Field Day Thank You

Field Day 2018 was a great success!



Thanks to everyone who participated and helped make this Field Day a great success.

And especially big thanks to Tom, W8TK, for hosting Field Day and for all of the great work he does to make it happen every year.

Field Day 2018 Signups

Field Day 2018 Signups!

You can now sign up for June 23,24, 2018 Field Day operating slots at: 

And you can sign up for Field Day potluck dinner on Saturday, June 23:

Operator signup is just like last year's.  Potluck signup is same as Holiday Party.

Field Day 2018

Field Day 2018

OVARC will participate in ARRL Field Day on June 23 and 24. If you aren't familiar with
FD, check FD is an exercise in emergency preparedness.
Recent hurricanes in the Caribbean have shown the value of HF radio (1.8 to 30 MHz)
which became the only method of communication when island infrastructure was
destroyed. American hams rallied, traveled to the island with their knowhow, skill, and
equipment to provide a link to the mainland within a few hours.

As always, PARTICIPATION is our goal. There will be opportunity for anyone wishing
to operate radios to do so on their choice of band and mode.

New hams, inactive hams, and would-be hams will have a chance to operate at our Get
On The Air (GOTA) station, which we intend to keep staffed for the entire period of
operation (11 AM Saturday to 11 AM Sunday) with an experienced coach. The coach
will be identified by a neon yellow vest labeled "COACH", and he/she will be parked at
the GOTA station. The station will have a simple HF radio capable of SSB voice, digital
modes (PSK31 and RTTY) and even CW Morse for the bravest newbies. The station
will have its own call, computer, log, antenna, and bands for operation. If you have a
new license that you haven't yet put to use, this is the place for you.

In addition to the GOTA station, we will have three HF stations in continuous operation:
one on 80 and 15 meters, one on 40 and 10 meters, and one on 20 meters. That
insures that each station is likely to have an open band and suitable antenna for the
entire 24 hours. Each station will be capable of operating on SSB, CW, and digital
modes. The stations will be subscribed in advance by one-hour blocks. An online
Signup Genius will soon be available so you can sign up to operate or assist in one hour
blocks. Signing up in advance insures an operator that he/she will find a station
available when he/she expects to operate and guarantees that no station will go

Operator is "captain of the ship" during his time slot, deciding which
available band and mode he/she wants to operate. Operator can sign up assistants/
loggers if desired. Each station will have extra headsets for loggers or spectators. If
you don't want to operate, pull up a chair, put on the headphones, and have a listen.

If you do want to operate, please become familiar with N1MM Logger software. It's free
for download at An excellent instructional video is available on the
Digital mode software is fldigi, also free for download at
We do need volunteers to be coaches for the GOTA station (license of general class or
above and some HF experience required). There will be a sign-up sheet for these jobs
on the signupgenius website.

Setup begins at 6 AM (to beat the heat) on Friday, June 22 at the W8TK property. Sign
in with our greeter when you arrive. We will provide coffee and donuts for all who show
up to help. We need to erect a couple antenna poles and a mast/beam, run some
feedlines, and connect some radios. Similar work was done in less than 2 hours last
year but come out and stay as long as you have time for.

Site is located at 10771 North Camino de Oeste but your GPS will not find it. From
Thornydale, take Lambert west to where it appears to end at Camino de Oeste. Turn
right (north) and go about 0.4 miles. You will see a wall with a few mailboxes (see
photo). Take the little dirt road at the wall to the west and in 100 yards you will have
arrived at W8TK. Lots of space, no antenna restrictions, and no obstructions from

Coordinates: 32º 24' 06.91" N,  111º 03' 55.55" W

2017 Field Day Results

its a wrap

2017 Field Day Results

Band/Mode QSO Breakdown:

               CW                    Digital                   Phone
            QSOs Pwr(W)   QSOs Pwr(W)      QSOs        Pwr(W)
       80m - 187    100                                 112              100
       40m - 454    100        81     30              95              100
       20m - 154    100        33     30              12              100
       15m  -  18    100                                   10              100
        6m                              7     50
 Satellite                              1     50
      GOTA                          61    100

     TOTAL - 813               114                      298

Total QSO Points = 2152 X2 (power mult)= 4304

Bonus points - 1250

Total Score = 5,554

% of total score

CW contacts = 59%

SSB contacts= 14%

Digi contacts = 11%

Bonus points = 23%

Past years for comparison:

2012 (4F)  1,306 QSO     5,122 points

2013 (3F)  1,480              6,036

2014   "     1,539              6,510

2015   "     1,407              6,142

2016   "     1,325              5,924 

2017   "     1,225              5,554

Score declines parallel sunspot activity decline.  2017 saw zero signals on 10 meters and only a couple dozen QSO on 15 meters.  40 and 80 meters were very noisy despite lack of storm activity in the area.  Let's hope the cycle reverses soon so the HF bands will again be crowded during Field Day!

On the bright side, many new or inexperienced hams turned out to dip their toes into the HF waters.  Nine different GOTA operators made a total of 61 SSB contacts.  Several members experienced PSK31 for the first time.  W7HD again pulled a satellite QSO out of his hat.  We had a safe FD again, with no equipment failures.  NG7A's loop antennas for 80 and 40 worked well.  Dinner from Bubb's Grub did not disappoint.  All in all, OVARC enjoyed a fine Field Day.

Only 363 days until the next one!

73 de W8TK

OVARC FD Chairman

2017 OVARC Field Day

2017 Field Day Logo Web FINAL


2017 OVARC Field Day

June 24-25, 2017

OVPD Emergency Operations Center


OVARC will once again be participating in Field Day, the biggest radio event in the US.  

OVARC will be operating as a 3F station which means we will operate 3 transmitters from an official Emergency Operations Center.  In addition to the 3 primary transmitters we will also operate a Get On The Air (GOTA) station and a VHF station. 

More information about Field Day at the ARRL can be found here.

When:  Field Day operation starts at 11:00am Saturday, June 24, 2016 and ends at 11:00am Sunday, June 25.

            Setup will start at 6:00am Friday, June 23. 

Where:  Oro Valley PD Emergency Operations Center, 1920 E Tangerine Rd., Oro Valley, AZ. This is in the Oro Valley Marketplace on the corner of Tangerine and North Oracle Rd in Oro Valley.  Go to the rear of the building just west of Wal-Mart.

Get Directions to OVARC Field Day



Field Day Operating

This article was taken from a series of Field Day bulletins sent to the OVARC membership by Field Day Chairman Tom Kravec W8TK

How to Operate Field Day

In case you have never operated in a radio contest before, this article will explain what you will hear and say. Field Day's objective is to exchange information with as many other stations as possible. The information exchanged is, strangely enough, called "the exchange." Field Day is a very simple contest, and the exchange is your station FD class (for OVARC this year, the class is 3F) and your ARRL section (ours is ARIZONA). We will use the callsign K7T (kilo seven tango).

Tuning across the band you will hear:

"CQ CQ Field Day this is W1ABC Whiskey One Alpha Bravo Charlie Field Day"

You call: "W1ABC this is Kilo Seven Tango Kilo Seven Tango"

W1ABC responds: "K7T 2 Alpha Western Massachusetts"

You respond: "Thanks. 3 Foxtrot Arizona (or Alpha Zulu)"

He responds: "Thanks. QRZ Field Day this is W1ABC"

That's it! You type his call and exchange into the logging computer and move on.

You may work each station once per band and mode. If you type his call and the software sees that you have worked before, it will report "DUPE." Move on.

Search YouTube for audio and video examples of amateur radio contest operation.

Operating tips:

BE BRIEF! Don't repeat the exchange unless you are asked. Don't insert meaningless blather like "Please copy..." A signal report is not part of the FD exchange, so don't give one. A simple "Thanks" (or TU on CW) is easier than saying "QSL" to confirm that you copied OK. Contacts go more smoothly if you provide the other station only what he expects to hear.

TURN OFF THE RIT! Receiver Offset Tuning (Yaesu calls it Clarifier) moves your receiver frequency a bit to better tune callers who are off frequency. If you use it and don't turn it off after the contact, you will not copy anyone then calling ON frequency. So just LEAVE IT OFF!

Contesting Strategy for Field Day 

There are two techniques for operating in a contest. You can sit on a frequency calling CQ and waiting for other stations to call you. This is called “Running.” Or you can tune up and down the band looking for other stations who are calling CQ and answering them. This is called “Search and Pounce” (S&P). N1MM software has two different modes to accommodate both techniques.

Which should you use? If you have a good signal, running is effective. If you have a peanut whistle signal due to low power (QRP) or compromise antenna, running will not be productive so S&P is the strategy of choice. At OVARC Field Day, our antennas and 100 watt power level allow both. Decades of operating FD have shown me that using both techniques produces the best result. First, find a clear frequency (not easy with thousands of stations on the air), call CQ until answering stations stop calling, then go to S&P. I always start at the bottom of the band and tune up. The reverse will work too. When you get to the end of the band, find a clear frequency (see above) and start calling CQ again.

As always, remember that brevity is the essence of contesting. Never repeat unless asked. Eliminate superfluous blather like “Please copy...” Saying “Thanks” is one syllable, saying QRZ is three. Just deliver the information that the receiving station expects.

What about “dupes”? “Dupe” is contesting slang for a duplicate contact. Say you worked a station, logged it, and an hour later that station answers your CQ again. He apparently isn’t using logging software or isn’t paying attention. What to do? Log him again! It’s quicker and easier than trying to explain that he is a dupe, and there is no penalty for working him a second (or third) time.

Why does Field Day score matter?

If Field Day isn’t a contest as some would say, why does the score matter? There’s a dictum of management which says, “If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

Even if you agree that FD is not a contest, you would have to agree that it is a test of emergency preparedness. The score measures OVARC’s ability to mobilize in case of an emergency and provide communications when other means have failed. Score is based not only on the number of contacts made, but many “bonus” points are available for other emergency-related and public relations activities which occur during the FD period. Read the rules at to see what we can do to earn bonus points. Our scores from year to year give us a target for improvement, so even if you’re not into contesting, you can judge our performance by comparing scores over time and against other clubs.