[amsat-bb] Re: Field Day Question

James Duffey jamesduffey at comcast.net
Tue Apr 23 18:56:02 PDT 2013

Les - Yes, you can work multiple stations on the linear birds during Field Day. You can also work them once per mode, so try CW and perhaps RTTY or PSK31 in addition to phone. There are a lot of QSOes to be had. 

Amsat runs an embedded Field Day contest within the ARRL Field Day contest. Information can be found here:

< http://www.amsatnet.com/2013fd.pdf >

I encourage you to enter your contacts in the Amsat contest, even if you don't enter the ARRL Field Day. Contest sponsors deserve to see how much activity they have generated. 

In my experience, the FM birds are nearly useless during Field Day. If you want a real life demonstration of all the negatives about the FM birds, listen to one on FD or even worse, try to make a QSO on one. Don't get me wrong, I think that the FM birds are a fine entry to satellite operation, but the FM ops should move up to the linear birds once they have made a few contacts on the FM birds. Several hundred or a thousand FD satellite stations trying to make a contact on the FM birds, many of them using simplex instead of full duplex operation, is a sight for sore ears. The middle of the night passes are better, but still your chances of making a QSO on them are low.

On the other hand, the linear birds are full of activity and lots of people working each other. Several QSOes are possible per pass, even when it is most crowded. Most of the stations are operating full duplex and although they get close to each other, they can usually hear and pause the QSO so that both can make contacts without too much interference. 

Here are my tips for FD satellite operation.

1. Get plenty of practice on the birds beforehand. FD is not the time to learn satellite operating procedures. 

2. Get on the passes early in FD. It takes a different technique to work FD and a pass or two to get it all down.

3. I find it more useful to answer CQs or tailgate QSOes than to call CQ. 

4. The middle of the night passes are usually the easiest to work. 

5. Work stations on as many modes and as many satellites as you can.

6. Keep your power to the minimum required to make contacts. Never any louder than the beacon. With all the activity it is hard to comply with this. Everyone loses when even one cranks up the power. It is a high tech version of the tragedy of the commons. 

Working the birds during FD is hard, but rewarding.

You said that you aren't going to otherwise participate in FD, but you may wish to volunteer your services to your local club to help with their satellite operations during FD. In my experience the satellite operations are always intriguing to hams who have not worked the satellites before, and is a good place to recruit new satellite operators. And if you can have a satellite contact when the local dignitary is visiting, that always impresses them. They usually equate satellite communication with large dishes, and to see a ham work one with a handheld antenna is always impressive. And you can probably help out at the VHF station when there aren't any satellites to work. 

Look for W5UR on the birds during FD. - Duffey KK6MC 

James Duffey
Cedar Crest NM

On Apr 23, 2013, at 1:44 PM, Les Rayburn <les at highnoonfilm.com> wrote:

> Please tolerate another newbie question. I know that during the upcoming Field Day, participants are being encouraged to limit themselves to one
> contact on SO-50 or to use the linear birds when possible.
> I'm chasing grid squares towards Satellite VUCC and other awards. Is it acceptable and good operating practice for my station to make multiple contacts during
> FD on the linear birds? Seems like a great chance to pick up grids that would otherwise not be active on the birds, but I don't want to be a LID.
> What would be the best practice for an operator like myself during FD? I won't otherwise be participating in the contest. Again, my thanks for the advice
> and counsel of more experienced operators. Everyone on the birds has been great and helpful so far, especially K4FEG!
> -- 
> 73,
> Les Rayburn, N1LF
> 121 Mayfair Park
> Maylene, AL 35114
> EM63nf
> 6M VUCC #1712
> AMSAT #38965
> Grid Bandits #222
> Southeastern VHF Society
> Central States VHF Society Life Member
> Six Club #2484
> Active on 6 Meters thru 1296, 10GHz & Light
> _______________________________________________
> Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
> Not an AMSAT-NA member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
> Subscription settings: http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list