Proposal for Field Day 2020
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Proposal: Virtual Field Day 2020
By John Lindholm, W1XX

Large sections of the United States and Canada will likely be under lockdown or still practicing “social distancing” in response to COVID-19. This will no doubt have a large negative impact on Field Day 2020 activity. In response, ARRL suggests that participants “try something new…employ a new approach that is in line with our currant conditions.”

I propose that the CTRI Contest Group suggest to ARRL the creation of a special “virtual” category for Field Day 2020. It would preserve the continuity of normal club participation. For example, here’s how it would work for clubs – the mainstay of FD operations.

All operations by club members signing the club’s callsign would be from their individual home stations which would be QRV according to a time block matrix developed within the club – similar to W1AW/# operations in 2014. This could be set up on the club’s website or simply by telephone. The matrix would be designed to allow X number of stations to be on-the-air simultaneously on a different band/mode. The FD exchange would be the same as usual – the number of stations on at the same time and ARRL/RAC section.

Here’s a typical example:
The CTRI Contest Group, KE1S, operates 2020 virtual Field Day in the 2-transmitter class from Rhode Island. Member KS1J is penciled in to operate from home on 20-meter CW from 1800 to 2000 UTC while AA1AC is on from his home on 40-meter SSB at the same time. They both sign the club’s call KE1S. Both send exchange “2A RI” or “2 Alpha Rhode Island.” For uniformity, member K1DM in Connecticut would send “RI.” The rest of the 24-hour matrix would be filled out for all the club members who want to operate.

The free VHF station time blocks could be allocated in the same manner, perhaps in bigger blocks. To honor “social distancing,” the GOTA station (with coach) would probably have to be scrapped. For simplicity the bonus points may best be saved for another year. “Virtual” entries could possibly be differentiated from “real” entries in the score listing results with an asterisk (*). The precise details of implementation of a “virtual” Field Day would best be left to ARRL to determine.

Any suggestions on the validity or tweaking of the concept would be welcomed. Click on “Comment”.

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