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Posts by VA6SJA

CWCOM – Morse Code on the Internet

The topic of improving Morse Code skills came up on the CAARC net of January 18.

I mentioned an internet system, CWCOM, also known as CW Communicator, as a potential way to practice. It’s not radio, but either is sitting across a table from each other each with our own code practice oscillator. This morning I checked to see if it was still operational, and it is. Gerry, who uses call sign G3MS on this system, is the manager and chief guru of the system. Here is a slightly edited screen shot of a QSO I had with him this afternoon Alberta time over the internet.  I didn’t have my key set up at this time, so I keyboarded. The program also allows using the down button on your keyboard as a straight key. I do have the ability to use a key or a paddle with this system, if I could only make them make predictable sounds!

Gerry mentioned his blogsite which is a complete introduction and instruction manual for the CW Communicator program and system. It is at . You usually have to scroll down past the contents. He mentions a “Contact Me” address, which is below the contents on the page labelled “Home”.

Gerry’s parting comment was “t ~~okjohn~~lookforward toseeing some new callsign”

You would need to download, install and set up the CW Communicator program.

I have had an on-and-off relationship with this system since 2003.

For whoever is interested.


Note: Jan 20, 2021 Corrected the call sign Gerry uses.

CAARC 2020 Official Field Day Scores

I finally looked in the December QST for the 2020 ARRL Field Day Results.

Boy, are there a lot of entries to read through this year.

Our Central Alberta ARC showed 7 entries for a total of 2,928 points. These were the participants that I could confirm in the listings (my digital copy had very small print and I don’t think it supports “Find”}:

(December 19, adding information VA6SJA)

Station Class Points

VE6CIA     1D                               644

VA6SJA     1E                               384

VE6WCE    1D                                56

VA6MPM  1B 1 Operator Battery 155

Points accounted for 1,239.

In addition, by some technical glitch, it appears that the VE6BLD entry was not recorded. He sent in his entry and used the club name Central Alberta ARC. That station had 372 voice QSOs which would have added 372 points to our total.

As a matter of interest. there were scores as low as 2 in the 1D category and 46 in the 1E category. So, you should not have felt that your score was too low to submit.

Did you participate under the Club Name of Central Alberta ARC? Would you like to add your statistics here?

If you cannot look up your own score, send your claimed score to me at and I will try to confirm it.


Field Day 2020 Operations at VA6SJA

  • My First ever HF QSOs from my home station under my own call sign
  • My relatively vintage equipment worked!
  • I copied the ARRL Field Day Bulletin a few times and reconciled the copies
  • My first ever Field Day message to my Section Manager
  • But some of my things needed fixing

This is some of my Field Day story. What is yours? Anyone else who participated in Field Day is welcome to post about their efforts to this web site.

This post is a follow-up my post of October 27, “Preparations for Field Day 2020 at VA6SJA.”

Although I have participated in or visited a Field Days operation every year except four since 1994, this is the first time that I have set up and operated my own station for Field Day.

I regularly carry my cellular telephone around with me, alas, my first reaction is not to take photos when something happens. So unfortunately, I have no photos off this period

Since I was operating Class 1E, all radio operations including receiving the Bulletin would have to be under emergency power, from any of my gasoline generator, my truck battery (in my truck), and a small gel cell, as well as my laptop battery. I did however plug my laptop in to my generator power.

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On Air Meeting – CAARC Participation in 2020 ARRL Field Day

Comments and questions about small groups participating in Field Day.- final opportunity for discussion.

Wednesday June 17, 2020 at 19:00 hrs MDT

On CAARC repeater network VE6QE, VE6VHF and VE6UK. You may link if you wish.

What do you wish to discuss?

John VA6SJA will start the meeting at 1900 hrs.

Now Let’s Just Do It!

CAARC Participation in 2020 ARRL Field Day

In case you need a break from the writing style of this series:

Listen to , they actually have harnesses on, but his platform couid make you jealous.

Et pour André,

Now :

  • Choose your class
  • Choose which bonuses you will apply for, if any
  • Do preparatory steps for any bonuses
  • Choose your logging system
  • Check out all radio and power apparatus that you plan to use
  • Friday evening, June 26,  try for the W!AW bulletin if you choose (or catch any transmission that weekend)
  • On air Field Day starts at 12 noon MDT Saturday June 27
  • Operate at your discretion
  • Remember documentation of any bonuses.
  • Make your band-mode lists of QSOs made
  • Prepare and submit your entry report

In all cases when you find a conflict between this advice and ARRL rules or advice, use what the ARRL says! Some mistakes or stale rules may have crept in to these descriptions.

Another video about Field Day Planning is at .

This series has been an attempt to describe operating in Field Day. We hope you have found it informative and that it my have helped you decide to participate this June 27 and 28. Tell us if it has been helpful.

In the immortal words of Porky Pig, “That’s all folks!”

Background, official rules, and many hints can be found at .

ARRL’s official Field Day site is .

Comments or questions to Paul VA6MPM (find his email on, or John VA6SJA, .

John VA6SJA and Paul VA6MPM

Logging for Field Day

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 .

When you are reporting, the ARRL asks for a “Dupe Sheet”, they can be downloaded from . You can print them double sided on 8 1/2×11” 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 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.

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Submitting Your Entry

CAARC Participation in 2020 ARRL Field Day`

Contribute to the CAARC accumulated Field Day score! When submitting your entry to the ARRL, making sure that you state “Central Alberta Amateur Radio Club” in the space for “Club”. Each participating station will have to submit its own entry.

Submitting Your Entry

When you submit your entry to the ARRL it gets published in QST with stations of the same class. It is a way of saying, “I was there.” It also helps the ARRL count the numbers of participating stations and amateurs.

During the Field Day Period, just concentrate on making an accurate log of any completed Field Day QSO including the time completed and on completing any bonus activities that you have decided to participate in. ARRL prefers that we provide a list of stations worked by band/mode during the Field Day period (dupe sheet or an alpha/numeric list sorted by band and mode or alternately a Cabrillo Log) (Note: Some logging software will create this list). Now count the QSOs in each list. Here is a scrap of an early form of the Dupe Sheet submitted for Field Day Station VE6QE for 2019 (prepared by N3FJP Field Day Log program):

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Bonuses Available to Class E Station

CAARC Participation in 2020 ARRL Field Day

Available to Class E Stations Home or Club Permanent Stations using a Power Source other than Commercial Power

100% Emergency Power: 100 points per transmitter classification (as stated in your Field Day Exchange) if all contacts are made only using power source completely independent from commercial mains for all transceivers and any computers creating signals to be transmitted.

You may participate in any or none of the following activities:

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