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UO-14 on Field Day

RogerKola@aol.com (WA1KAT) wrote:

> BTW...during Field Day only the first contact through an individual
> Sat should count...the rest should be minus points from your original
> score...

Well, I don't want to open up that whole can of worms too widely again,
but I respectfully disagree.

In all circumstances, including Field Day, the existing laws and
regulations of Amateur Radio operation still apply, including the ones
that say no individual operator "owns" any particular frequency, that
the RF spectrum is a valuable resource that must be SHARED, etc.

I am not a lawyer (and have no desire to be one), but my interpretation
of these regulations is that an operator who monopolizes an FM
satellite pass for the sake of maximizing his score in a contest is in
violation of, and deserves disqualification for breaking, Amateur Radio
regulations.  On the other hand, an operator who finds an "open" slot
on a linear transponder and calls CQ deserves to make all the contacts
(s)he can, as long as (s)he isn't preventing other licensed operators
from also using the bird on that pass.  I've never worked a linear
transponder satellite, even during Field Day, with a passband that was
too full to support one more caller (me).

If everyone is limited to one contact, a lot of people are going to
be "shut out" by virtue of having no one to make a contact with.  That
takes the fun out of it for everyone.  Sure, it increases the challenge,
and Field Day is about operating under challenging circumstances, but
consider the sort of challenge that Field Day is supposed to emulate.
A major disaster, emergency, power/communications outage, etc., setting
up equipment on short notice without commercial power, etc.  Not a
challenge of making as many contacts as you can while making only one
contact in a particular mode (in this case, satellite) for the whole
24-hour period of time.  Let's see, we made one phone contact, one CW
contact, one digital contact, one satellite contact, I guess it's time
to pack up and go home for the weekend.

In the 3 years I've been to Field Day (oddly enough, all 3 of them as
the VHF/UHF/Satellite Station Manager for our club), we have always
made just 1 to 3 contacts for the bonus points and a little insurance,
but that's all.  Most of the effort went into terrestrial VHF contacts,
mainly on 6 meters.  This year, I am seriously CONSIDERING working the
linear transponder birds for all they're worth, by having a separate
VHF/UHF Station and separate Satellite Station.  If I do, I'll even
bring an elevation rotor for the Satellite Station, something we've
never done before.  (We've always worked FO-20 or FO-29 close to the
horizon with the station's existing terrestrial antennas.)  It will
be a lot more work to bring out TWO complete stations (especially
since we brought out 5 bands for VHF/UHF last year and are planning
for 6 bands this year!).  Call me crazy (and some of the Field Day
planning committee already do), but I think I'm up for that sort of

However, we'll do whatever the rules say, and everyone is entitled to
suggest changes to the rules to suit their own opinions.  I don't see
the rules for Field Day 2001 posted on the ARRL web site yet, so you
still have time to tell THEM what you would like to see changed.  I
believe that those suggestions should go to:

73 to all
John Toscano, KB0ZEV
Field Day VHF/UHF/Satellite Station Manager
Twin Cities Repeater Club, 3A MN
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