WE1SPN was on the air for Winter Field Day on January 27th & 28th, 2024. We operated across the permitted amateur bands with contacts on 40m, 20m, 15m, 10m, 2m, 1.25m and 70cm. We also attempted to complete a number of the event Objectives including sending+receiving Winlink email, operating away from home, and operating on at least six different bands. We’d intended to get the antenna setup objective but were not able to erect multiple new antennas and make contacts, being successful with just a single 2m J-Pole. Next time we’ll be prepared for more options.
Special thanks to local operator Michael Berube KC1MJZ for helping us make contacts on 10m AM and FM, and 1.25m FM.
The shack radios worked pretty darn well, though tuning the Tarheel HF antenna was a challenge. The computer in the shack is getting very, very long in the tooth and we’re going to look at an upgrade for that this year. We should get a VaraFM and VaraHF license for the club and a digital interface for the VHF/UFH side for Winlink etc. This year we used an HT hooked up to the VHF/UHF antenna connected to a Mobilinkd TNC driven over bluetooth using RadioMail on an iPhone. It’d be nice to use the mobile radio for that.
Operators this year was just Joshua Warchol KC1SPC, with pre-event support from Mike Nagorski WJ1X and the encouragement of members in the new #warc Slack channel.
For the future we want to work on solutions for some of the objectives we missed:
- Figure out a solution for “deploy multiple new antennas” objectives. Maybe a 6m dipole?
- Try to find a way to run the whole shack on alternative backup power for the duration of operations.
- Operating for more continuous hours. That should have been an easy objective but life gets in the way.
- Find a member who can do satellite work.
What is WFD? The Winter Field Day Association describes it thus:
Winter Field Day is a communications exercise. WFD is held on the last full weekend in January. WFD can be worked from the comfort of your home or in a remote location. You can participate by yourself or get your friends, family, or whole club involved. Winter Field Day is open to participants worldwide. Amateur radio operators may use frequencies on the HF, VHF, or UHF bands and are free to use any mode that can faithfully transmit the required exchange intact. Similar to the ARRL’s Field Day, bonus points are earned in several ways, including using non-commercial power sources, operating from remote locations, satellite contacts, and more.