Interim Field-Day-@Home Update

Eastern Mass Section summary from ARRL Contest Branch logs-received as of 7/19

Deadline for FD logs is as usual one month, so 7/28. Clubs can check for members’ logs via Contest Branch Logs Received.

As of today, there are 150+ FD logs citing EMA as the section, with 19 clubs with 2+ entries (total 117 stations),  plus a handful of  single club home stations and representing clubs spanning multiple sections, and a couple dozen 28 claiming no club affiliation. Compared to 39 station logs in 2019, this is a very successful COVID-19 Field Day @Home for EMA.

Status (as of 7/19)
140 Complete
17 Pending documents

count Club
28 (blank)
1 3730 GROUP
6 Algonquin Amateur Radio Club
5+1 Barnstable Amateur Radio Club; Barnstable ARC
6 Billerica Amateur Radio Society
2 Blackstone Valley ARC
3 Boston ARC
3+1 Cape Ann ARA, Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association (W1GLO)
1 Charlotte Amateur Radio Society, Inc.
8+1 Framingham Amateur Radio Association, 1 Framingham ARA
4 K1USN Radio Club
1 Long Island CW Club
1 Montachusett ARA
6 Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club
2 Nashua Area Radio Society
2 Providence RA
1 QRP Amateur Radio Club International
1 Quannapowitt Radio Association – W1EKT
1 Ski Country ARC
1 Southborough Rod & Gun ARC
1 Southeastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association (SEMARA)
3 The Whitman Amateur Radio Club
4 “W1HP”
5 Waltham ARA
7+1 Whitman Amateur Radio Club, Whitman ARC
1 Yankee Clipper Contest Club

Stations needing to adjust Club spelling by 7/28 to roll up cleanly –
AK1MD Complete Wellesley ARS 1D EMA
K1UR Complete Framingham ARA 1D EMA
N1STV Complete Whitman ARC 1D EMA
W4RIG Complete Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association (W1GLO) 1D EMA
W1LEM Pending documents Barnstable ARC 1D EMA

(That’s remarkably good conformity in spelling. I’m guessing the fullcaps vs lowercase is a result of using different logging software ?? )

count Class/Category
1 3A
5 1B1
5 1B1B
1 1B2B
106 1D
5 2D
1 3D
31 1E
1 4E

The proportion of 1E, 1B stations on emergency or battery power at home is gratifying, keeping the spirit of Field Day alive.

EMA Stations with Transmitters > 1 (while safely social distancing,  we hope) –
K1IR 3D Billerica Amateur Radio Society
K1WMC 2D Blackstone Valley ARC
N1EM 3A Algonquin Amateur Radio Club
W1FM 2D Yankee Clipper Contest Club
W1SRG 2D Southborough Rod & Gun ARC

Kudos to Ron WA1QZK who forwarded his 4E social distancing plan that included hand-sanitizer station at cellar exterior door and dispersed operating desks.

PART of Westford 2020 Field Day Awards

PART of Westford logoPART of Westford will hold a fun competition to recognize members who operated in the 2020 Field Day and who finish first in several categories:

  • Highest number of contacts (subcategories: overall, CW, Phone, Digital, VHF/UHF)
  • Highest score
  • Highest score by a Technician
  • Farthest DX
  • “Home Run”–at least one contact on each mode (SSB, CW, digital, and VHF-FM simplex)

Club president George Allison, K1IG, asks applicants to email him once they receive confirmation from ARRL Headquarters that their logs have been received. He adds, “this is all on the honor system.” 

Winners will be announced at the August PART meeting.


Severe Weather & Amateur Radio Field Day Weekend Coordination Message #5

SKYWARN logoThe following is the fifth and final message in a series of messages on Amateur Radio Field Day Weekend and providing information on the weather during this period. This is a tradition spanning over 17 years for Amateur Radio Operators involved with Field Day and the NWS Boston/Norton SKYWARN Program.
After the Saturday afternoon and early evening beneficial rain of around 0.10″-0.90″ around the area with lesser amounts in parts of Northeast Massachusetts, Sunday will feature a warm and humid day with the potential for isolated to scattered strong to severe thunderstorms across the region. The most likely timeframe is from 3-9 PM but some activity could start as early as 12-1 PM Sunday. [Full story]

Severe Weather & Amateur Radio Field Day Weekend Coordination Message #3

SKYWARN logoThe following is the third in a series of messages on Amateur Radio Field Day Weekend and providing information on the weather during this period. This is a tradition spanning over 17 years for Amateur Radio Operators involved with Field Day and the NWS Boston/Norton SKYWARN Program.
2020 Field Day weekend will mostly be dry but has potential shower and thunderstorm risks in isolated to scattered locations each day including the threat for isolated to scattered strong to severe thunderstorms and becoming hot and humid Saturday and Sunday.
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has continued much of Southern New England in a Marginal Risk for Severe Weather. The Slight risk area has been shifted southwest of the NWS Norton coverage area. Doppler Radar at 1115 AM shows an area of rain and possible embedded thunderstorms that poses little severe risk. It will then become warmer and more humid late Saturday Afternoon and evening. Clearing behind this area of rain will determine the risk for any severe weather Saturday. If clearing and heating can develop and the warm front pass far enough north, there would be the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms with strong to damaging winds, hail and torrential rainfall leading to urban and poor drainage flooding as the main threats but a secondary threat for an isolated tornado as well. That said, the risk for today seems a bit lower than yesterday based on model trends and the timing of the current area of rain but still be monitored. [Full story]

Scattered Strong to Severe Storms Possible on Field Day Weekend, June 27-28, 2020

SKYWARN logoRob Macedo, KD1CY, writes:
Need to keep an eye on the severe weather potential for the entire timeframe of Field Day Weekend but especially the Saturday Afternoon/Evening timeframe and the Sunday Afternoon/evening timeframe. While we don’t have many “traditional” Field Day sites setup, there are a few and also those that have home station field setups that will want to monitor the severe weather potential. I’ll be updating the Amateur Radio Field Day/Severe Weather Coordination Message in the next couple of hours. I’ve elected to copy EMA ARRL Staff for their awareness as well.
Rob M.
———- Forwarded message ———
From: BOX Operations – NOAA Service Account <>
Date: Fri, Jun 26, 2020 at 2:31 PM
Subject: [2020-06-26 PM] NWS Boston EM Briefing – Scattered Strong to Severe Storms Possible This Weekend
Good afternoon everyone, 
Severe thunderstorms are possible Saturday and Sunday across parts of Southern New England. With the weekend ahead of us, we wanted to get this heads-up e-mail out early for your awareness.
Rain during the first part of the day gives way to thunderstorms in the afternoon and early evening.
Timing: Mid-afternoon to early Saturday evening.
Locations: Possible anywhere, but the best chance is near and south of the Massachusetts Turnpike/I-90. 
Severe Thunderstorm Threats: Primarily damaging straight-line winds and hail up to 1″ in diameter. While the overall risk is very low, an isolated tornado is possible.
Confidence: Moderate. How much Southern New England can warm up will greatly impact the severe thunderstorm potential.
The severe thunderstorm outlook for Saturday from the Storm Prediction Center is highlighted below:
New England weather map prediction for June 27, 2020
A few severe thunderstorms are possible later in the day Sunday ahead of a cold front.
Timing: Best chance is late-afternoon to mid-evening Sunday; isolated storms possible between early to mid-afternoon.
Locations: Possible anywhere, but the best chance is western and central Massachusetts, northern Rhode Island and much of northern Connecticut.
Severe Thunderstorm Threats: Damaging straight-line winds and hail up to 1″ in diameter.
Confidence: Moderate. Isolated strong/severe storms could be possible before late in the day but the best chance is with the cold front arriving later in the day into mid-evening.
The severe thunderstorm outlook for Sunday is highlighted below:
New England weather prediction map for June 28, 2020
Thank You!
Meteorologists Andrew Loconto and Rodney Chai

If you have any questions or would like more information, don’t hesitate to contact us via this email address, on NWSChat, or at the following:

National Weather Service Boston/Norton, MA
46 Commerce Way

Norton, MA 02766


PART of Westford Meeting Online, June 16, 2020

PART of Westford logoGeorge Allison, K1IG, writes on the PART of Westford mailing list:

Our next club meeting will be conducted via Webex video conference starting at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, June 16.  As usual, you can check in after 7:00 PM to test your equipment. See below for the login information.

The topic of this meeting is Field Day. I hope you’re all planning on making at least a few contacts from your home station or a portable setup and adding to the PART score. This year’s Field Day could have more stations on the air than ever before, so it’s your opportunity to make a LOT of contacts!

At this meeting we’ll go over:

  • How you can participate from home
  • Types of stations you can set up and the Field Day exchange for each
  • How to make contacts and log them. Technicians are part of this event too; we’ll set up special times for Techs (and others) to make contacts on VHF/UHF
  • How to get bonus points
  • How to submit an entry — we’ll walk you through the entry form and show you how to properly enter data to give yourself and the club the most points.

You can get a head start by reading the Field Day rules here.  If you have questions, you can ask them at the meeting.  After the meeting I’ll send out a summary of important information.

At the end of my presentation, I’ll invite you to tell the club what you plan to do for Field Day.

[Contact George Allison, K1IG, for Webex conference meeting information at k1ig -at- arrl -dot- net]

ARRL Contest Program Issues Field Day 2020 FAQ

From ARRL Web, 06/09/2020:


The ARRL Contest Program has released some Frequently Asked Questions related to the Field Day temporary rule waivers. On May 28, the ARRL Programs and Services Committee (PSC) adopted these provisions only for the June 27 – 28, 2020, event: (1) Class D stations may work all other Field Day stations, including other Class D stations, for points, and (2) an aggregate club score will be published, which will be the sum of all individual entries that indicate a specific club. Contact the ARRL Contest Program with any questions related to Field Day 2020.

Q: Several of our club members are going to operate independently and wish to attribute their scores to the aggregate club score. What call sign should they use?

A: Participants should use their own call signs. Except for Class C (mobile) entries, all transmitters, receivers, and antennas must be located within a 1,000-foot-diameter circle may operate using a single call sign. This prohibits the use of a single call sign from more than one location. Under the 2020 waiver, those operating from home, including backyard operations, must use their own station call signs. Multiple home stations operating with a club call sign or modified club call sign, such as W1AW-1, W1AW-2, W1AW-3, etc, are not allowed.

Q: How does my club submit an aggregate club score?  Does the club need to add up each participating member’s scores and submit a club entry with the aggregate score under the club call sign?

A: Each participant will submit his or her own independent entry under his or her call sign. ARRL will calculate the aggregate score based upon the club name entered on the official Field Day entry form via the web applet (preferred method) or on the paper Field Day entry form. In order for results to be tabulated correctly, all club participants must enter the club’s official name exactly the same, avoiding abbreviations or acronyms. This is important!

Q: Our group is still planning to operate at the usual Field Day site, but some members do not feel comfortable gathering in a large group this year. Can we still submit an entry using the club call sign, as well as have members operating from home using their own call signs?

A: Yes. If your club is still hosting a group Field Day effort, it will submit an entry as usual, using the club call sign. Club members operating at home will submit separate entries with their own call signs and will enter the club name on the entry form for club aggregate scoring.

Q: Can a club member operate from home using the club call sign?

A: Yes, but the call sign may only be used in one location. The member must receive permission from the trustee of the club call sign.

Q: Our club normally enters Field Day in Class A. If we operate from our home stations, in which class should individual members enter in order to be included in the aggregate club score?

A: Each member will operate independently and will submit the entry using whatever class that applies to their operation. Typically, home stations running on commercial ac power are Class D, while home stations running on battery, solar, generator, or the like (i.e., not from ac mains) are Class E. When the results are published, each club member will be listed in the results under the class in which they operated. For 2020 only, aggregate club scores will be listed by the club name in a separate listing.

Q: Our club will have 10 members operating from home as Class D stations. Should they worry about working the same station on the same band and mode (duplicates)?

A: Because members are operating as separate entries using their own call signs, the contacts are not considered duplicates.

Q: Does the club need to be an ARRL-affiliated club to participate in Field Day?

A: No. All clubs and groups are welcome to participate in ARRL Field Day.

Q: How will bonus points be calculated for the aggregate club scores? Can individual club members still earn bonus points?

A: All individual scores, including bonus points, will be added together to determine the aggregate club score. Refer to the complete rules to determine eligibility for bonus points. — Thanks to Paul Bourque, N1SFE, ARRL Contest Program Manager


Temporary Rule Waivers Announced for 2020 ARRL Field Day

From ARRL Web:

With one month to go before 2020 ARRL Field Day, June 27 – 28, the ARRL Programs and Services Committee (PSC) has adopted two temporary rule waivers for the event:

1)      For Field Day 2020 only, Class D stations may work all other Field Day stations, including other Class D stations, for points.

Field Day rule 4.6 defines Class D stations as “Home stations,” including stations operating from permanent or licensed station locations using commercial power. Class D stations ordinarily may only count contacts made with Class A, B, C, E, and F Field Day stations, but the temporary rule waiver for 2020 allows Class D stations to count contacts with other Class D stations for QSO credit.

2)      In addition, for 2020 only, an aggregate club score will be published, which will be the sum of all individual entries indicating a specific club (similar to the aggregate score totals used in ARRL affiliated club competitions).

Ordinarily, club names are only published in the results for Class A and Class F entries, but the temporary rule waiver for 2020 allows participants from any Class to optionally include a single club name with their submitted results following Field Day.

For example, if Podunk Hollow Radio Club members Becky, W1BXY, and Hiram, W1AW, both participate in 2020 Field Day — Hiram from his Class D home station, and Becky from her Class C mobile station — both can include the radio club’s name when reporting their individual results. The published results listing will include individual scores for Hiram and Becky, plus a combined score for all entries identified as Podunk Hollow Radio Club.

The temporary rule waivers were adopted by the PSC on May 27, 2020.

ARRL Field Day is one of the biggest events on the amateur radio calendar, with over 36,000 participants in 2019, including entries from 3,113 radio clubs and emergency operations centers. In most years, Field Day is also the largest annual demonstration of ham radio, because many radio clubs organize their participation in public places such as parks and schools.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many radio clubs have made decisions to cancel their group participation in ARRL Field Day this year due to public health recommendations and/or requirements, or to significantly modify their participation for safe social distancing practices. The temporary rule waivers allow greater flexibility in recognizing the value of individual and club participation regardless of entry class.

ARRL is contacting logging program developers about the temporary rule waivers so developers can release updated versions of their software prior to Field Day weekend. Participants are reminded that the preferred method of submitting entries after Field Day is via the web applet. The ARRL Field Day rules include instructions for submitting entries after the event. Entries must be submitted or postmarked by Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

The ARRL Field Day web page includes a series of articles with ideas and advice for adapting participation this year.

ARRL Suggests Taking a Creative Approach to Field Day 2020

From ARRL Web:

04/22/2020 – This year, ARRL Field Day promises to be a unique iteration of this annual event, with many individuals and groups coming up with new and interesting ways to adjust their approach. As an event, Field Day is structured to be versatile and can be adapted for any situation.

Many groups have asked how they can adjust their Field Day planning to address social-distancing guidelines that may be in effect in many areas of the country, as gathering at their traditional Field Day site may not be feasible or safe. Instead of participating in a group event this year, consider operating as a Class B, C, D, or E station, utilizing your own call sign.

ARRL will include club names for all participating stations in the published results, so the efforts of your club’s members can be acknowledged. While we will not publish an aggregate club score, seeing the name of your club associated with various individual member’s results is certainly a way to highlight your club’s activity. [Full story]

Field Day 2020 — A Time to Adapt

From ARRL Web:

Many individuals and groups organizing events for Field Day 2020 have been contacting ARRL for guidance on how to adapt their planned activities in this unprecedented time of social distancing and uncertainty.

“Due to the unique situation presented this year, this can be an opportunity for you, your club, and/or group to try something new,” ARRL Contest Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, said. “Field Day isn’t about doing things the same way year after year. Use this year to develop and employ a new approach that is in line with the current circumstances.” [Full story]

Boston ARC Field Day at Bare Cove Fire Museum, Hingham, June 22-23, 2019

Boston ARC logoJoe Chapman, NV1W, writes in the June issue of BARC’s The Sparc:

Field Day is less than two weeks away, on June 22 and 23, and as usual, [the Boston Amateur Radio Club] will be operating from the Bare Cove Fire Museum in Hingham. This is a high point of the year for me and for many other BARC members as well. If you’ve never been to Field Day before, consider joining us on Saturday, Sunday, or both. At the very least, consider coming for the cookout on Saturday.

We’ll start setting up on Saturday morning, and in addition to helping out, you’ll also learn a lot about setting up a station and erecting temporary antennas. It’s always fun to see what equipment others bring, and if you avoid buying ham equipment in the weeks after Field Day you have more self-control than I do.

Operating starts at 14:00 on Saturday. There will be plenty of Extra class licensees available to pair up with Technicians who want to try out HF. You may want to learn about a new mode like PSK31, or just watch experienced operators work. Even old dogs will find plenty of new tricks to learn.

I hope at long last to demonstrate a successful satellite contact. The SSB/CW satellite FO-29 will have a nice high pass starting at 16:40 on Saturday afternoon that looks perfect. To quote Bullwinkle J. Moose, this time for sure!

Northeast Amateur Radio Club Field Day, June 22-23, 2019, Humarock Point, Scituate

Bill Kretschmer, N2KNL, writes on the Pilgrim ARC web site:

The Northeast Amateur Radio Club, N1ERC, will conduct Field Day at the Fourth Cliff Recreation Area at Humarock Point in Scituate on Friday and Saturday, June 22-23, 2019.

Pilgrim ARC members Russ Apgar, K1RTA, (NEARC President) and Bill Kretschmer, N2KNL,  (NEARC Vice President) and other members will set up a tower trailer, antennas and transceivers on Friday, June 21. We will have cookouts Friday and Saturday evenings, and group breakfasts at the Omelet Factory in Pembroke on Friday and Saturday mornings.

If you would like to attend the event and join our club, feel free to bring food and drinks. The site is about 90 minutes from the Cape Cod area. MA State Route 3, Marshfield Exit 12, then east to Humarock Point overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Overnight camping is available on site.

Humarock Point is located on an Air Force campground. The area was originally used during World War II. There were two active six-inch gun turrets and a control bunker.  A personal note: I have attended many field day events since 1990. This is the most scenic location I have ever been to.

Sturdy Memorial Hospital ARC Field Day 2019

Sturdy Memorial Hospital ARCJust a reminder that Field Day is the weekend of June 22nd and 23rd [at World War I Memorial Park in in North Attleboro]. Setup will begin at about 9 AM on Saturday. Operation will start at 2 PM. Operation will stop at 2 PM on Sunday and tear down will finish up at about 4:30 PM.

If you have not been able to attend the club meetings this is your chance to get involved again. If you would like to help setup or tear down and all help is welcome please come on down. If you would like to operate please let me know by return email what day and times you are available.

Keep in mind that if you are not licensed for HF you can still operate with a higher licensed operator as control operator.
We will even have the opportunity for unlicensed visitors get on the air with control operators.

Talk in will be on the K1SMH 147.195+ 127.3 repeater.

Come on down and have some fun and get back into the swing of things.

Tnx 73 
SMHARC Secretary

Notes on Field Day Band/Transmitter Control


Field Day rules include a requirement to prevent two transmitters being on the same “band”. (for purposes of contest, that means Band & Mode pair, where Mode is one of Data, Code, Phone – FM, AM, SSB are same “mode” for Field Day contest “Band” purposes.) 

As always, these notes are a general discussion, be sure to check the latest current rules package (including the Field Day Rules, ARRL general rules, and general rules for below 30MHz and above 50MHz).

Tricky bits:

  • If more than one HF transmitter with key or with mic, must ensure they don’t wind up on same band at same time. (One with key, one with mic on same band is OK by rules but may interfere with each-others reception.)
  • on VHF+ (and including 10m), FM and SSB/AM are both Phone, so must ensure no Field Day contacts made on Simplex FM when VHF “Weak Signal” (WS) station is working 2m SSB.
  • 146.52 is no longer legal for Field Day. (Some say it never was, but HQ once told me it was.)
  • DUPS — If a different position at your station works the same band/mode later, having acquired the token, if they work a station  already worked from the first position, it’s a duplicate (“Dup”) and doesn’t count for points. This is embarrassing (and a waste of time) if they tell us, and negates points later for both of us if caught later.
    So positions need access to a single per-band/mode duplicate check, typically dup-sheet or dup-file passed to second.
    On the other hand, If they call us, they may not have it logged right, so it may be worth working them again.

The solutions to Transmitter Control and Dups prevention/detection tend to work hand-in-hand.

Transmitter Control

Visible control – tokens & boards

A central table has a board with a series of tokens, one for each authorized transmitter (including both the free and the counted); tokens not in use cover a number, so the number in use and free are obvious at a glance. This may be the same or a different board listing your “exchange” of Category and Section, e.g. “3A EMA“.

Token board
Minimalist Token board, wood with nails, one token per HF band only. (W1BOS; Photo: N1VUX)

Also posted at central table is a board of tokens for all possible band-mode “bands”, making it immediately obvious which are in use or reserved, and which are available. (UHF+ Phone and UHF+ CW likely combined on two tokens if planning “moving stations up” at same position.)

(A third board for antenna-to-position assignments is possible for public information, but the COAX is its own  token for antenna assignment! A Whiteboard connecting Tent/Desk numbers to Antenna pictures with lines and words denoting Band/mode would be good for Public Information but doesn’t provide positive control they way Tokens do, but may be sufficient for a small FD operation.)

Each Station also has a smaller card or board, on which to post one or more transmitter tokens and one or more band tokens, showing what it’s authorized band(s)/mode(s) are.

Each transmitter operating position at the FD station should have a have a full set of references – ARRL FD rules, and your Token control rules; and ARRL Section id list!

Rules for control

HF rules: An operating position with one transmitter must have one transmitter token posted along with band-mode tokens for each band and mode being monitored next to the transmitters’ tokens. 
(Formerly, a band-agile HF position required a number of tokens equal to the number of bands transmitted on in any 15 minute span. In the modern multi-band mobile era this has bee dropped.) 
QSY to a band is only allowed if it is next to a transmitter token.

VHF+ rules: Each VHF+ Operating position needs as many tokens as transmitters being simultaneously operated (number of QSO operators), with all bands in use on that token posted next to it.

Physical: Tokens and central & station signboards should be small and durable, with some means to mate tokens to the display board.

  • magnetic material – which can now be fed through inkjet printers.
  • metal-rimmed cardstock key tags hung on cup-hooks on wooden board
  • cardboard / plastic pockets holding poker-chips technology
  • Vecro™ and poker chips – different colors for different kinds (Counted Tx / Free Tx, Phone /CW/Data), Brother™ label-maker text?

Central board has digits 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 to be covered by Tx tokens. A reusable board my have numbers higher than this year’s exchange authorized covered by Painter’s Removable Tape and their counted Tx tokens filed away for next year.) The Board needs extra spots for each Free transmitter’s token when not in use (GOTA, first VHF, Satellite).

A similar board with a spot for each band/mode token would show at a glance which bands available/in use. 

The control table might want a separate poster or whiteboard as a checklist for which Bonuseshave been scored, are in progress, and remain to be scored as a visible reminder system.

Duplicate Prevention/ Detection

Modern multi-station context operation uses networked computers and a realtime shared Log and Dup database. If doing that, you can ignore this section, it’s automatic.

Just make sure the laptops have good batteries (or external UPS) so they don’t crash when the generator providing A/C is refueled and consider RF chokes on the CAT5/CAT6 network cables. (The networking hub may need a small UPS too unless passive.)

Computer per mode or band/mode (Dups)

For smaller operations, non-networked laptops can work fine, with logs and dup-sheets being merged afterwards.  This is somewhat drastic, but if bands were sensibly grouped in a 3A or 5A operation with… all HF phone on one laptop, all HF CW on another, all VHF+ on a third,… moving the Dup log is automatic by moving the laptops.

For larger number of physical transmitters, group bands that don’t open at the same time on the same computer. Transmitter control is automatic, you need the logging computer for the band/mode. How to label the laptops is left as an exercise.

Diskette per band (Dups)

In the old days, passing a diskette around was a file sharing mechanism.  Having the logging program’s log and dup data on a diskette allowed the Diskette to a Band Token! Pop in the diskette for the band you’re working, you’ve automatically got the right dup-file.

For a larger operation would still want visible tokens on the visual control board, so Diskette & Visible Token must pass together. Only diskettes matching the token should be used. 

This could be updated to use thumbdrives, and they are visibible while in use, but they’re small enough to disappear in the grass at FD — and suffer from the problem of data-loss with failure to click-to-eject-nicely.

Log-sheet / dup-sheet per band – real paper (Dups)

Only the Dup Sheet must be turned into HQ. Computer logs and even log sheets are not required. (But they now reward a bonus for computer upload of the Dup sheet, so this is discouraged now.)

So the Dup Sheet is the important record! Paper logging is immune to power glitches, cheaper, and easier to correct. Penmanship can be a problem.
Each “Band” (band-mode) has One active dup-sheet, paired with the Band/Mode Token or as the Token in a smaller operation not using Visual Control. Active sheet must be returned with Token to Central file, and checked out with token. 

NIMS (ICS) for Field Day Planning

The National Incident Management System (NIMS)

not just for Disasters any more
not just for Command any more

Many of the “served agencies” in our ARES work will be trained in, and use during emergencies, a common jargon and organizational structure called “NIMS” (or NIIMS; formerly called ICS). This is an outgrowth of experiences in California wildfire management, where firefighters and other emergency personnel from various agencies regularly have to work together in different groupings than they’ve drilled. Use of NIMS is now mandatory on all Fire departments and HazMat operations (including private sector!) has been adopted by FEMA and MEMA and increasing numbers of local Emergency Management Agencies (EMA’s).


Incident Command Org chart
Standard Wildfire / Firefighting / Disaster NIMS/ICS structure, from FEMA standards

NIMS has been used for planning in advance and execution of non-emergency events. For instance, according to the FEMA trainer, Fidelity (the major Boston investment house) planned and executed it’s annual employee Christmas party (a pretty big event) using NIMS (which was a major success, and validated their use of NIMS for both business and environmental emergencies).

Incidents/Events that can Utilize the NIMS Incident Command System

  • Fires, hazardous materials, and multi-casualty incidents.
  • Single and multi-agency law enforcement incidents.
  • Multi-jurisdiction and multi-agency disaster responses.
  • Search and rescue missions.
  • Oil spill response and recovery incidents.
  • Air, rail, water, or ground transportation accidents.
  • Planned events, e.g., celebrations, parades, concerts.
  • Private sector emergency management programs.17-03-I402-SL

It will be easier for us to provide communications support to served-agencies’ operations if we are comfortable with their jargons and drills too. Indeed, demonstrated familiarity with their procedures and jargon may be necessary to get the foot in the door in some situations.
Training in NIMS is available through FEMA/MEMA, on the WWW, private-sector commercial training, and (unofficially) via ARES.

NIMS and Field Day Planning

Most clubs have a usual committee structure for their Field Day planning. The people planning and the people doing on Field Day are probably the same people — and are exhausted by the time to clean up and prepare the logs for transmission. Most clubs’ usual committee structures are probably — due to the structures of common sense — similar to the NIMS-inspired structure proposed below. Some clubs may even already have assigned clean-up/demobilization/after-FD roles, which are so useful to avoid volunteer burn-out. The major advantages predicted for using NIMS titles for your FD committees are (a) practice with the served-agency jargon; (b) emphasis on staffing by specific responsibility and in shifts; (c) remembering to plan and recruit for take-down and follow-up as well as the more glamorous set-up and operations.

NIMS Structure for Field Day Planning & Operations

The following is offered as a customizable template, not a carved-in-stone one-true-way. Clubs should do what feels natural, don’t wreck your Field Day! But if they can migrate towards using NIMS terminology and structures in their major events such as Field Day and PSE’s (public service events), they’ll be better positioned to provide communications to events and emergency agencies using the NIMS. So feel free to edit the heck out this for your club, adjusting for how your club is comfortable dividing responsibility.

NIMS ICS for Field Day
NIMS ICS for Field Day

You don’t need a large bureaucracy to do this … One tenet of NIMS is that several conceptual levels of hierarchy can be internalized into one person. The person responsible for a function splits out only the sub-roles that need delegating: but the NIMSNames for the Roles let him/her quickly communicate to the various delegates who is doing what and make sure nothing is forgotten.

  • Incident Commander = Field Day Chair
    • Safety Officer — See KC1US’s FD Safety Officer memo and related Safety Posts and Weather Posts
    • Information Officer / Public Relations = Public Information Officer (PIO)
      • Press releases before
      • Hospitality / Public relations at event
      • Press releases after
      • Might include VE Exam(*) or other public-service/member-service function. 
        (*) Question pools not infrequently change July 1, making Field Day a fun time for a last-chance test on the old study guides.
    • Planning Section [Field Day Chair & committeeor, Planning Chief may be Committee Secretary]
      • Situation Unit: Situation Supervisor may also be Site Safety Officer, or works closely with. Watching the fires; liason with Skywarn with Logistics/Services/Comm or just listening to NWS to track incoming weather. ARES Real-World / Homeland Security Liaison with Logistics/Services/Comm. Site security?
      • Resources Unit (recruiting): Help other committees schedule people before FD. May utilize Talk-In (Logistics/Services/Comms) to recruit club members in real-time on Field Day.
      • Demobilization Unit (takedown planning): Planning who/how to take it all down, and (via Logistics) get it all, and everyone, back to where they belong.
      • Documentation: Preserve guest book, contest logs with Operations/Bonus Unit? May help plan logging process, process/submit logs afterwards?
    • Logistics Section
      • Service Branch
        • Communications Unit (this is where we, ARES/RACES hams, usually fall within someone else’s NIMS operation!): Talk-in and any other non-contest comms operations, whether on radio/cell/internet, whether on ham, commercial or PS licensed, or part 15/FRS radios. Might include scoring the NTS points with/instead of Operations/Bonus Unit. Guard the usual repeaters, 146.52, and club simplex frequency for queries, provide communications Liaison with RACES / SKYWARN / ARES for Planning/Situation and Safety Officer, relay information for any Supply Also, set up wireless or wired internet access for Skywarn radar. unit and shuttle mobiles.
        • Medical Unit: First Aid plan / focal-point; cooperate with Safety.
        • Food Unit: (all important!) – Can break down into Planning & Shopping, Drinks, Snacks, Cooking, Breakfast, Dessert. Can leverage the Support Branch to find & move the stuff once a list & Budget are prepared.
      • Support Branch
        • Supply Unit: (truck-type transport; leg-work on purchasing for food and supplies; transporting borrowed equipment for other sections’ unfilled requirements, e.g. antenna tuner, and return!)
        • Facilities Unit: (arrangements & interface with landlord/host; renting outhouses and other equipment; arranging borrowing of real estate and capital equipment based other sections’ unfilled requirements, e.g., generator.)
        • General Ground Support
          • General hands / Labor Details — everyone! (Antenna and tent raising, lugging)
          • Shuttle & Errands Group (car-type or passenger-van-type transport for people: shuttle to public transit stop, last-minute shopping, pizza-run)
          • Power Group runs the generator(s), charges batteries, manages available power. (does this fall under Facilities or General Ground? who cares, it’s Support! Once you’re operational, it’s the primary component of Supportalong with errands & shuttles transport. Works with, may be combined with, Safety Officer & Operations-Bonus. This is a great place for the ARES hams, since they need Generator practice.)
    • Finance & Admin Section (club treasurer or Field Day treasurer; Frequently will be Club Treasurer and other Club officers handling their roles.)Club officials with spending authority; approve purchases based on club rules and FD budget.
      • Time Unit – Can handle ARES Sign-in, although Planning: Documentation probably does that. In a PSE or activation, a Time Unit can tally up Volunteer hours for ARRL or Red Cross reporting. For Field Day, attendance logs fall under Operations/Bonus and Planning/Documentation, since we’re not Billing or estimating equivalent Donated time, but logging such may be good practice.
      • Procurement Unit – Support for contracting with PortaPotty and other suppliers. Normally for ARES and Field Day, actually purchasing is delegated to Food or Logistics/Support/Supply, with Treasurer providing simple reimbursement. In a large deployment, Agency professionals will do real Purchasing and Supply will just pick it up.
    • Operations SectionThis is where everyone thinks all the action is, but anyone who’s been through Field Day realizes half the fun is in the above, everything else.· Shift Leaders are Deputy Contest or Deputy Operations Chiefs who lead while the Chief sleeps, or who rotate main Operational leadership if the IC is “acting” as Ops & Contest Chief. In NIMS, Operations is divided into functional Branches as needed; with further geographic or functional Divisions or Groups, as needed. Most of our functional Divisions can naturally be called “Stations”.
      • Contesting Branch (Contest Chief; Plus Shift Supervisors who act as Chief)Each Station counted in your 7-Alpha Field Day class would be one “Division” or “Group” for NIMS purposes, both for planning and operations. Most clubs probably have a pre-existing idea of what equipment is required for each station and usually where to get it. Under NIMS, a Station Captain can ask for Logistics / Support / Supply assistance in getting loan (or purchase, if approved) for items that it’s own staff can’t loan or borrow from customary sources. [See more detail below.]
        • HF SSB Division Station (Station leader; shift operators, shift loggers)
        • HF CW Division (ditto)
        • VHF+ Division(s) (ditto)
        • Digital Division(s) (ditto)
        • Satellite Division (ditto)
        • Shift Leaders are Deputy Contest or Deputy Operations Chiefs who lead while the Chief sleeps, or who rotate main Operational leadership if the IC is “acting” as Ops & Contest Chief.
        • … see Field Day Scoring thoughts
      • Bonus Branch &/or ARES Branch Emergency Coordinator or AEC, or NTS Net Manager, or …In using NIMS, the club ARES unit can be made responsible for many of the Field-Deployment exercises of Field Day, in particular, Logistics (getting and keeping running the generator). However, the “contest” part of Field Day has many aspects that, while they belong in Operations, are still more ARES-like, in particular, the bonus points some of may cross into other NIMS Divisions, but may be included in Bonus Branch and/or ARES Branch:
        • Operations
          • Ensuring power is according to operating class, i.e., emergency power.
          • Handling NTS traffic (for points)
          • Any other special points available (satellite or digital if no station?)
          • Making Natural Power contacts (for points)
          • Demo points
        • Logistics
          • Services – Communications·
            • Sending SM/SEC radiogram (for points) (Communications)
            • NTS origination/delivery could be Communications too.
            • Real-world Liaison-– Skywarn, ARES, Homeland Security. (Also Services – Communications)
          • Support – Power · Operating as Power-management Group under Logistics above
        • Planning: Documentation or Admin: Time
          • Taking role call / check-in of ARES-enrolled members present (for SM/SEC radiogram)
          • Checking that PIO is logging visitors
          • Setting up and Preserving Contest station logs
        • Planning: Situation
          • Safety (With Safety Officer)
          • Real-world Liaison-– Skywarn, ARES, Homeland Security. (Also Services – Communications)

Contest Chief & Shift Supervisors

The Contest Chief may have Shift Supervisors to spell him/her on the Line. They should ensure operations conform to FCC and contest regulations, to protect the club’s score & reputation and the license trustee. The Contest Chief or Shift Supervisor is responsible for seeing that there is a Control Operator of appropriate license grade supervising each station in use.
One particular concern for contest regulations to monitor is ensuring that the number of transmitters in use never exceeds the number permitted by the contest class, including ensuring that no two transmitters are under the same exemption at once. Some clubs have used physical Tokens for each counted and exempted transmitter, others expect active coordination with the Chief/Supervisor; others may fudge but that is not appropriate in a NIMS operation! [comments]

Station Leader works with Planning/Resource-Recruiting to schedule operators & loggers; with Logistics to acquire (and return!) the equipment; and likely with the Contest Chief & Shift Supervisors during Operations.


Reading through the online documentation and training on NIMS and using a NIMS inspired committee structure is only the beginning. Please do not claim your Field Day was 100% NIMS compliant just because you use the above outline as a committee template. This will set rather higher expectations in your local Emergency Management Agency than you would be ready to fill, unless all your Section and Branch chiefs have already been through FEMA-approved intermediate NIMS training!

However, if the Field Day chair and one or more Section Chiefs (particularly Planning section chief if separate) had attended IS-100, the introductory NIMS training workshop, or worked through the online equivalent materials, others have seen the A.R.E.A. NIMS course, and others were signing up for the next NIMS offerings, you’d be well on your way.


A short “Introduction to the Incident Command System for Amateur Radio” was published back before the federal rename to NIMS by a Michigan Fire Chief. Aside from the change from ICS to NIMS name, it is still mostly correct and is not a bad first read.

See the Emergency Communications section and your local ARES EC (or RACES / EMDirector as appropriate) for more resources, including training schedules.


Bill Ricker, N1VUX (formerly EC & DEC Boston & Training; currently editor EMA FD Directory)

Originally written for FD2000, updated periodically

Field Day Scoring Hints


While Field Day is officially an “Operating Event” and not a “Contest,” we still have “Points” to score.

Clubs and ARES teams operating in Field Day can collect points for making contacts of course, same as any Contest. But there are some points specifically available for ARES/NTS/RACES related activities at Field Day.

Specific rules and points vary from year to year, so check the annual Field Day rules download, usually available early in the new year at  Look for the “Bonus Points” section and see what is on offer this year.  Some Bonuses are available to all stations, others only to Club and EOC stations, others to those on specific kinds of emergency or natural power.

Contacts and “Multipliers”

The basic points are the count of stations contacted, per band, per mode, multiplied by “the Multipliers.” Multipliers are a common concept in Contesting but for the casual conversationalist or public-service operator: Multipliers are conditions which increase the points per contact by a multiple.

Bands   – So the first way to get multiple points for a near-by, easy to work station is to plan to work then on every band open on the day.

Modes  – And then recontact them on each of Voice, Morse/CW, and Digital text.  (Note: all voice modes are considered equivalent. On HF below 10m, this isn’t an issue, since we wouldn’t use AM for efficient context or emergency operation, so it’s SSB. (But it’s important to remember that at 10m and up, FM Voice and SSB voice count the same and would be duplicates if the same station is worked both ways.) Likewise all non CW/Morse digital contacts are considered a single mode for contest and duplicate purposes — working the same remote station on both PSK31 and RTTY on the same band would dup, but on different bands would be OK.  (Contest Branch will probably have to rule how simplex digital voice counts, as that should have good range, but is it Voice or Digital?)

(Providing positive control of count of Transmitters and simultaneous band use is the subject of a separate article.)

Traditionally, Morse Code (“CW”) contacts count 2x in a context compared to Voice contacts because they take longer to make. (No, not because the whitebeards value them more, this dates from before the Code Wars.) Modern Digital has also been a 2x multiplier to encourage its use, and as it can be slow if hand typed. So adding some Digital modes to your Field Day stations is good too.

Power The other Multiplier is the Power Multiplier. Stations operating at medium or low power are rewarded by scoring more points per contact, compared to the QRO home stations with the max legal linear amp. (Typically, 1x for power > 150W; 2x for upto 150W; and 5x for upto 5W., but check the annual rules and score sheet for latest.)

One point of advice: Do any Bonus contacts such as “Alternate/Solar/Natural Power” contacts early in the operating period, as your site’s regular, likely higher power stations will work the strongest nearby stations fairly quickly as they open each band, and a Duplicate contact on same Band/Mode likely won’t count, so “have dessert first”.  A Satellite QSO isn’t as urgent, as long as a single satellite station is a Free station and treated as a separate band. They count as QSOs normally as an extra band and a big bonus for doing at least one!  (Note: Must be Earth-Sat-Earth exchange, not just a packet download. Limit one QSO per single-channel FM sat to avoid congestion.)

Move them Up – HF stations and VHF stations should have easy reference to a list of what other bands and modes are (a) being worked now and (b) possible at this site, in case a station contacted asks — and if they’re not in a hurry, you can ask them what else they have, and refer them.

VHF+ Agility If your VHF+ station has a multiband multimode radio and antennae, you can move a 2m FM/SSB contact down to 6m SSB/CW/FM and up to 440 SSB/CW/FM, and where else both stations have available. Just be sure you don’t have two stations on FM and SSB on the same band at once!
(Remember, no points for repeater contacts. Check detailed rules for “spotting” and “sked” rules.)

How many bands can you support? If there are 900MHz or 1.2GHz repeaters in the area, the mobile rigs and HTs can also be used for Simplex for Field Day. If you set up a good antenna and base, other nearby hilltop stations will be able to work you.  If a really good hilltop, get that one club member that does the microwave contest to bring the 2.4/5/10 GHz hilltopping kit, and plan to meet other microwave-capable hilltop clubs on e.g. 440 SSB or FM Calling.

NTS Traffic Handling

One of the usual activities at Field Day involves exercising formal message handling skills for both ARRL and ARES liaison, using the National Traffic System (NTS) formal message format. The NTS team shared a post in 2018 on that, which has been adapted into an ongoing article “Field Day Traffic Tips“; and do check for newer posts.

Section FD Message(s) – This has typically included originating a message from the FD site to the ARRL Section Manager (SM) and/or to the ARRL ARES Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) noting your location, number of participants, and number of ARES-enrolled operators attending.

Handling – Some years, there are additional points available for “handling” formal traffic (other than your station’s  SM/SEC message above) — this can be originating third party greetings traffic from visitors, or relaying traffic from one NTS net to another NTS net, or delivering messages to the final recipient.  This is particularly easy if the SM or SEC is visiting your site at net time: collect their messages for them from the NTS Net and hand them a stack of hard copy!

(Note that the above messages must enter and leave the Field Day site on Amateur Radio Radio-frequency — Internet access to the NTS Bulletin Board via commercial provider does not count.)

W1AW Bulletin – Another kind of message handling is copying a bulletin transmitted by W1AW (and K6KPH west-coast) as a “Code Practice” and reception test bulletin.  The transmission schedule will be in the annual information packet. Copy (transcribe) the bulletin off-air and provide a copy with your scores packet.

ARES & PIO Functions

Various things your club’s Amateur Radio Emergency Services team would practice in a Simulated Emergency Test are valuable to Field Day as a more public demonstration of emergency capability too, and thus in the gamification of the Operating Event as a quasi Contest, are awarded points.

Organizing the Field Day committee for both planning and execution according to the National Incident Management Standard (NIMS) will allow the ARES team to practice their training and nomenclature between Public Service events and may remind the committee of things that need to be covered).

Generator with grounded distribution, and fire extinguisher. (W1BOS; photo: N1VUX)

100% Emergency Power bonus applies if all transmitters are on emergency or natural power. Typically this only applies to the transmitters; running lights and computers and the coffee pot on commercial power is usually acceptable. (In most years, a town or agency EOC operating in Class F can also claim this bonus if the EOC has a big enough generator that the town  tests on a weekday but won’t let the EOC use for a voluntary ham drill on the weekend.)



Site Visitation – Visits by Elected town officials and/or a representative of a local Served Agency (whom the club or local ARES team has a relationship with) “as a result of an invitation”. 

Note that the police patrol does not qualify, unless the patrol officer is also town Emergency Manager, was invited, and is patron recipient of ARES/RACES services. (Alas it specifically says Elected, so hired, professional Town Managers only qualify if there’s a ARES/RACES relationship.) 
Also, ARRL Leadership & Staff visits also don’t earn points; we encourage those for reasons other than points!

 Safety Officer – You’ll want a Safety Officer anyway, but if they complete the Field Day packet’s Safety Check List, they earn points too!

Public Information Officer / PR

Public Welcome Sign
Sign clearly saying Amateur Radio Field Day – Public Welcome (N1ERC, photo: N1VUX)

Your Club Public Information Officer (PIO) can provide Public Relations help for Field Day, and can get ARRL handouts through the Section Public Information Coordinator (PIC).  See Public Information section for more information. Typically the Government Liaison gets a Proclamation or two; if the Section Manager brings them by, get photos of them at your site!

Public Location (a requirement for Class A operation, bonus also available for B and F) – The intent is for amateur radio to be on display to the public. So be welcoming the public with signs that look inviting.  Take photos for both later publicity and to document that it was public.

Minimalist Information Table (photo: N1VUX)

Public Information Table:  The purpose is to make appropriate handouts and information available to the visiting public at the site. A copy of a visitor’s log, copies of club handouts or photos of the display and folders is sufficient evidence for claiming this bonus.  It’s good to have a club Public Information Officer staffing the table or at least on lookout for wandering public too.

Press Release (W1BOS; photo: N1VUX)

Media Publicity – Getting the announcement of the national Field Day exercise into local press/media is important — so important that attempting it is rewarded. Save a copy of the your press release. Obviously, a clipping or video clip from the news or local TV magazine is even better!

Useful things the PR/PIO team can do to support the above –

  • Get Press Release carefully edited — to attract a newspaper or TV News editor’s attention! — and released early for Calendar section lead-times.
  • Push message origination at Booth, since it’s good for points (see under NTS heading) as well as public outreach.
  • Guided tours
  • PR or Central table whiteboard might be used to list States Worked, running tally score, Bonus’s scored, next scheduled event. PR or Central table signboards show what bands are in operations and current & authorized # of TX’s.
  • “Public Welcome” sign may need to be BIG if located in a remote corner of a larger parks: some FD sites wind up looking like a private event.


Outreach / Education / Licensing

Clubs often help prospective new hams earn their license with classes and/or VE exams, help hams upgrade by same, and help lapsed hams re-install their gear, renew their license, etc. See also Licensing/Education/Training and Youth sections.

GOTA – Get On The AIr  The larger (A and F) stations get one free extra station called GOTA that operates with a second callsign, should they so choose. This station is for non-Ham guest operators to make contacts supervised by a control operator and for Hams to make contacts on bands/modes not within their license with a control operator or not within their usual operating practice or home station capability. The number of contacts per guest operator and points for each varies year to year, so check current rules. The GOTA station must have a GOTA Coach / Control Operator both for legal operation and for the terms of the bonus.

( Guest operators are permissible (with a control operator if not licensed for the band) on the main stations too, once they’ve achieved their GOTA quota, there’s just no specific bonus reward for those contacts. )

Youth Contact in progress with Control Operator / Coach. (W1BOS; photo: N1VUX)

Youth Participation  – Youth Participation bonus is per Youth completing one or more contacts, apparently on either the GOTA or main stations. (They may be the control operator of the station or a guest operator.)

Educational  / Demonstration – Varies per year – Demonstration of certain modes not eligible for QSO credit has been a bonus in prior years; more recently, a formal “Educational Activity” has been the bonus. See the annual packet for latest details. One local club has a seminar in the classroom of the building they get lights&coffee power from and use the restrooms in; another had a Soldering class.

There hasn’t been a bonus for holding a public VE exam session at Field Day but some clubs do it anyway. Whether that makes sense or not depends on your staffing and facilities! But be sure to invite visitors to classes and exams and exam and class participants to next Field Day, as they can GOTA even before they get licensed. (And if you’re having one, let the EMA FD Directory know, as we list the time each year for you.)

Framingham ARA Field Day Featured on “Access Framingham TV”

Screenshot of "Framingham Beat" featuring story about FARA Field DayThe Framingham Amateur Radio Association‘s recent Field Day operation at the McAuliffe Library was featured on Framingham’s community access channel According to FARA’s Glenn Axelrod, KC1HPZ, the coverage “is expected to be part of Access Framingham’s ‘Framingham Beat’ news magazine show at 7:30 PM on August 2.”

“Sumner, W1VIV, was featured prominently… his explanation of Field Day became the narration for the video that KC1HPZ shot and AFTV’s staff edited.”

Access Framingham can be viewed on RCN 3, Comcast 9, or Verizon 43. It can also be live-streamed on the web at

UPDATE: the program can also be found on YouTube: <>.

Nashoba Valley ARC Members Participate in HamSCI Experiment During Field Day

Photo of WX1P at the Nashoba Valley ARC Field Day 2018
Bob Reif, W1XP, sends a test transmission to the CASSIOPE satellite. 

The Nashoba Valley ARC participated in a Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSci) experiment with the Canadian CAScade, Smallsat and Ionospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE) spacecraft over Field Day weekend.

Courtesy the HamSci web site:

 “’We’re really happy with our results this year’ remarked Dr. Gareth Perry, a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Calgary, CASSIOPE’s home institution. ‘The Radio Receiver Instrument (RRI) recorded plenty of chatter between Field Day participants, especially during our passes over the eastern and central United States on the evening of the 23rd’.

“Members of the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) group coordinated with the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club (NVARC, N1NC) and the Hoosier DX And Contest Club (N9NS) and the Indianapolis Radio Club to ‘direct traffic’ – asking their members to stick to pre-selected frequencies during the passes, and to record their transmitting logs.” 

The Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation project is a platform for the publicity and promotion of projects that:

  • Advance scientific research and understanding through amateur radio activities
  • Encourage the development of new technologies to support this research
  • Provide educational opportunities for the amateur community and the general public


Severe Weather & Amateur Radio Field Day Weekend Coordination Message #2 – Saturday 6/23/18-Sunday 6/24/18 Weather Outlook/Severe Weather Potential

SKYWARN logoHello to all..

..The following is the second in a series of messages on Amateur Radio Field Day Weekend and providing information on the weather during this period. This is a tradition spanning over 15 years for Amateur Radio Operators involved with Field Day and the NWS Boston/Norton SKYWARN Program..
..After quiet weather on Friday, unsettled weather is likely during Amateur Radio Field Day weekend. It will not be a complete washout but there will be the threat of widespread showers and isolated thunderstorms with heavier rainfall and urban and the potential of urban and poor drainage flooding as well as an attendant lightning risk Saturday into Saturday Night. As we move into Sunday…

[Full post]

Severe Weather & Amateur Radio Field Day Weekend Coordination Message #1

Hello to all.. 

..The following is the first in a series of messages on Amateur Radio Field Day Weekend and providing information on the weather during this period. This is a tradition spanning over 15 years for Amateur Radio Operators involved with Field Day and the NWS Boston/Norton SKYWARN Program.. 
..2018 Field Day weekend has quiet weather for Friday but looks unsettled with the potential for rain and possibly heavier rain and can’t rule out an isolated thunderstorm along with cooler temperatures on Saturday and then the potential of isolated to scattered strong to severe thunderstorms with strong to damaging winds, hail, frequent lightning and heavy rainfall on Sunday Afternoon/Evening potentially when Amateur Radio Field Day sites are breaking down stations and wrapping up for this year’s event. Weekend weather will be monitored closely..
..Amateur Radio Field Day Weekend is an annual event where Ham Operators across the United States setup at Emergency Operations Centers, field locations, home locations etc. to operate and test their equipment and skills and make as many radio contacts as possible during the weekend. Many locations can be visited by the public and Amateur Radio Field Day can be a form of outreach to Ham and non-Ham Operators. It is also noted that several states have given proclamations to Amateur Radio/Ham Radio Operators for either an ‘Amateur Radio Day or Amateur Radio Week’ during the month of June or an ‘Amateur Radio Month’ for this month. It is both a fun/preparatory event for Ham Radio Operators for Emergency Communications scenarios.. 
..SKYWARN Activation on Saturday appears unlikely but will need to monitor for any potential for thunderstorms and attendant lightning risk and heavier rainfall. SKYWARN Activation with Ops at NWS Boston/Norton are possible Sunday Afternoon/Evening for isolated to scattered strong to severe thunderstorm potential..

There are a large number of Amateur Radio Field Day sites across the NWS Boston/Norton Coverage Area and adjacent NWS Coverage Areas. Here are some links to information on these Amateur Radio Field Day Sites from across the region: 

Amateur Radio Field Day Information: 
Amateur Radio Field Day National Locator: 
Eastern Massachusetts Field Day Home Page: 

The commonwealth of Massachusetts has declared this week to be Amateur Radio Week and Governor Baker has proclaimed Sunday June 24th, 2018 Amateur Radio Day in honor of the ARRL Field Day event. The details can be seen at the following links:

For Field Day weekend, Friday looks quiet weather wise with seasonable temperatures and dry conditions. As we get into Saturday, there could be general rain over Southern New England with cooler temperatures. There could also be heavier rainfall and the chance of an isolated thunderstorm though currently it looks more like a rain and heavier downpour situation versus a general thunderstorm concern but this will be monitored and updated again in the Friday Evening coordination message.
For Sunday, parameters could come together for isolated to scattered strong to severe thunderstorms with strong to damaging winds, hail, frequent lightning and heavy rainfall in the Sunday Afternoon and Evening timeframe as Field Day operations end and field day sites are securing. We are still 2+ days from this event and this will be updated with greater details as we get closer to this timeframe. This concern is mentioned in the NWS Boston/Norton Hazardous Weather Outlook.
Coordination messages later Friday and Saturday will help better define the outlook particularly for Sunday and the severe weather potential. Below are links to the NWS Boston/Norton Hazardous Weather Outlook and NWS Boston/Norton Experimental Enhanced Hazardous Weather Outlook:

NWS Boston/Norton Hazardous Weather Outlook: 

NWS Boston/Norton Experimental Enhanced Hazardous Weather Outlook:

Amateur Radio Field Day sites are still encouraged to bring a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio, monitor various cell phone weather apps where Amateur Operators may have those available and have a dedicated Ham Radio that can monitor their local SKYWARN Frequency for their area as a best safety and preparedness practice. Also sites that have mobile Internet capability can utilize that capability as a way to monitor for weather information. With Mobile Internet capability, utilizing Echolink to monitor the New England Reflector system on Echolink Conference *NEW-ENG3* Node: 9123/IRLP 9123 would be helpful as well. Please see the link below for the latest SKYWARN Frequency information for the region:


During setup and takedown of Amateur Radio Field Day sites and even while operating, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat accordingly. Also having a jacket or sweatshirt during evenings as conditions cool etc. may also be useful while operating this year’s Field Day. The link below features information on Heat Safety:
Given the threat for thunderstorms particularly on Sunday, lightning is a threat to any and all Amateur Radio Field Day sites. Remember your lightning safety tips and details on lightning safety can be seen at the following link:

The next Amateur Radio Field Day coordination message will be posted by 1000 PM Friday Evening.

Respectfully Submitted, 

Robert Macedo (KD1CY) 
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator 
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator 
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM
Work Phone #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM
Email Address: 
Like us on Facebook – 

Follow us on Twitter –