Report: Winter Field Day 2020

On Saturday, February 25, 2020, members of the ACARA participated in the 2020 running of the Winter Field Day Association’s Winter Field Day (link) in the Jim Crouse Memorial Radio Station at the Red Cross of Southeastern Ohio.

While the Winter Field Day event ran for 24 hours starting at 2pm local time on Saturday, the ACARA limited their participation to about six hours on Saturday. The ACARA competed in class 1I (“One India”), meaning “one transmitter, indoors”, and operated CW and SSB on 20m, 40m, and 80m.

This was the inaugural operation at the new Jim Crouse Memorial Radio Station and the first significant use of the club’s recently purchased Elecraft K3 transceiver. Because the station’s primary multi-band HF antenna, a roof-mounted Hustler 5-BTV vertical, had fallen onto the roof and there wasn’t time to make repairs, the club saw Winter Field Day as an opportunity to practice deployment and use of an emergency field antenna system, a Maple Leaf Designs / QSO King 59′ multi-band end-fed wire antenna and a Spiderbeam 40′ telescoping fiberglass mast loaned to the club by Josh Cash, KE8EAS.

Dave Bradley, N8DWB, of the Red Cross of Southeastern Ohio, saw ACARA’s Winter Field Day operation at the Red Cross as an opportunity to train new Red Cross volunteers in mass-care and feeding using the ACARA members as evacuees in a virtual Red Cross shelter. Several Red Cross members received valuable training and the ACARA members received dinner as well as a feel for what a Red Cross shelter might feel like during a real emergency.

Band conditions were terrible during Winter Field Day 2020 and operators had to struggle to make contacts. At the end of the operation, the final QSO count was 76 QSOs, broken down as follows:

80m CW 11
80m SSB 3
40m CW 46
40m SSB 12
20m CW 3
20m CW 0

The club earned a total of 135 QSO points, a score-multiplier of 5 (five mode/band combinations), a score multipler of 2 (output power of 100 watts or less), and 1,500 bonus points (for operating away from home), for a total score of 2,850 points.

Dave Bradley, N8DWB
John McCutcheon, N8XWO
Eric McFadden, WD8RIF
Miles McFadden, KD8KNC
Vickie McFadden, KC8MAJ
Bob Moore, KC8KSM
Paul Schulz, WD8SCV
Bob Weber (as-yet unlicensed)
Joe Weber, KE8LRZ

The multi-band end-fed wire and 40′ Spiderbeam mast deployed at the Red Cross of Southeastern Ohio
Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, operates CW while Bob Moore, KC8KSM looks on
Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, operates SSB
Joe Weber, KE8LRZ, operates SSB
David Bradley, N8DWB, operates SSB while Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, logs and Bob Weber looks on