Hello everyone,

   As the ARRL June VHF contest begins to wear down to a few hours left, Its time to start thinking big time about this years Field day.

Lets start with the pre FD meeting, coming up Tuesday June 20th 6PM start ***Please note start time change, due to the planned bbq*** at the Seamans Airport pavilion. I will email an agenda later this week.

It would be great if folks would send an RSVP, so we can have an idea of how much food to grab. Menu plans include burgers, dogs, salads, chips, softdrinks, water

Field Day plans:

Lots of discussion has occurred. regarding class, etc. At this point we have the following equipment promises:

3 modernized hf rigs (With microphones, Keys/paddles) (with some later model spares) 2 with digi setups


2 Power supplies Plus the club owned ones


2 Laptops


*One of the rigs, power supplies, and laptops is owned by Walter AA3FC. It is currently at his Lake Wallenpaupack QTH, and someone would need to pick it up from him, any of our Wayne County members volunteer?*

Ample labor to meet the tent crew Friday morning, June 23rd at 1030AM (More are always welcome)

Antenna systems:

Portable rotating tower, with an A3 quad bander on top (10, 15, 20, 40M)

80M dipole

40M dipole

6M dipole

6M beam

Satellite qso equipment

The club has had an older laptop donated to it, it is in my possession, however 1/2 of its charging system is missing, and I haven't yet found a replacement.

With this being said, unless additional computers are loaned, it appears we will have to class ourselves as a 2A, and if a GOTA is voted to happen, we will have to do some magic tricks with the computer logging. Being only a 2A, that means we can have only 2 HF stations transmitting at one time. A third one would have to be GOTA, which is logged separately. We are permitted to have a VHF station running as well. 6M and up

We are also asking, anyone who is loaning equipment, to please bring it to the site Friday night for setup/testing A secure location is available should one be needed.

At the May meeting, Jeff, ND3Z passed around a sign up sheet. We will do this again at the June meeting.As a 2A, we may have to "Schedule" operating times. if 10 people wish to operate FD, and all arrive at the same time, that won;t work  hihi 

For those who do wish to operate, of course you are welcome!!! This is THE time to get on the air. Maybe try a band you aren't too familiar with, perhaps a mode you have never seen (We hope to have digital capabilities, meaning RTTY, PSK31, among others) Maybe, you can make your first HF contact? Will it be YOU, who is responsible for SPARKS first FD satellite qso?? All we ask is, 1 bring your own headphones 2. If you are unable to help setup or tear down, some form of donation to the club will be most appreciated!!

Guests at field day. Of course guests are welcome!!!  Especially if they want to make a qso or 1000. We have already been contacted by one individual who has plans to be in the area from NJ and would like to stop by. I remember another person from last year who has a cottage at one of the nearby lakes. 

Lets talk scoring!!!

No, Field Day is NOT A CONTEST. Even though 95% of the qso are rapid fire contest like, Field Day is an exercise. The intent of field day, is to practice, and prove to ourselves, and anyone else who cares, that in the event of a real situation, We can set up, set up fairly quickly, efficiently, and safely. Where the scoring system comes in to play, is a measure, which we can compare year to year to see how well we as a group, club, family, can accomplish the above totals. While the qso's which happen are similar to contest qso's, the biggest difference is there are no multipliers. If you are unsure what a contest multiplier is, get in touch with me, I will be happy to explain it. We earn points, for every complete qso we make. A complete QSO is one which each station copies correctly the information given by the other. For example a phone, or voice, or ssb qso:

US: Cq field day this is K3CSG field day

them: K3CSG please copy NX3Y

US: NX3Y Thank you, Please copy 2A, EPA

them: K3CSG QSL ur 2A EPA, we are 1D WCF West Central Florida

US: NX3Y roger 1D West Central florida, Thank you and 73 QRZ Field Day, this is K3CSG field day

Each station then earns one point for that valid qso. There are no radio police to determine whether a qso is valid or not, we need to log what we hear. Some stations out there use ODD Phonetics.Each valid voice qso is worth one point, while each CW, or Digital qso is worth 2 points. It is perfectly acceptable to work a station multiple times, provided it is never the same band/mode combo. for example, if the above qso was on 40M SSB, and the 40M CW op gets called by NX3Y there, another exchange can take place and each station would earn 2 points.

We can also earn bonus points. We can achieve such by performing the following tasks:

Using 100% Emergency power (Any power source not derived by commercial means) check one for the good guys

If we are 2A status,. we earn 200 bonus points. 

Media publicity Check another one for the good guys. We have already submitted field day information to Bob Reynolds for offering to WNEP 16. there will also be more to follow Another 100 points for SPARK

Public Location--while not at a shopping center, or a state park, we are set up at a public facility, Seamans airport. Another 100 points

Public information table. this is the table we have set up just outside of the tent each year. It is setup with some QST magazines, Some introductory pamphlets, and other interesting Ham Radio tidbits..we are on a roll now!!!

Message origination, and handling. Often handled by K3HGG, Each year we send the appropriate message to our Section manager (Do we have an official one yet? seems to be a revolving door these days) as well as a NTS style traffic message to Club members who may be lost, but not forgotten 200 points upon completion!!

Satellite qso....ahhh the SPARK elusive satellite qso. Please, this year, let us finally win this one!!!!!  We have been set up for years to accomplish this goal, even heard the bird once that I remember, but to my knowledge, SPARK has never once claimed this 100 bonus points

Alternate power. Typically provided by Harry, KA3IDX Harry sets up his solar array to charge the battery which powers the radio. We must make 5 separate qso's using this setup, and they must be marked somehow. Typically, this is set up, and the first 5 or so contacts made at that station are known as the alt power qualifiers

W1AW bulletin message. Generally copied friday evening (one of the reasons it is important to have stuff set up fri night) by Tom, KB3UPN Another 100 points

Educational activity bonus Field day itself is an educational activity. This is generally claimed after friday night. Some of the educational activities: How to set up a crank up tubular tower, how to assemble a quad band beam and mount to tower, how to operate an antenna analyzer among many more. another 100 points for the good guys.

Site visitations: Nick, N3GTH, an elected official of Benton Township Stops by to inspect our operation each year. As he does this, our greedy scorekeeper notches another 100 points to our tally. Hopefully, Bob, WA3LWR can swing by the site this year. As the Radio officer for the Lackawanna County EMA, we can scribe in another 100 points for Bobs visit (Plus, he's the dude with the satellite stuff)

The tricky one, the GOTA station bonus. Lets talk about the GOTA station first, since this is kinda clear, yet kinda vague all in the same. GOTA is an acronym for Get On The Air. It is designed for new hams, Novice or Tech license holders, or generally inactive hams. New is defined as having earned a license since last Field day, Novice or tech is self explanatory, but the generally inactive, that is where we use our judgement. If you consider yourself ever having been a seasoned ham, then likely we wouldn't ask you to make GOTA qso's. this earns bonus points in multiples of 20, with some specific details. While each qso it makes is worth the points earned (1, or 2) if the same GOTA operator makes 20 qso's, we get 20 bonus points up to each operator making 100 qso's. for example, K3HGG operates the gota station and makes 79 qso on 80M ssb. we would earn 79 points, plus 60 bonus points (multiple of 20) Should K3HGG make 120 qso's on 80SSB, we earn 100 points, plus 100 bonus (multiple of 20, maxed at 100 per operator) Its confusing, I know

Youth bonus: If we have someone, under the age of 18, make at least one valid qso for us, we earn the qso point, PLUS 20 bonus points. We earn 20 per youth up to 5, or 100 points.

ICK, combining Social media and ham radio. I am not 100% sure the basis behind this one, but if they want to give us 100 points, for  W3BA making a post on the clubs facebook page, we'll take it. Sorry Chris, N3UVR, an add on our website doesn't qualify for the bonus, however we could use the publicity should you have the time to post something on our website  :)

Safety officer. This is not a position to be taken lightly. It takes someone with integrity to volunteer into this role. John, N3URF performed this role perfectly last year, and has already stepped forward to fill this position. Thank you for volunteering John, Myself, and the club appreciates it for sure.

Web submission...in efforts to kill only electrons and pixels, not trees, we earn 50 points for electronically submitting our report. Handled by Heath, K3HGG

Wow is this email getting long, I hope I haven't lost anyone. Based on bonus points alone, we have already scored 1350 field Day points, and haven't even set up the tent yet.

Quick recap...

Next club meeting, tuesday June 20th, 6PM (not 7), Seamans Airport pavilion, just outside of Factoryville, PA, Agenda to follow Please RSVP for an estimated food count

field Day--June 23rd to 25th 2017 Setup begins at 1030AM, with the delivery of the tent and Generator, continues till darkish fri night.Pizza/wingbites for dinner, probably 7ish Sat-- 9am Final equipment setup, testing. Noon--Lunch,-- 2pm 24 hours of FD operating begins--.6pm ish dinner 9pm ish---Campfire, telescopes, snacks (yes some folks still play radio). Sunday 8am breakfast. Noon--lunch if there are any leftovers, and evaluation of fatigue, band conditions, available help..tear down may begin around that time Sunday 2PM 24 hours of FD operation are over, tear down commences. if I remember correctly, the tent crew arrives 330ish to begin tearing down the tent. We need to have that emptied and swept prior to. Fatigue then drives the rest of teardown...Often we will have a workparty some evening to finish teardown or antenna systems, etc.

As always, comments criticisms, feedback are always accepted. email me here, call or text 570-687-6173 (If you call, and I don;t have your number, please leave voicemail with your name and call. I can then save it for future)

Vy 73

Scott, KA3QLF

© 2015 Christopher Doherty, N3UVR and SPARK, the Scranton Pocono Amateur Radio Klub, Inc.