these topics at the next meeting.

This mast will accommodate a rotator such as a Hy-gain CD4511 with a mast support unit attached to the rotator,or a gin pole pulley cap on top for use with a dipole antenna.

One last item for now, if our webmaster would be so kind as to update our website indicating the new location for field day this year and remove any reference to Charlie's place, I would appreciate it ever so much.

I guess thats enough for now, any questions, comments, or concerns please e-mail now so they can be resolved prior to field day.

Field Day Coordinator



2004 W6PIY Field Day

All time winner and record holder in 10AB (QRP/battery) Field Day category!
ARRL members can read the full report at:

GREAT job everybody!

Introduction to Field Day

Field Day is the biggest event on the USA ham radio calendar each year. More than 2,200 ham radio clubs and 35,000 hams will participate in this one weekend of activities (for more information about Field Day, see the What is Field Day sidebar).

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). 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. We are always looking for more volunteers.

Previous Field Days

Follow the links below for information and pictures from past WVARA Field Day sites:

For more information

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

For an overview of the 1994-2002 Field Day efforts see WVARA Field Day Through the Years.

WVARA FD Quick Links Directions to the FD site
WVARA Field Day Band Captain's Handbook
WVARA Field Day Station Checklist (54K PDF)
ARRL Field Day web page
WVARA's FD 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 W6PIY Whiskey Six Papa India Yankee calling CQ Field Day and listening.
Whiskey One Alfa Whiskey.
W1AW thank you, we are Eleven Alfa, Santa Clara Valley, over.
Thank you, we are Six Delta, Connecticut, over.
Thank you, this is W6PIY Whiskey Six Papa India Yankee, 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!