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.
Thanks once again for EVERYONE who participated this year!
Subscribing to WVARA's Field Day Email
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Ashby has confirmed that we have a use
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
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
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
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
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
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
time winner and record holder in 10AB (QRP/battery) Field Day
ARRL members can read the full report at:
GREAT job everybody!
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).
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.
Follow the links below for information and
pictures from past WVARA Field Day sites:
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
to the FD site
WVARA Field Day Band Captain's Handbook
WVARA Field Day Station Checklist (54K
Field Day web page
WVARA Field Day History
Clubs Participating With Us
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
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.
All that is left is to record the contact on your log sheet and get ready
for the next contact.
Whiskey One Alfa Whiskey.
W1AW thank you, we are Eleven Alfa, Santa Clara
Thank you, we are Six Delta, Connecticut, over.
Thank you, this is W6PIY Whiskey Six Papa India
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!