CAARC Participation in 2020 ARRL Field Day`

Keeping accurate log of your Field Day QSOs is important.

You may log on paper. ARRL provides Log Sheets to download at http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Field-Day/2019/2019%20FD%20Log%20Sheet.pdf .

When you are reporting, the ARRL asks for a “Dupe Sheet”, they can be downloaded from http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Field-Day/2019/2018-Field-Day-2-page-dupesheet.pdf . You can print them double sided on 8 1/2x11” paper. You could use one for each expected band-mode on which you will operate. In contests before computer logging was/is applied, dupe sheets were used to quickly see if a particular station had been worked. That would save time and probably lead to higher scores for all stations, because a second contact on the same band mode between two stations does not increase the score. So, enter the QSO in the log, then quickly enter the call sign in the dupe sheet under the appropriate heading. At the end of the Field Day period count up all the call signs of station worked in each band-mode for competing your station report. It is probably better to work directly on the log sheet rather than use scratch paper, you can strike through “busted” contacts but you won’t forget and won’t need time to transcribe at the end.

Michael KB9VBR states that logging on paper gets “really cumbersome” if you make more than 50 QSOs in his presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W48NZVngQ6A about preparing for Field Day. He is suggesting computer logging if you expect more. He is expecting to use the N3FJP ARRL Field Day Contest Log Software.

Contest logging programs check for Duplicate.

Many logging programs support Computer Aided Tuning which reads the radio for frequency and mode directly into the log entry (often you set the radio for SSB for digital, you may have to correct this). If used this ensures that the band is correct (I have caused logging to the wrong band, all it takes is to forget to change the band on the logging sofrware when changing the band on the transceiver)

Many will also send CW keying to the transceiver, sending pre-determined messages which are set up in the software. The operator at the other end will thank me for not trying to use my key or my paddle!

Also, many programs will integrate with digital engines. Remember that digital QSOs are worth twice the points of voice QSOs.

From ARRL (with notes by VA6SJA added in Brackets):

Field Day Logging Software-

The following logging software is known to offer support for Field Day, and can be used for logging Field Day contacts. …(snipped/VA6SJA)

  • FDLog    http://www.fdlog.info/ (watch web site for FD2020 software update) (VA6SJA : free, donations accepted, not obvious if it can do CW keying, or how it integrates with digital engines, Works in Windows, can be made to work in Linux and Mac if Python also installed.)
  • N3FJP    https://www.n3fjp.com/fieldday.html (updated for FD2020) (VA6SJA : costs US$8.99  for full functionality of more than 30 QSOs,, for Windows, Can set up for CAT,Can set up messages for CW Keying, will integrate with many kinds of digital engines, creates Field Day Summary.)
  • N1MM+  https://n1mmwp.hamdocs.com/ (updated for FD2020) (VA6SJA : Free, for Windows, Can set up for CAT, supports digital voice keying,  will key CW, integrates with many digital engines.)
  • SkookumLogger (Mac OS)   https://www.k1gq.com/SkookumLogger/ (updated for FD2020) (VA6SJA : free, for Macs – does not key CW directly, requires a K1EL WinKeyer or a YCCC SO2R Box to send CW.)”

It is important to have your computer set to the correct time, and even more so if  you are using that computer for digital modes.

It is probably easier if you use your computer for scrap paper, these programs include a quick erase or wipe function. Direct entry into the computer helps you find duplicates and only allows certain entries for Class or Section so you won’t be puzzled by the bad handwriting with incorrect Sections.

Watch Scott’s N3FJP’s YouTube video on the basic operation of his software. It is informative about Field Day and the use of his software:

https://youtu.be/DJEIXuoKWqc

Coming next Let’s Just Do It!

Background, official rules, and many hints can be found at http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Field-Day/2020/2020%20Field%20Day%20Packet(1).pdf .

ARRL’s official Field Day site is  http://www.arrl.org/field-day .

Comments or questions to Paul VA6MPM (find his email on QRZ.com), or John VA6SJA, va6sja@rac.ca .

John VA6SJA and Paul VA6MPM