Plans so far for the 2016 DFMA/OCRA Field Day
2:00 p.m. local June 25 to 2:00 p.m. local June 26
Once again the two clubs will join forces to see if we can top last year’s performance, which garnered a ranking of third place in North America out of more than 2500 participating stations. After discussion with the remaining band captains, looks like we will have an 8 Alpha Battery operation this year. That is one station less than last year, costing us 100 bonus points on stations operating with emergency power. But on the other hand, we may keep the remaining stations better manned which can help make up the loss with more QSO’s. Wilson, W4BOH has again generously permitted the use of his property.
Here is the station breakdown, based on the plans I know of to date:
75/40/20/15/10 CW – The CW Gang will be operating 3 stations out of the MCU, some will switch bands to best use daytime/nighttime propagation. Beams on towers, Wire antennae on 75 M, maybe 40 meters.
80M Phone – W3AHL – will operate wire antennae out of his RV, same position as last year.
40/15M Phone – K4SAR/KV7D Co-Captains – working out of camper by the pond like last year, beam and wire antennae.
20m Phone – W4ORD – beam antenna, working out of tent shelters, further west than last year to avoid septic field.
10M Phone – NA4VY/KD4YJZ/WB4OSU – beam antenna out of loft on barn, same position as last year.
Multiband Digi – W4SAR – 40M Vertical, possibly 20M mini-loop,20 and 15 M dipoles. Co-located with 20M Phone tent.
VHF – KA5ETS – beam antenna, co-located in W3AHL's RV.
I have prepared a tentative site plan, some of it is conjecture until I hear from some more of the band captains.
We will be working out volunteers to pursue the various bonus points to be had (media publicity, elected official visit, served agency official visit, etc. Two new bonus point activities this year: 100 point for having a dedicated safety officer, and 100 point for publicizing Field Day via social media. We will revive the OCRA Facebook page for the latter. If no one volunteers, I will step up as the safety officer.
We may begin setup for Field Day as of 0000 hrs UTC on Friday June24, which translates to 8:00 p.m. local time on Thursday the 23rd. Since it will become dark shortly after that time, Thursday may only safely be used to drop off equipment. The vast bulk of the set up should be done on that Friday, leaving Saturday morning for final testing and tweaking of stations before the official start of field Day operations at 2:00 p.m. local time. Many hands will make light work, to help safely set up towers, haul lines and carry batteries. It will be very important to have many hands helping to tear down on Sunday after 2:00 p.m., as many of us will be quite tired. I will bring my kayak as it proved useful for ferrying wires across the pond.
Some important logistics:
Wilson would like to set up some preparatory work days in advance, basically clearing ground and cleaning and prepping some of the equipment. We may need a walk-through to finalize station and antenna siting.
Food – Skip will be providing sandwich platters, chips, and cookies for lunch on Friday. We will be having a pot luck dinner that evening, it was a big hit last year. John, KM4MDR will be helping to coordinate the contributions for this year. Look for messages on the OCRA yahoo group to facilitate this. Dee, KU4GC and M.K., W4MKR will again run the field canteen during FD operations. They will provide a dinner on Saturday evening (hamburgers, hotdogs, salmon burgers, Boca Burgers, chicken sausage and sides), and a hearty pancake breakfast with KK4EIB’s New York maple syrup, and especially lots of coffee, on Sunday morning, a bargain at $5 for each of these meals ($10 for both). Unlimited cold soft drinks and bottled water will be available throughout the operation.
Logging – All logging will be performed on computers, either N1MM or N3FJP may be used. As long as the logs can be submitted to me as a standard ADIF file, I can merge them all into a master document. Anyone wanting to use N1MM should ask Bruce, N1LN. For N2FJP, see me, I have a license key for that program. BTW, for our operating category, only the transceivers themselves need be on battery or natural power. Auxiliary equipment such as logging computers, fans, lighting may use a/c power drops. The one exception on computers is if they are being used to directly control the radio, i.e., digital modes or VFO control, then they too must be on battery power.
I greatly look forward to participating in Field Day again. Everyone is encouraged to come out, even if you can only stay a little while, though some hardy souls will be there for the duration. It is open to experienced contesters, and to the newest of newly licensed hams. It will even be open to ham wannabes, control ops will be there to help unlicensed operators work a station legally. It is intense at times, but a fun event, and an activity that has done more than anything else to bind together two great clubs, the Durham FM Association and Orange County Radio Amateurs, in friendship.