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Contesting Online Forums : Tips : Field Day Points & Too Many Stations Forums Help

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Field Day Points & Too Many Stations Reply
by W5BLT on July 2, 2000 Mail this to a friend!
My small group that I enjoy Field Day with grows each year and we try to improve each year. However, we seem to stay rather low in a catagory each year. We see groups listed as13A up to 33A. 33A? How is that possible? We were under the impression that you could only have one HF radio/band. Somebody recently told me one HF radio/mode/band. Even so, 33 stations. How is this done? With our 5A, we are running at about 2-3000 points. We see other stations at 5A with 50-100,000 points last year. I'm real interested in finding out how it's done.
RE: Field Day Points & Too Many Stations Reply
by N1XS on July 2, 2000 Mail this to a friend!
I think that some of the large scores are because the logging programs (or at least some of them) compute the sections worked as multipliers when there really are not any mult's in FD. For instance, this year TR reported 93K points, when in reality the score was more like 1200 points. It sure is confusing the way it goes. Would be nice to get it fixed so that the logging programs do reflect the proper scores during the Field Day event. Seemed like our chairman found that TR did the report right, just shows a total that is incorrect when the program is logging. As far as to many stations...well hey, if someone gets that many people to show up, setup, cleanup and operate...then hey isn't that what it is all about??

And we were W1SRG 5A WMA, had a ball, maybe spawned some new hams. What more could you ask for?

Chris N1XS
RE: Field Day Points & Too Many Stations Reply
by N2MG on July 12, 2000 Mail this to a friend!
As far as the number of transmitters, the ARRL considers the CW, Phone and Digital (non-CW) bands separate for FD, and each may have a "dedicated" transmitter. Also, ALL amateur bands are available (except WARC) so 6 & 2 meters, 440, and up all count, too. Perhaps there are other subtleties that I missed that allow even more TXs...

I think some try to pick a number of transmitters that puts them in their own class (say, 17A) - guaranteeing a WIN. :)

Notice that the scores of the high-number entries are usually rather low. The 2A and 3A and other "smaller" operations are the most competitive. Regardless, I'd be interested in just how a 33A distributed those 33 radios and antennas in a 1000-ft circle. Must be a sight!

RE: Field Day Points & Too Many Stations Reply
by N6DE on July 12, 2000 Mail this to a friend!
N2MG is correct... Field Day stations are allowed one transmitter per band-mode. On most bands, this adds up to three: CW, SSB, and digital (RTTY/PSK31).

A 13A effort was referred to in the original message... I participated in a 13A this year with W6PIY. If a club has enough band captains and members with the equipment and desire to put many stations on the air simultaneously, they should be encouraged to do so rather than told that the club has been 2A since 1979 and always will be in the future.
We have enough members with enthusiasm and diverse interests to put on a large and extremely fun Field Day effort.

Another thing that a large Field Day allows is a great demonstration of all the different types of amateur radio to prospective hams and new members. I think that we desperately need a lot more of this same spirit in ham radio today.

If you are curious about how we managed a 13A, take a look at our Field Day web site:

Last year we signed 12A and those pictures are available by typing 1999 in the above URL instead of 2000.

-Dean - N6DE
RE: Field Day Points & Too Many Stations Reply
by ve3iay on August 31, 2000 Mail this to a friend!
This contribution is rather late, as I only became aware of this forum thread today, but here goes....

I was one of the operators at VA3RAC's 35A Field Day 2000 operation. This was an extraordinary joint effort of at least seven different amateur radio clubs in the Ottawa-Hull region, and we had over 150 hams involved in one way or another. The organizing group for this effort was co-chaired by Glenn, VE3GLN and Pierre, VE2GPF.

Our goal from the outset was to put as many transmitters on the air as possible and to ensure that we had an entry for every possible bonus category. We were not going after maximum score. On that count, my advice would be that if your goal is to get the highest number of QSOs, you need to concentrate your energies on a few all-out contest radio setups and not disperse them into bands and modes where you will make few contacts.

We had three separate (CW, Phone and Digital) tranmitters (transceivers, actually, of course) on each of the six HF bands, as well as on 6 metres, 2 metres, 220 MHz and 440 MHz. We had separate CW and phone transmitters on 1.2 GHz, a CW transmitter on 2.4 GHz, and digital transmitters on 900 MHz and 10 GHz. Not included in the 35 transmitter count were a Novice station, a satellite station, an APRS station, a natural power station (hand-cranked generator), and finally another 2m FM station for talk-ins. Every one of these transmitters had its own antenna.

The event was held on the park-like grounds of the National Museum of Science and Technology here in Ottawa. We had information tents from national amateur radio organizations and several invited dignitaries for the opening speeches, including Dan Henderson (N1ND) from the ARRL, as well as hundreds of other visitors on Saturday afternoon.

Mike, N2MG, is quite right about the difficulty of fitting the antennas into a 1000-foot circle. Actually, the biggest problem is reducing interference among closely-packed stations. All of the eighteen HF stations had Dunestar bandpass filters to minimize the effects of out-of-band signals. For rejection of in-band interference among the three modes, we relied on antenna placement and orientation.

Brice, VE3EDR, designed our site layout, with his prime goal being avoidance of cross-talk between same-band stations. For example, the three 160 metre antennas were an E-W dipole, a N-S dipole aligned with the centre of the first dipole, and a vertical. On 80 metres we had two dipoles aligned along the same line, a couple of hundred feet apart, plus a vertical. On 40 metres, there were four dipoles in a line. Two of the 15 metre beams were located on the same line as the 40 metre dipoles. And so on.

The 10, 15 and 20 metre digital stations shared a "single" antenna, a RAIbeam, which was actually three separate two-element monoband antennas, with separate feed points, mounted on a single boom. The biggest interference problem we had to face with these three radios turned out to be what appeared to be IF leakage from one receiver, through coupling between the antennas, to a second receiver.

We were lucky to be able to borrow equipment from federal government agencies around town, including a portable diesel generator that served the entire site, several hundred feet of aluminum tower, thirty or forty army tents, and several computers.

The Writelog people donated an unlimited licence for their logging software for this event, and most of the HF stations used Writelog. This was not without incident. Some stations survived sudden power outages without damage to the logs, but when someone tripped over the power cable to the 80 metre CW station, we somehow lost 60 QSOs which we were never able to recover.

Torrential rains overnight took out several computers (desktop monitors don't take kindly to water dripping into the ventilation holes) and a couple of the transmitters, but that's another story.

In the end our claimed score was 6736 points, from 2868 QSOs plus 1000 claimed bonus points. Some of our stations did not even manage a single QSO. On one or two of our bands there is no history of local activity, and although we had arranged for another station to be on the air nearby, our setups were frankly experimental. We would also be interested to know whether there was any activity on 160 metre digital. We weren't able to arrange with a local station to have an insurance QSO on this band, because as best we were able to determine all of the local digital operators were at our site! With the interest we drew among visitors, we're hoping to have a few new PSK31 operators around here before long.

There will be an article about this operation in an upcoming issue of QST. You can also find more information at, although the results and photos part of this Web site are still under construction.


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