The Mesa Amateur Radio Club

Combining ham radio, The great outdoors, and friendships | Mesa, Arizona, USA

Field Day Scheduling

Everyone, this has been brought up a few times in the past. When out in the field operating, are we there for enjoyment or to make contacts? Or a mixture of both?
The usual way for clubs to run Field day is to have a schedule drafted up prior to the event, and sticking to it. Maximize the time is what it’s all about.
The issue is, after a few hours most people get tired. So they walk away from the radio, not making any contacts. Or we have someone who jumps on and doesn’t realize that another person is already on the band, and now they are cross talking or potentially causing a rule violation (for the contest).
So be thinking about this when you answer the poll. Vinnie’s thought is that we break it up into two shifts. Essentially an Alpha Team and a Bravo Team. Each team would have one control operator/Safety ham, and then a team of 2 to 4 operators. Each team would be assigned a block of 6 hours to work radios. Each operator would be assigned (or sign up for) a particular band for a 2 hour block. For example, I would sign up for the 11am to 1pm shift for 20 meters SSB. So that would be my block of time to work 20 Meters SSB. Maybe I sign up for the 3pm to 5pm, 20 Meters Digital. Now that would give me a 2 hour block in the middle to give my ears a rest, use the restroom, grab a fresh drink of choice, take a nap, or just relax. Then back to the radio. After the 6 hour shift, we could then do a group training session for 30 min or something like that, then off to bed or take a nap.
Doing this would effectively give us the ability to work around the clock.  Along with this we would have essentially two or maybe three stations, centered around each other, and these would be the radios that everyone would use.
So we are curious how people feel about this.
So what are the potential downsides?
1. People don’t want to share their radio.  (we have heard horror stories about this happening…someone hogs their radio or simply doesn’t want anyone else touching their rig, nothing wrong with that…but it’s something we will have to think about)
2. People don’t know how to use a particular radio.  (Easy enough if you have a control operator who knows how to use the radios, or is familiar enough to assist, or if the owner of the radio is willing to teach)
3. Not enough people.  (This is a tricky one.  In the past we have never had enough people to do a full 24 hour rotation.  We would have to get a sign in sheet and have everyone commit to being there at field day to do this.)
4. We don’t stick to this.  (It’s bad enough not to have enough people to fill it, but even worse if we decide to do it and don’t stick to it.)
So I will be posting a poll on our Facebook page.  If you are not a part of that group feel to comment here, or send an email to
Updated: March 9, 2018 — 11:44

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