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amateur radio Winter Field Day

This will be the first time I have participated in the annual Winter Field Day. I suppose it sounded difficult.

It is incredibly easy for any amateur radio operator anywhere to participate at some level. Sure you can pitch a tent in the snow on some mountain-top for the weekend, but you can also sign up and run right out of your normal radio shack – or anywhere in between. All operators are welcome to join in at whatever level suits their situation and inclination.

This year the Bitterroot Emergency Amateur Radio Services group, now officially the Corvallis American Legion Post 91 radio club KG7SPL will be running two radio stations in a tent at the top of the Chief Joseph cross-country ski area. Setup begins at 0800 Saturday, January 30th. Contesting contacts run from noon Saturday to noon Sunday with camp breakdown right after that.

Three of our heartier guys, Rod, Doug and Mike, will spend Saturday night maximizing the lightly active airwaves to rack up the contacts. Anyone interested in helping can drop by at any time to run the radio or log the contacts – it takes two people to do this effectively. No prior experience is necessary – you will rather quickly be EXPERIENCED – FCC licensed operators will be on hand to supervise anyone who wants to play along with or without their own license. The script and instructions will be clearly documented.

I will be monitoring Jeff’s 147.300 repeater in case there are any calls from the mountain men needing a beer run or something from the big city of Darby.

Back to the “It’s EASY, anybody can do it” part… Even signing up to participate for a few hours from the comfort of your own home is good experience and helpful to the local contesting operators. All contacts in any mode on any frequency count among those registered with the Winter Field Day Association. Reaching the KG7SPL team on local HF, VHF or UHF using voice or digital modes all count on the scoreboard.

Plan to play from home, join us in the rarefied air at the pass, or any combination that tickles your fancy. Register your station if you might spend a little time on the radio that weekend. Practice setting up your own field station 30+ feet from your shack, or just operate from the easy comforts of your established station. Consider this an opportunity to try a new radio, antenna, configuration or mode that you have been meaning to set up and use.

Register your site for Winter Field Day at this link. Note that their link offers to take you to Google maps for getting your longitude and latitude, but there is something in Google’s numbers that the registration form does not like. You merely have to type the numbers in exactly as you see them and delete Google’s figures. I don’t know what is in those characters, but there is more than just the numbers you see.

For more information about the Post 91 radio club, use the links above. More about winter field day is below. Rod is chairman of our field day effort. Doug is the president of the radio club and has quite a bit of good information about antennas and field day part-way down his Montana Motor Stables blog. Worth mentioning, he will be putting some of the summits in the area on the air Saturday. Monitoring during the day could help him accomplish the SOTA aspect of his weekend mission.

Winter Field Day Association

Winter Field Day files (fliers, rules, log form)
Register your site for Winter Field Day

Winter Field Day Association (WFDA) is a dedicated group of Amateur Radio Operators who believe that emergency communications in a winter environment is just as important as the preparations and practice that is done each summer but with some additional unique operational concerns.

We believe as do those entities of ARRL Organizations like ARES & RACES that maintaining your operational skills should not be limited to fair weather scenarios. The addition of Winter Field Day will enhance those already important skills of those that who generously volunteer their time and equipment to these organizations. This is why WFD is open to all licensed amateur radio operators worldwide.

Disasters are unpredictable by nature and can strike when you least expect them. WFDA’s goal is to help enhance your skills and ready you for all environmental conditions found in the US and Canada during the spring, summer, fall and winter Preparedness is the key to a professional and timely response during any event and this is what local and state authorities are expecting when they reach out to the emergency service groups that offer their services.

If you are serious about emergency communications as we are; we welcome you to join us for our yearly event. We are sure you will find this event a pleasant change and challenge to that of a normal summer time field day.