Field Day Score Analysis 2021

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!

Regional Amateur Radio Clubs

Mississippi Valley Amateur Radio Association W9MVA
LaCrosse WI
http://mvara.net/

Riverland Amateur Radio Club WR9ARC
LaCrosse WI
http://rarc.qth.com/

Winona Amateur Radio Club W0NE
https://w0ne.org/

Hiawatha Valley ARC
Red Wing MN
http://hvamateurradioclub.com

Riverbend Wireless and Mechanical Society
Faribault MN
http://rbwms.net

Owatonna Steele County Amateur Radio Club
http://oscarmn.org

UTC Radio Clock – AA0CN V1.0

AA0CN UTC Radio Clock

This is a printable clock face for 8″ analog clocks, with a fixed “Local” inner wheel and a rotatable “UTC” outer wheel. The outer wheel may be adjusted twice a year for Daylight Savings Time changes, or adjusted for time zone changes.

Inspiration was taken from maritime radio room clocks, with marked periods for 3 minutes after every 15 minute interval for distress silence, which also doubles as a marker for 3 minutes every 3 hours per ad-hoc radio schedules such as the 3-3-3 plan.

https://www.rarchams.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/RadioClock_AA0CN_v1_0__OUTER.pdf

https://www.rarchams.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/RadioClock_AA0CN_v1_0__INNER.pdf

Instructions:

  1. Print out the two above linked PDFs at full size onto heavy cardstock paper.
  2. Cut away the gray sections of the Inner and Outer wheels, including the grey window box on the inner wheel so the current timezone is visible through the window when assembled.
  3. Remove battery and disassemble clock: Remove glass so face is accessible and remove clock hands.
  4. On both paper wheels, cut center hole for clock hand post to size.
  5. Insert the larger UTC wheel first, allow to rotate.
  6. Using double-sided tape, glue, or similar, affix the inner Local time wheel to the clock body through the hole of the outer UTC wheel, so the center is stuck down but the UTC wheel can still freely move. Remember to orient “12 O’Clock” to the top of the clock body!
  7. Replace hands back onto the clock. By placing them back into the “12:00” position, it is easy to get the hour/minute offset correct.
  8. Adjust the outer UTC wheel so current timezone is displayed through Local time window.
  9. Reassemble clock body, replace battery, and synchronize to WWV

KC0NPF’s Repeater Linking and D-star related link page

This is just a brain-dump of a lot of stuff I’ve been reasearching and poking around at recently. There’s a LOT of cool stuff in Ham Radio out there. I haven’t been on a ham radio binge this bad in a while 🙂

Reflectors, D-star, DMR, SIP bridges, all kinds of cool stuff in the following links:

  • [Streaming just about anything via Raspberry Pi](http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Raspberry_Pi_RTL-SDR_Broadcastify)
  • [XReflector system](http://www.xrefl.net/) Not currently used by the RARC but may be worth exploring in the future
  • [PAPA System of linked repeaters in California](http://www.papasys.com/)
  • [All-Star Linking system based on Asterisk PBX and capable of linking just about anything](https://web-tpa.allstarlink.org/)
  • [Peanut D-star application](http://www.pa7lim.nl/peanut/) D-star from your mobile or PC WITHOUT an AMBE dongle, transcoding is provided by the service. Registration required for obvious reasons.
  • [ARDOP open packet protocol](https://winlink.org/content/ardop_overview)
  • [Open P-25 project](http://osmocom.org/projects/op25/wiki) Decode P-25 systems like ARMER with software.
  • [Scanning P-25 with RTL-SDR](https://www.rtl-sdr.com/rtl-sdr-radio-scanner-tutorial-decoding-digital-voice-p25-with-dsd/)
  • [Winlink PAT on Raspberry Pi or other Linux PC](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdpKZ4SZli8)