Your 2020 Field Day score is more than just the tally of stations you are able to raise on HF or on your 2-meter FM radio on 146.52. Bonus Points, 100 points at a time – the equivalent of working 100 voice stations on HF – are allotted for a wide range of activities. In the past, WSARC has participated as a Class A Station(Portable Station Setup by 3 or more club members). Class A Stations have access to Bonus Points for activities like setting up that portable station in a public location, having a public information table or sponsoring an educational activity during the Field Day period. As a Class-D or Class E Home Station – you don’t qualify for those bonus points. Don’t despair, there are still lots of points for you.
Class 1-D and 1-E stations can snag a 100-point bonus for copying the transmission of the ARRL Bulletin. Great. How do you do that? Here is the schedule:
Probably much easier than learning Morse Code (best done in the off season with CWOPS in the CW Academy: https://cwops.org/cw-academy/ ) would be using one of the digital modes to copy the Field Day Bulletin. That will need some software. I would suggest FLDIGI which you can snag here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/fldigi/files/ You can just run the software on your computer and have the computer microphone listen to the audio from the radio and probably successfully decode modes like RTTY and PSK31 and MFSK16 – they come out in that order – just click on the waterfall to line up the decoder with the signal.
If you advertise you Field Day activity just a little by posting a brief summary of what you are doing and why you are doing it, you qualify for 100 points for Media and Publicity. We are lucky to have the West Seattle Blog here that has long supported our FD publicity. Let them know what your are doing. Talking points can come from here: http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Field-Day/2020/3_4a-2020%20New%20Field%20Day%20PR%20Kit.pdf
If you took the Oregon ACES training or have been working with Seattle ACS, you have probably formatted ARRL Radiogram messages. That skill can help with 100 points for originating a message to Monte L. Simpson, W7FF, firstname.lastname@example.org – the radiogram is one of the templates built into FLDIGI.
We still need to send that message over amateur radio and that will take getting it into the Winlink2000 system or showing up on one of the local traffic nets. Randy and other club members have been adding infrastructure to help you connect with the outside world in emergencies through winlink – check out https://www.winlink.org/
Another 10 points per message are up for grabs for every message you send using the same tools discussed above – just format 10 more messages and send them during the FD period for 100 points. Reach out to all your socially distanced family members and encourage them to try this amateur radio stuff.
I suspect it won’t help us much this year, but as a home station, if you can wrangle up an elected official, and can get that person to your station – it is worth 100 points. Same for an official from one of our served agencies – like the Red Cross or Salvation Army or Seattle ACS…I’m thinking maybe just skip this for this year…
For those of you who accepted the challenge of getting setup for solar charging of your batteries, you have but to run one of your radios on those solar-charged batteries (not a generator)and make 5 contacts during field day for an alternative power 100 point bonus.
There are 100 points available for running your station 100% on Emergency Power – nothing from the commercial mains – just generator power or your solar setup. That also would put you into category 1-ECHO – and big kudos for being ready for the next emergency.
Finally, if you submit your report to the ARRL using their web submission page you get 50 more points:
Here is the dupe sheet that the ARRL suggests you submit with your entry – just print out one per band you plan to operate: https://field-day.arrl.org/fdentry.php
Don’t forget to say your operation was affiliated with the West Seattle Amateur Radio Club! There will be a summary published in QST of how all the clubs did… We also have a less formal competition with our local clubs like the Highline ARC and Mike and Key.
Good luck! We’ll look for you on the bands!
vy 73 de WR5J
Curt Black – West Seattle Amateur Radio Club
PS – lots of folks get confused on converting UTC times to local times – I have attached a chart to make it much easier. I also have some common frequencies in response to Zak’s question. Hope these things help. Good luck!