The point of Field Day isn’t necessarily to achieve the highest score. The socialization with friends, emergency preparedness, and fun-factors can’t be quantified in a chart. That said, I got a little nerdy and took a look at Field Day scores since 2002 (when I became a ham) for the RARC. I noted some cool trends. These are the factors I believe are contributing to what we see in the chart above.
- Bonus points have become more available, and we’ve become MUCH better at achieving the various bonuses.
- The high-power years, denoted by the 1’s along the X axis labels, have been relatively inefficient at converting QSO’s to points. The flip side of this is that running high power is a LOT of fun, you can talk to literally anyone you can hear.
- Class 3A seems to be our sweet spot. Not shown on this chart is our overall ranking in-class, but we always do best in 3A. There are many 2A clubs which absolutely dominate our QSO rate. 4A and 5A have been tried and were completely ineffective at raising our QSO count, most likely because its hard to staff additional transmitters for 24 hours.
- Crazy high CW QSO rates have a multiplicative effect on our overall score. 2012 we ranked 2nd in the nation in class 3A partly because we had some serious CW contesters at the helm.
The club will most likely average around 2000 QSOS in 2022, assuming we continue with 3A and the level of participation we’ve had. If we’re interested in maximizing our score we could:
- Grab every bonus point we can get
- Keep all 3 stations active throughout the 24 hours to raise the QSO count
- Maximize usage of the higher bands as they are available
- Methodically work different regions of the country as bands change
- “Run” as much as possible vs search-and-pounce. We’ve had great club presentations on the use of these two strategies.
- Maximize CW and Digital contacts, remember its 1 transmitter per Mode/Band combo, transmitters can change modes at will as long as we never have more than one on the same band/mode. As much as I personally dislike FT8, it may be one key to increasing digital QSO rates. Also it doesn’t require a ton of operator interaction, clicking a few things every minute or two is sufficient to keeping the contacts rolling in.
- Maximize GOTA contacts, especially the ones associated with bonus points but every one counts!
RARC hosts a Builder’s Day monthly on the Saturday after the RARC Club Meeting. @ 10:00 AM on the Saturday following the normal club meeting each month. The purpose of the Builder’s Day is for any club members to bring in and work on projects such as Raspberry Pi, Arduino, homebrew radios, or any other projects that members are interested in working on. The Builder’s Day will be located in the same location as the monthly meeting – at the Rochester EOC, located in the lower level of the 2185 Wheelock Drive Building (Also Rochester Fire Station No. 2)
The July RARC meeting will take place once again at the Rochester City Emergency Operations Center located in the lower level of the 2185 Wheelock Drive Rochester Fire Station No. 2 building. There will also be a virtual connection available via Zoom for anyone who can’t make it, permitting we can get the technology to do its thing!
Our club meetings are normally held at 6:30pm on the second Tuesday of each month. Meetings start with a brief club-business discussion, then a Rag-Chew time, and finally a presentation of amateur radio interest.
W0STV will be organizing a mobile fox hunt on June 6th. Dust off your directional antennas and see if you can be the one to catch the fox!