It’s Field Day 2020 weekend during a pandemic and I see it as an opportunity!

This weekend is the 2020 ARRL Field Day!  Typically, I’d be telling you about the benefits of finding a local club’s Field Day site and getting on the air for the first time. This year?  Not so much.

2020 being a pandemic year, many clubs that would normally host a large public event are asking that either their members operate Field Day on their own–as individuals–or if they do host a public site, to practice social distancing and adhere to all local/state/provincial guidelines.

The 2020 setup is certainly a departure from the Field Day norm.

An opportunity

Field Day, at its core, is all about practicing radio preparedness. The contest classes and scoring are designed to promote battery/generator/solar power and even low-power (QRP) operations.

Field Day tends to be a group event and it certainly gives clubs a chance to coordinate and build an impromptu station with multiple operators.

But in a real emergency–say, a natural disaster that disrupts local transportation–responsibility would truly fall on an individual operator to get on the air from home and coordinate communications.

Use this Field Day as an opportunity to build a radio go-kit, to set up a portable antenna, operate from battery or generator power, and to see just how well you, as an operator, can cope with crowded radio conditions.

If you’re an SWL, Field Day is a perfect time to see just how well your receiver can cope in an RF-dense environment. If you want a challenge, try to see how many QSOs/exchanges you can monitor and log from as many sections as possible.

My Field Day plans

My trusty KX3 during one of my 90+ NPOTA activations.

This year, I plan to operate Field Day from a local National Park. I’ll set up a couple hours in advance of Field Day and activate the site for Parks On The Air (POTA).  When Field Day starts, I’ll abandon my POTA exchange and simply work stations as a Field Day site. I hope to play radio for at least a few hours or until afternoon thunderstorms chase me away. I plan to use both my Elecraft KX3 and Xiegu G90.

Being a radio reviewer, I always use Field Day as an opportunity to see how well a transceiver can handle adjacent signals. This year, I’ll be putting the G90 through its paces!

What are your plans?

Do you plan to operate on Field Day? Please comment with any plans you may have!

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8 thoughts on “It’s Field Day 2020 weekend during a pandemic and I see it as an opportunity!

  1. Mark Goldhawke

    Sat out in the back yard with my commradio cr1 hooked time a goal zero nomad solar panel and a Sony sw whip from one of my sw1 radios…activity all over the place and the bands werevery much active…
    Had to escape back inside once temps reached around 112 and the radio was too hot to handle

  2. Jerry Decker N5RV

    Imagine that…. Just looked up “internet troll” and found it defined as “Paul Evans”

  3. Paul Evans

    Sri another comment 🙂 Why are the ARRL using a logo which is a vehicle from over 50 years ago? Does that say something about the state of amateur radio?

  4. Paul Evans

    Preparedness? It depends how you define it. When we built our house I designed the entire place. High on the specification was a generator (WHOLE HOUSE). That came in at 20 kW. It’s propane powered and will run for many, many days. We have had long outages and only refilled the propane tank once in three years and that was for about 30% of the 300 US gallon tank. We can switch off the main ‘breakers’ and run the whole of ‘Field Day’ with no stress at all. Even at 1500 W RF output! I don’t see how the ARRL/VAC field day means anything versus the ‘real’ IARU Region 1 / RSGB Field Day event (both of which are CW only, by definition).
    I’ve operated in many UK NFDs at a serious level. They were fantastic. I once went to a USA FD and walked away after 2 minutes after seeing EXTREMELY amateurish behaviour (in FL).


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