Updates on Field Day 2020
Hello SARA and Forsyth ARES Members!
We have held off making a decision on if and how SARA will conduct Field Day 2020 as long as we can. This update will outline our PROPOSED Field Day participation format for 2020.
Let me begin, first, however by laying out the context and environmental factors behind what we are about to announce:
Certainly no one needs to be reminded that we are in the throes of an unprecedented coronavirus pandemic in COVID 19
Georgia Governor Kemp has extended the ‘shelter in place’ order for those over 65 – and may even extend it further such that it would include the Field Day dates
Those that do go into pubic are still expected to ‘social distance’ and face masks are recommended
The very nature of Field Day, sitting side by side another operator for an hour or more, using the same microphones and keyboards and community dining, all violate these social distancing guidelines
And lastly, ARRL has not modified the Field Day rules to make any accommodation for this national pandemic
Therefore, thinking clearly about all this, it really does boil down to two options:
1. Disregard all advice/caution and attempt some version of ‘normal’ Field Day
2. Convert to individual (or pairs) Entry Categories for Field Day participation
SARA is choosing Number 2 for 2020 Field Day participation!
See ARRL Entry Categories definitions below.
Remember that Field Day is not a ‘contest’… rather, the purpose is:
Work as many stations as possible on Amateur Bands
Learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions
Developing skills to meet the challenges of emergency preparedness
Here are the specifics we are recommending for SARA Field Day 2020:
Go to www.arrl.org/field-day and get the latest on both rules and advice from ARRL and study these for yourself.
If you study the ARRL Rules closely under Section 4. Entry Categories, you will note there are only two Entry Categories that are NOT open to people operating as individuals or pairs. 4.1. (Class A) Club / non-club portable: Club or a non-club group of three or more persons and 4.8. (Class F) Emergency Operations Centers (EOC): An amateur radio station at an established EOC activated by a club or non-club group … these are the only options you DO NOT HAVE!
Here are the options you can consider:
· 4.3. (Class B) One or two person portable
· 4.4. (Class B – Battery) One or two person portable
· 4.5. (Class C) Mobile: Stations in vehicles capable of operating while in motion and normally operated in this manner.
· 4.6. (Class D) Home stations: Stations operating from permanent or licensed station locations using commercial power. Class D stations may only count contacts made with Class A, B, C, E and F Field Day stations. — There has been discussion of modifying this rule for 2020 – but so far, IT HAS NOT BEEN CHANGED
· 4.7. (Class E) Home stations – Emergency power: Same as Class D, but using emergency power for transmitters and receivers. Class E may work all Field Day stations.
3. Your antenna systems will be key – so start preparing now…
4. Only Class A (Club) stations have a prescribed time to begin set up – other Category stations have no such limitations… so start preparing now!
5. Start and End times will remain the same (see www.arrl.org/field-day)
6. Check in on the SARA Club Repeater 147.150 MHz at the top of each hour during the event to share your contact info and operating tips, band conditions, etc.
7. Facebook Groups are also encouraged to share information
As this information is written in mid-May and Field Day is still about 6 weeks away, some additional rule changes or other considerations are possible, so stay tuned for additional email if such changes do occur…
Come Join Us at an Upcoming SARA Meeting- Currently Virtual ONLY
SARA actively welcomes new members and encourages licensed and non-licensed individuals to join SARA members at the monthly meeting to learn more about Amateur Radio. Let us introduce you to our hobby while you visit one of the best clubs in the area.
If you are just starting out in amateur radio, we invite you to any of our upcoming events. Let us introduce you to our hobby while you visit one of the best clubs in the area.