CAARC Participation in 2020 ARRL Field Day

First an amendment to the  last post, the second participant in a Class B station would not have to be an amateur as long as he or she is supervised while making QSOs by the licensed amateur and the amateur is ready to take over to check for the existence of a third party agreement in case there is an answer to a CQ from beyond Canada and the United States. So, an interested family member could be your partner.

Making a Field Day QSO that counts

This is aimed mostly at first time participants in Field Day.

Field Day is kind of a contest. The goal is to contact as many stations as possible during the time you are operating. Many operators use sort of a contest mode. Lengthy rag chewing is not part of these QSOs.

There are two possible strategies for making a contact. The first is to find a blank frequency in the traditional sub-band for the mode you are using, ask if it is in use and then call “CQ Field Day” (CQ FD in CW). After a QSO is completed often “QRZ” with or without a call sign is used. Do not give up calling “CQ Field Day” before a few minutes pass, other amateur operators will probably be tuning around to find stations such as yours. This is sometimes called Running. Avoid emergency frequencies and frequencies reserved for intercontinental contacts.  The second way is to tune across the band, looking for CQs to answer, often called Search and Pounce.

To include the station that you contact in your reported count to the ARRL, you must make the official Field Day Exchange. Your part of the exchange is your call sign, your station class, and your ARRL/RAC Section.

The usual QSO format is brief, with use of call signs being just enough. If calling “CQ Field Day”, listen for amateur stations calling back. They use just their call signs. There may be a pile up which makes all call signs hard to read. You may have to untangle the pile up by picking out part of a call sign that you recognize and asking for only stations with that part call sign. Once you pick out a complete call sign, respond to that station by using his or her call sign, and then sending your station class and your RAC/ARRL Section. Your station class will always lead with a number showing the maximum number of transmitters that will be simultaneously used by your station during the Field Day period. For us it would nearly always be 1. Our RAC Section is Alberta or AB, recorded AB. Be ready to repeat any part of this if the station you are responding to asks. When the responding station is ready, the operator will send his class and section for you to record. IF you don’t understand all of it, ask for repeats until you get it all. When you enter the responding station’s call sign the logging program may tell you that he is a “dupe” or “duplicate”, which means that you have worked him on this band-mode previously during this Field Day period. Or you may find him on your “dupe” sheets. You can either tell the responding station that this QSO is a duplicate, or log him again, which some people say is faster.

If you are in the Search and Pounce operating style, when you hear a “CQ Field Day” or a “QRZ”, and your logging program or dupe sheet does not show a previous contact with that station in the current band-mode, respond on his frequency with your call sign. Try to know the CQing station’s call sign before you respond. That station may be in a noisy receiving environment where he can’t hear your signal, or you may have joined a pile up. If you don’t hear the CQing station responding to anyone, try again once or twice. If you are in a pile up, you have to decide how long to try before you move on. When the CQing station responds to you, record his call sign, (which he may not send again), his class and his section. Ask for repeats until you are sure that you have it right. He may tell you that you are a dupe or duplicate (In CW sometimes B4). If you have no record of the previous contact, log him anyway, because now you know the exchange has happened.

If not using direct entry into computer logging with Computer Aided Tuning, record the time of the QSO and make sure you are logging on the page for the actual band used for the QSO.

Coming up: Which QSOs can you count?

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

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

John VA6SJA and Paul VA6MPM