ARRL East Bay Section

Field Day Activity Boost Publicity

Posted by af6aq on April 14th, 2015

We’re a little over two months away from Field Day. Here in California, we have a huge ham population, many of whom are active only on VHF/UHF and, most likely, only know of the coverage capabilities of FM.

A number of us are working to leverage our huge ham population to our advantage by doing some coordinated operating on Saturday evening of Field Day. Most every Field Day group utilizes a “free” VHF station, but on 144 and 432 MHz they are beaming all over the compass. By coordinating our efforts by way of having northern stations beam southward, and vice-versa, we think we can improve our QSO numbers and, in the process, demonstrate to a lot of hams the long-distance capabilities of our VHF/UHF bands.

The concept is outlined below, and if you find this of interest perhaps you could include mention of this effort in upcoming bulletins:

During Field Day, let’s take advantage of our local ham population throughout the state of California by participating in a “North-South Activity Hour” beginning at 8 PM PDST (0300 UTC) Saturday night. FD VHF stations in Southern California will beam north, and stations in Northern/Central California will beam south, with activity centering between 144.220 and 144.260 MHz on SSB (or CW). At 8:30 PM (0330 UTC), activity switches to 432 MHz, with activity centering between 432.110 and 432.150 MHz SSB/CW. Come back to 2 meters once done on 432.

FD stations with other bands like 222 MHz can “move”  each other from the above activity centers.

The idea of this coordinated activity is to get North/South stations beaming toward each other, in a concentrated effort, at a time when tropospheric propagation generally is best. Long term, Field Day is a great way to expose a large number of amateurs to new bands and modes, and this kind of an activity boost is a great way to demonstrate the long-distance capabilities of our VHF and UHF bands.

We hope that everyone will spread the word to  be sure their “free” VHF/UHF station on Field Day gets on 144/432 MHz SSB/CW between 8 PM and 9 PM Saturday night. There are lots of hams here in California–let’s work each other!

Thanks and 73,

Chip Margelli, K7JA