This sounds like fun. Perhaps with some warm food and beverages too!
As described on their website, https://www.winterfieldday.com; 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.
Winter Field Day Rules:
Purpose: To foster Ham camaraderie, field operation, emergency operating preparedness, and just plain on the air, outdoor fun in the midst of winter for American, Canadian and DX Amateurs. Don’t let those winter doldrums keep you locked up in the house… get out and play some radio!!
When: Winter Field Day runs for 24 hours during the last full weekend in January each year from 1900 UTC (2pm EST) Saturday to 1900 UTC (2pm EST) Sunday. For 2019, the dates are January 26th and 27th. Station set-up may commence no earlier than 1900 UTC (2pm EST) on Friday, January 25th. Station setup may consume no more than 12 hours total. How & when you schedule/spend those 12 hours is up to you.
Bands: All Amateur bands, HF, VHF, & UHF except 12, 17, 30 and 60 meters.
Modes: Any mode… CW, SSB, AM, FM, DStar, C4FM, DMR, Packet, PSK, SSTV, RTTY, Olivia, Satellite, etc…
Suggested Frequencies: (to make it easier for entrants to find each other)
HF CW – 1810-1820, 3.530-3.550, 7.030-7.050, 14.035-14.055, 21.030-21.050, 28.030-28.040
HF SSB – lowest 30 kHz of the US General Class Phone bands (160m- 15m), 28.400-28.425MHz (10m) 6m/VHF/UHF – adjacent to, but not on, nationally recognized simplex calling channels.
Entry categories: (..if operating as a group under one call, all stations in your entry must fit the category you choose. Also see further clarification in “definitions” below)
Indoor: Operation from inside a remote, insulated, heated (or cooled, depending on your local weather), and weather-protected structure where an Amateur station is normally not available. (Park buildings/cabins, community center, EOC, senior center, club shack, etc).
Outdoor: Operation from a location partly or fully exposed to the elements and at least 30 feet away from your normal station location and not using any part of a previously erected antenna system or ham station. A campground, park pavilion, canopy, picnic table, tent, pop- up camper, or a backyard shed/tent/deck, etc may be used. Operation from a non-insulated car/truck/van/boat (mobile or not) is considered “outdoor”.
Home: Operation from inside a home or inside another structure attached to a home that could or would be the usual location of an Amateur station (garage, sunroom, etc), generally using a previously erected antenna system. A “Home” entrant may still be eligible to claim the “alternate power” bonus if not using commercial power. Use of any pre -existing (on site) or permanently installed antenna system or station components renders your station a “Home” station.
Entry Class: your entry “class” is a number designated by the number of stations in your entry that are capable of simultaneous transmission. (Explained further in summary below)
Exchange: Your WFD exchange will be a combination of your “class” and “category” and your ARRL section as described below, using an appropriate letter designator or phonetics (examples: 1I, 2H, 5I, 6O, 3H, 9I, etc) In short: Call sign, Class + Category, ARRL Section.
Example: K4YM this is KB8X, we are Two Hotel, Ohio ..or in CW: K4YM de KB8X TU 2H OH…
KB8X this is K4YM, thank you, we are Twelve India, West Central Florida ..or in CW: KB8X TU 12I WCF
In summary: There are only 3 categories of entry: Indoor, Outdoor, and Home as described above and in the definitions. Your entry class will depend on the number in your exchange. That number will be determined by the number of stations capable of simultaneously transmitting at your WFD site. If you only have one station set up, but plan on using it on several bands and modes (example: 160-2m, CW, SSB, FM, Digi, etc), the number in your exchange would be “1”. If you have 10 stations set up and operators working at all of them, regardless of bands, and modes, the number in your exchange would be “10”. If you have only two operators, but have two HF stations set up and a third and possibly fourth station dedicated to VHF, UHF, or a Satellite contact, your exchange number would be “2”, as one op would have to leave a station idle to make contacts on the other. In other words, don’t count a station where one station has to be left idle to make contacts on another. Once you decide upon your number of stations (class), you must use it for the duration of the contest. There are no points awarded for number of stations and it does not affect your score.
*** More details and scoring information can be found at the https://winterfieldday.com web site.