Field Day discussion - Bonus Points

Discussion of ARRL Field Day event.

Field Day discussion - Bonus Points

Postby Jamie_WB4YDL » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:47 am

Hello RARC:

In just a few short days, Field Day operations will be underway. As you have probably noticed the heat and humidity is making its presence known – right on time !! As a physician we are already seeing plenty (ie. too many) heat prostration cases. The actual temperature is not so high, but combine that with high humidity and you would be surprised at the effect on the human body. We should have available plenty of cold drinks to maintain hydration and body core temperature on hand during FD construction. Be aware ! Don’t overdo and overheat !

Let’s review Bonus Points for Field Day. A club entry (class A) can amass quite a number of bonus points if attention is paid to getting them. Here we go:

• 100% Emergency Power (100 pts) : we’ll be running on a gasoline powered generator. This is 100 points per transmitter, or 300 points (does not count GOTA, VHF)
• Media Publicity (100 pts) : a press release should be seen this week in the local paper(s). Responsibility – Noel KJ4UNX
• Public location (100 pts) : does not apply to our operation since we are on private property.
• Public Information Table (100 pts) : this will be located near the entry of the shop and will include a Visitor Log, and handouts & mini-display. We used to use a club handout but these were never taken home. I have 25 each of the Youth Flyer, When All Else Fails Flyer, and the Serving Your Community Flyer. Glenn N4MJ will print off a few sign-in sheets for the visitor log which also serves as a cross check of initials used while logging contacts. The mini-display responsibility – Samantha KK4NNM.
• Message Origination to Section Manager (or Section Emergency Coordinator) (100 pts) : We normally use Winlink to send a Radiogram to both the SM and SEC. This will be done at the VHF station where Packet communications will be used to link to a RMS Packet node in the area. It’s very simple – basically email over radio. The content of the message is usually along the lines of a Field Day greeting from RARC with X number of members active.
• Message Handling : 10 points each to a maximum of 100 points for messages sent, relayed, or received during Field Day. This is also done via Winlink at the VHF station. This is actually a lot of fun. I have a list of FD Winlink stations that will be active and I send each a FD Greetings. I usually get about 20 returns ! Some of them quite humorous.
• Satellite QSO (100 pts) : In the past, we have set up a full satellite ground station complete with guided antennas. However, with the slim pickings of available ‘birds’, it’s a LOT of work to accomplish ONE QSO ! To attempt to gain this bonus, we have tried to make a contact through the International Space Station (ISS) packet digipeater as it flies by. This is a hit or miss proposition and is done using the same ‘stick’ antenna used for 2M packet messages. This all depends on the operational status of the ISS digipeater station and its antenna. We did not gain this bonus last year, but did the previous 3 years.
• Alternate Power (100 pts) : A minimum of 5 QSO’s made using power other than petroleum based generator or commercial mains is required. To gain this bonus, the first 5 CW QSO’s are performed QRP using a solar panel charged SLA battery. Quick and easy !
• W1AW Bulletin (100 pts) : This bonus is for copying the special Field Day bulletin transmitted by W1AW during the FD weekend. An accurate copy of the message is submitted with the final entry. Responsibility – Todd W4TZX . This one used to be a lot harder before the digital modes came along – usually CW at 18 wpm had to be accurately copied.
• Educational Activity Bonus (100 pts) : a planned formal activity of educational content, usually a 10 minute sit-down presentation, gets this bonus bagged. Responsibility – Marv KK4MAC . We will plan on turning Marv loose on this after the VE test session and before FD operations begin – usually over lunch. The topic will be Field Day Safety.
• Site Visitation by Elected Official (100 pts) : Usually Benny McGuire and Ralph Puckett make a visit and this is arranged by Glenn N4MJ.
• Site Visitation by representative of an agency (100 pts) : Usually Danny Jowers makes a visit and as above, they sign the visitor log and we get a couple pictures.
• GOTA Bonus : This was previously discussed. You can rack up significant bonus points at this station !!
• Field Day Youth Bonus (max. 100 pts) : As discussed before, anyone 18 years old or younger who makes a single QSO, counts for 20 bonus points. Five such individuals are needed to attain the maximum 100 points.
• Web submission (50 pts) : if we (that is ME) submit the Field Day entry via the web applet, 50 bonus points are added. Yesssss ! :D

You can see from the above discussion that bonus points are ‘where it’s at’ for a Field Day operation and successful submission.

Let the discussion commence ! :D

73, Jamie
Field Day Chairman 4th Class
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:45 am
Location: Union City, TN

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