The GOTA station

Discussion of ARRL Field Day event.

The GOTA station

Postby Jamie_WB4YDL » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:47 pm

Several years ago - I think it was 2004 - the ARRL decided to expand on the youth participation bonus by adding a separate station called the "Get On The Air" station, or GOTA station. The GOTA station quite simply presents an opportunity for Novice or Technician licensees, newly licensed amateurs, and other generally inactive hams to get in on the action and fun and Get On The Air ! Also unlicensed individuals can operate and make contacts with the assistance of a control operator. It is available to all Class A and F groups, that is, clubs and EOC's, that have 2 or more transmitters as their transmitter class. This means a 2A (or 2F) station can have a separate GOTA station, but a 1A (or 1F) can not.
Here are some important points about the GOTA station:

  • You can have only one GOTA station.
  • The GOTA station uses a different call sign.
  • The GOTA station may be operated by any newly licensed ham since Field Day last year - regardless of license class. This means an Extra class operator can operate the GOTA station if he was a newly licensed ham since last Field Day.
  • Non-licensed individuals under the direct supervision of a control operator may make contacts.
  • The call sign used by the GOTA station must constrain operations to the license class of that call sign. A rule of thumb to avoid problems here - pick an Extra Class licensed call sign !
  • The maximum transmitter output shall be 150 watts.
  • The maximum number of QSO's that you can claim for credit is 500.
  • The exchange is the same as for the parent operation - for us, this would be 3A TN.
  • The GOTA station does not affect the addition of a VHF station for the club.

The GOTA station is interesting in that it attracts an important group - KIDS ! The very next year after this was introduced, the bonus points you could obtain with this station was made more interesting with the addition of the GOTA Coach. The GOTA coach is the assigned mentor that oversees the operation of the GOTA station when it is active. This does not have to be the same person throughout the Field Day event.

Can you earn bonus points with the addition of a GOTA station ? You sure can ! In fact, quite a few points can be earned with this one station and in concert with KIDS . Let's go over those points:

  • An operator earns 20 bonus points for every 20 QSO's made up to 100 QSO's. These do not have to be made all at once. That same operator can make more than 100 QSO's but will only be eligible for bonus points on the first 100.
    • For example, an operator makes 85 total QSO's during Field Day - how many bonus points were earned ? 20 bonus points were earned at the 20, 40, 60, and 80 QSO levels, so 80 bonus points were earned.
  • If a GOTA Coach is employed, the bonus points are doubled ! This "double bonus" is very important, for in the above example, the bonus points earned would be 160 instead of 80 !

Now I mentioned KIDS in bold type above. This is because there is also a Youth Participation bonus. I'll talk about all bonus point possibilities in a separate missive. Basically, you can earn 20 points for each participant age 18 or younger up to a maximum of 100 points. So if you have 5 kids who make one contact each (under the direct supervision of a control operator if they are unlicensed), then your operation just gained 100 bonus points. They can each then get 19 more QSO's for a total of 20 QSO's each. This would calculate to 100 total QSO's (1 point each for phone QSO) + 100 bonus points (20 bonus points x 5 operators) X 2 (bonus points doubled for GOTA coach) + 100 bonus points for youth participation. This works out to 400 points for 100 QSO's made by 5 KIDS !!! :o

Obviously, you can have more than 5 kids participate, but you can only count the youth participation bonus for 5 of them. No matter ! Just don't let one of them stop at, say, 18 QSO's when two more QSO's will triple their QSO points ! This is very important as too often there are too many points left on the table because the 20 QSO threshold was not achieved. Make sure your operators get the opportunity to get to 20 Q's ! In the same vein, don't let an operator continue past 20 QSO's if you have several other operators in the wings wanting to get to 20 QSO's. For example, if you have one operator with 30 QSO's and two others with 15 QSO's, the total points would be 100 (30 + 15 + 15 + 40 double bonus points). But if those 10 extra QSO's were equally divided between the operators with 15 QSO's, the total points would be 60 QSO points + 120 double bonus points, or 180 points - a gain of 80 points ! :geek: Don't let points get away !

Above all, the GOTA station is supposed to be the super-fun station for young folks and new Tech's and licensees. Make it happen ! :mrgreen:

73, Jamie
WB4YDL
Jamie_WB4YDL
 
Posts: 46
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Location: Union City, TN

Re: The GOTA station

Postby Noel KJ4UNX » Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:53 pm

Jamie, I have invited my son to come up and try it out. He is 18y/o. I have also invited a guy from work to come and check it out. Kyle is a temp for the summer but is going to school at Tenn. Tec. to be a Industrial Engineer. He really wanted to come over Friday to check out the antenna raising but he has to be in Cookville to find a new appartment by Friday. So he says he is coming by. kyle wants to bring his best friend too because he is studying to be a engineer as well. Kyle told me his friend loves to work on electrical stuff too. So I guess we will see if they show up or not.

73 kj4unx
Noel KJ4UNX
 
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Re: The GOTA station

Postby Jamie_WB4YDL » Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:07 am

The more, the merrier. :D Hope to see everybody on Field Day !

73, Jamie
WB4YDL
Jamie_WB4YDL
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:45 am
Location: Union City, TN


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