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CARC Field Day 2013 Information

AL7MO at the GOTA station

AL7MO at the GOTA station

CARC will be hosting Field Day at the Sesquicentennial State Park Retreat Center on June 22-23. Setup will begin at 9 AM with the official start of the event at 2 PM.

This is the largest on-air event in the US and Canada with over 35,000 participants in 2012. CARC welcomes everybody to participate whether you have a license or not. And if you’ve never had a chance to see what “HF” communications can do, you should definitely come to Field Day and see what it’s all about. With a simple wire antenna we are able to contact other stations all over the continent and world.

CARC will operate a 4A or 5A operation which means 4 or 5 active HF stations using generator or battery power. We also plan to have a GOTA Station (a station setup specifically for newly licensed, unlicensed, or inactive licensees) courtesy of the SCHEART system and depending on available equipment, we will also have a 6 meter station.


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We Need Your Help

While Field Day doesn’t officially start until 2:00 PM, there is still plenty of setup to be done. Therefore, we need your help! While operating is fun, we need to get our antennas, radios, computers and power sources setup before we can make our first QSO. We’d like to have two teams: antennas/power sources and transceiver/computer setup.

The antenna/power team will be responsible for launching our wire antennas as high as possible in the surrounding trees and running the coax and power cords from the generators into the operating position.

The transceiver/computer team will be responsible for making sure all the computers are setup with the correct logging software settings and communicating both with the transceiver and other computers via the wireless network.

As soon as everything is setup, we’ll have a quick review of logging and operating procedures prior to the 2:00 PM start of Field Day.

If you have extras of any of the following items, they would be of great use at Field Day:

  • Grounded Outdoor Extension Cords
  • Grounded Power Strips
  • Rope
  • USB<->Serial Convertors known to work with Windows 7
  • Coax
  • PL-259 Barrel Connectors
  • PL-259 Connectors

Please bring your handhelds and set them to 146.400 simplex so that we can coordinate on-site.

Logging Software

We will be using the N1MM logging software this year at field day. It offers some nice features: real-time score inclusive of all stations, MUCH easier log submission, dupe checking, and more. I encourage you to take a look at their website and download and try out the software–it’s free. However, don’t be intimidated by the long feature list; it has many many functions and capabilities but we will be using only a small subset. After you log a few QSO’s with the software, it will become second nature. Below is a video about using N1MM for field day. Take a look at it and I think you will find it is pretty easy to use. We will have a review session on the logging/operating procedure prior to the start of Field Day. If you don’t wish to use the software to log your contacts, please get a “log helper” to log the QSOs as you make them. Transcribing hand-written logs to the software post-contest is tedious and time consuming and handwritten logging greatly increases the number of duplicate contacts.


  • A station may be worked only once per band-mode combination. For example, W1XYZ is worked on 20 meters SSB. Therefore additional QSO’s with W1XYZ on 20 meters SSB will not count and would be considered a Duplicate or “Dupe”. However, W1XYZ may still be worked on 20 meters CW and Digital for a total of 3 contacts with the same station on the same band in three different modes. But fear not, you don’t have to remember every station worked, the logging software keeps track of this and will alert you if a station is a dupe.
  • Work Dupes if they call you. If you’re calling CQ and a duplicate station calls you, go ahead and work them anyway. However, if you find a station calling CQ and the sotware alerts you that it is a dupe, don’t call them. The reason we work dupes if they call us is that it could be a logging error on our part or their part so “work first worry later”. Plus, telling somebody that you’ve already had a QSO before takes as much time as just working them again. The software will automatically handle scoring (or lack thereof) for duplicate contacts.
  • For the maximum number of contacts, you’ll want to be a “run” station. That is, you are calling CQ instead of responding to a CQ. This is not a requirement. If you are more comfortable answering CQ’s and tuning the bands looking for stations to work, then please do so. It’s all about having fun.
  • Don’t operate on the same band-mode combination at the same time as another station. If one person at the site is on 20 SSB, consider going to 20 CW or 15 SSB for example. Again, the logging software will alert you if you switch to the same band-mode as another station.
  • Don’t forget about 10 meters. While this solar cycle has been a bit disappointing, we are nearing the peak so 10 meters has a chance to be open. And when it’s open, it’s OPEN.
  • No need to say “Please copy” or “You are 5A South Carolina” during the exchange. A simple, “Thanks, 5A South Carolina” will do the trick. Besides, the other station isn’t really 5A SC!
  • Do not operate on the 12-, 17-, 30, or 60-meter bands. These bands are off-limits for Field Day operations.

Useful Links

Location and Other Details

We will be setup at the retreat center at Sesqui State Park. Upon entering the park, make sure to inform the gate attendant that you are there for a reserved event at the retreat center, otherwise you will have to pay the park admission fee.

There are dormitory style rooms and beds available for those wishing to use them. If you decide to make use of these, you’ll need to bring a sleeping bag as no sheets or pillows are provided.

CARC will provide the main course for dinner on Saturday evening. We would ask that those of you joining us for this meal contribute a side dish or dessert. If you are willing to bring these, please email Tammy/N4TAL with the details so that we don’t end up with many duplicates.

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Signup Form

If you’re planning on coming out, please use the signup form to let us know so we may better prepare. Don’t worry, you’re still more than welcome even if you don’t signup!

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Permanent link to this article: http://w4cae.com/carc-field-day-2013-information/

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