Category Archives: Field Day

Field Day info and timeline

Starting 2:00pm local time on Saturday, June 24
Ending 2:00pm local time in Sunday June 25

Location: Lamb Family property-
3117 MOOREFIELDS RD
HILLSBOROUGH, NC 27278

Callsign: W4EZ
At this time, we will be a 9A operation, meaning a club sponsor, 9 HF stations, using only battery power for transmitters, 5Watts maximum output.

Exchange for a complete contact is call sign, class of operation , and ARRL/RAC section.

For us our info is:
W4EZ 9A NC

Stations planned:
80/40/20/15 CW in the MCU, (three transmitters),
the CW gang

40M Digital in barn W4SAR
20M Digital, in barn, WB4OSU

80M Phone, in RV W3AHL
40/15M Phone, in camper KV7D/K4SAR
20M Phone , in camper W4ORD
10m Phone, in barn NA4VY

VHF- open
Satellite- W4FS

Logging: N1MM freeware logging program, a wireless network will merge all input into one master log

Some personnel:

Safety Officer- W4SAR
Public Information Table: W4MKR
Pot-luck coordinator: KM4MDR
Field Canteen Coordinator: W4ORD
Network: W3AHL
N1MM Logger consultant: N1LN
Overall Coordinator: W4SAR

Volunteers needed to provide relief operators, loggers, field canteen assistance, various other jobs throughout the 3 days of operation.

Recommended Timeline for Field Day Operation:
(All timepoints are local Daylight Saving Time)

Friday June 23

8:00am -Start of Set-Up.
By the FD rules, as of 8:00pm Thursday we could use a total of 24 hours in aggregate for station set up before the official start of FD on Saturday at 2:00pm. We will start with good daylight on Friday morning.
As much heavy work (tower lifting, antenna raising, ground rod driving, battery lifting, etc ) should be accomplished on Friday. Many volunteers will be needed so that this work can be done safely, and without overexerting anyone.

11:30am – Sandwiches and refreshments will be provided by Skip, WB4P

When time allows: preliminary testing of wireless network, power drops for auxiliary equipment

6:00pm Pot Luck Dinner, heavy work should cease.

9:00pm- copy ARRL FD bulletin from W1AW via PSK31
(100 bonus points)

Saturday June 24

As of sunrise: Complete station setups and final testing.

As early as possible, test all logging computers simultaneously on network. Final tests of stations.

2:00pm: START FD OPERATIONS

Circa 6:00pm- dinner provided at Field Canteen, $5 a head, volunteers are badly needed to assist W4ORD in set up and grilling of food

Sunday June 25
Circa 8:00am, Breakfast at Field Canteen, $5 a head, volunteers needed to assist.

2:00pm: FD OPERATIONS END

Many hands will be needed to safely tear down stations (there will be many tired people present), clean up.

Field Day Update April 2017

Hi All, more of the plans are starting to gel, we do need to solidify more of the logistics for Field Day. For one, I was mistaken when I said we were on track to be a 9A operation. As it turns out the CW operation out of the MCU will be running only three transmitters, not the four transmitters I had presumed, so we are an 8A operation as it now stands. Here are the current stations planned and band captains:

CW in the MCU: three transmitters on 80/40/20/15 meters. Bruce N1LN and the CW gang.

40 Digital- in barn loft, Dave W4SAR
20 Digital- in barn loft, John, KM4MDR

80 Phone- Steve , W3AHL in his RV
40/15 Phone- Adriano KV7D and Joe K4SAR in camper
20 Phone- Lad, W4ORD in tent.

Currently, there are no plans to work 10 meters due to very poor prospects for propagation. VHF is open if anyone wants to try it, that station will not change the count of stations for our category. I am working on a possible temporary split out of 15M phone so that we do keep a 9A designation, stand by for more on that later.

Bruce N1LN has agreed to run a teleconferenced class to get the band captains (and anyone interested in helping out with logging) up to speed on using the N1MM logging program. See the NCOCRA Yahoogroup for postings on this, I believe Bruce wants to start the initial session this coming Wednesday.

I will be contacting the band captains on their final arrangements for radios, to confirm what antennas they are using and where they will be placed, an updated site plan will be posted shortly after that is done.

Food- Lad W4ORD and Noble N4UOQ have agreed to step up and form the nucleus of the group operating the field canteen, they will be needing some more people to help with that work. Besides providing cold water and soft drinks throughout the operation, he canteen will also grill dinner on that Saturday and Breakfast on Sunday morning. John KM4MDR will coordinate the Pot Luck planned for that Friday night. Skip N4SKP will be providing a sandwich spread for the work crews on Friday around noon.

Bonus Points- We have several members volunteering to help chase down some of these points for us. Stand by, I will get all of you more solid information shortly.

Things are moving for Field Day, and the pace is picking up considerably the closer we get. I will be putting out notices on a more frequent basis now as we deal with the inevitable changes and tweaks that occur to every plan. I am looking forward to another great Field Day this year!

73,

Dave Snyder, W4SAR

N1MM+ Prep for Training

If you were at the last OCRA meeting you heard and hopefully participated in the discussion to standardize all Field Day stations on N1MM+ logging software. Not only will this make the post FD log integration process MUCH easier, it will allow all operators to easily move from station to station to help fill in some of the open times and it may allow for a technology jump to network all the stations together. This could promote both FUN to see how everyone else is doing real time and help with log accuracy. (more on this when the upcoming training occurs)

Before that training takes place, it would be very helpful for those of you not yet exposed to N1MM+ to spend some time looking over the following web links. I have found that when I attend training of any kind, going into that training class with some level of topic knowledge is VERY helpful. This helps you, the instructor and also other class members as the quality of the questions and discussion is much more ‘on topic’.

Whether you plan on being a Team Captain or not – please look over these links. If you have any questions, please send me an email. (bemeier@bellsouth.net)

1. Getting Started with N1MM+ (Documents / Getting Started)

http://n1mmplus.hamdocs.com/tiki-index.php

2. Then move to N1MM Logger PLUS – FULL INSTALL

http://n1mmplus.hamdocs.com/tiki-index.php?page=Full+Install

3. Finally – here is a You Tube video showing some very useful configuration information and process

Happy Reading !!!

73,
Bruce – N1LN

Preliminary Plans for Field Day 2017

 

We are a little under 4 months from Field Day 2017, so we need to start our initial planning.

Of course, some things will be the same, OCRA and the DFMA will run a joint operation. The Lamb Family once again will be hosting the location, we will again run an “Alpha Battery” club operation. That means transmitted output will be no greater than 5 Watts, all transceivers will be on on battery power. How many stations we run will need to be determined, returning band captains get the “right of first refusal”, and then we can fill slots for non-returnees as well as welcome some trying something new. We do get 100 bonus points for each HF station on emergency power.

Now for some of the changes:

Food-     Fear not, we will still be eating well! However, after many years of hard work and excellent service, Dee KU4GC and M.K. W4MKR are bowing out of running our field canteen. They are willing to give advice but no longer wish to do the heavy lifting. I believe a committee needs to be formed right away to carry on the planning and staffing of our field canteen. This will be to provide two meals during Field Day operations, a Saturday dinner and a Sunday Breakfast, as well as have water , soft drinks and snacks available throughout the weekend. John KM4MDR has volunteered to coordinate the huge potluck which is held on that Friday night, which is one of the two largest social events we hold each year (the Holiday Dinner being the other). If you have an interest in working on the committee, let us know!

Logging-     The other change will be in how we will be logging results. In the past , we had used several different logging programs with a ADIF output capability. The output was never completely compatible, so not all of the logs would integrate into the master log. This meant many hours of editing and formatting had to be done by me to pull a master log together. The CW operators have been using the N1MM freeware logger, which allows multiple computers to simultaneously make log entries via a wireless connection. I asked if this capability could be extended across the whole Field Day site, and it can be done.  If the entire Field Day operation enters into one master log, my work in preparing our FD submission will be much easier. You would also be able to watch the results for the entire operation in real time. This means that all logging computers must have wireless capability. Also, all of us will have to learn how to use the N1MM software. Bruce, N1LN has agreed to give a tutorial at an upcoming meeting, I am looking forward to that.

Bonus Points-     One reason our closest competitor in California keeps beating us, is that they strongly pursue all the bonus points they can get. Some members in the past have taken on various bonus activities. I strongly recommend that we put together a bonus point committee to help coordinate these activities, and explore ways to get even more points added without overburdening anyone.

As always, I eagerly anticipate our operation.  We have a corps of dedicated, technically gifted amateurs, who enjoy each other’s company, I can’t wait to see what we come up with this year!

73–  Dave W4SAR