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Tips for Winter Field Day 2020

Greetings! Winter Field Day is almost here and we expect this to be a great deal of fun. First, to recap, the Winter Field Day site is at the Clearwater Fire Training Center at 1700 N Belcher Rd. That is just past the railroad tracks between NE Coachman and Sunset Point Rd. US 19 to Sunset Point Road or Belcher Road are your best bets. We will start setup between 8 and 9 AM on Saturday with operating starting at 2:00 PM and running through to 2:00 PM Sunday. Help is appreciated for teardown at 2:00 PM on Sunday. Maps and other info is available in the original post about Winter Field Day here.

PLEASE BRING HEADPHONES. Many of us use boom microphones and we do not share headset microphones for hygiene reasons. All operators will be using headphones for sound even if you are using a desk or hand microphone. As we are operating 3 radios in close proximity, we cannot use the speakers (unless we are demonstrating the radios to a group of people). If you do not have a set of communication headphones, at least bring earbuds. We have adapters for both 1/8” and 1/4” headphones to match the radios but please bring something as we will NOT share headphones. Also note if you have a Heil headset, we have standard adapters to connect to the radios (Heil 7 users need a Kenwood cable). For RadioSport users, we have the interface cables to the Kenwood TS-590 and the Elecraft K3. Just check with on site if you need bias on the mic element or not. Otherwise we have desk mics and foot switches for the SSB radios.

For CW ops, we will have a paddle hooked up to a WinKeyer. If you have a paddle you prefer (for sending manually), please bring it along. The computer will send CW—copying is with the software between your ears. Our paddle has a 1/4” stereo plug so please adapt accordingly.

You may want to bring a chair for outside. If you prefer chairs without arms or ones that have more room, definitely bring your favorite folding chair or camping/beach chair.

If you are attending dinner on Saturday evening, please bring a dish to share. We ask that this be actual food versus stopping off for a bag of chips on the way. Your dish to share can be dessert as the only desserts available will be those that people bring.
If you did not sign up by the deadline we cannot guarantee meals are available for you. Please attend and operate but plan accordingly.

We are operating outside but have access to the inside as necessary for bathrooms, a place to warm up, showers, sleeping, etc. The weather forecast is for 65 during the day and down to 45 at night so please dress accordingly. Please bring sunscreen or a hat if you are planning on helping with antennas setup. Smoking is only permitted outside of course (and if you have been known to light up a cigar, by all means bring them along). A few of us have been known to partake of such after dinner.

We also have to ask that you bring any radios to operate independent of the main stations. We have carefully coordinated the station layout to minimize interference between stations. Another station on the site would compromise the main stations so operate our stations as long as you are able, but please; no independent HF stations. We do not need radios or computers, etc. We have all the parts planned ahead so we need you, your dish to share and your desire to have fun. The rest we have covered.

For software, we are using N1MM Logger+ with all stations linked. If you have not used N1MM before, training is available “on-the-job” from others on-site.

Please bring a handheld 2m radio (HT). It is a big site and using a radio will make it much easier for us to talk with one another. The main organizers will have HTs to be reached on a simplex frequency to be announced on site. Let the HT save you running back and forth on site to ask questions, etc.

Please ask if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you there and to make this a Winter Field Day for the ages.

If you cannot make it, don’t forget to check your club’s Facebook page and you can also keep track with the Winter Field Day dashboard on the SPARC home page.

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